what is beauty: a creative writing response

Hollywood Hooker

I lived under a sagging lemon tree once, for three day to be exact. The branches hid my figure as I lay underneath the blanket of stars. When you’re homeless even if only for a few days, you get to see some interesting stuff happen right before your eyes. Maybe even things you would rather not have to see. Prostitutes would frequent up and down the major boulevards after 11pm until the early hours of the morning while most people were hiding their sins behind closed doors simply counting sheep.

But her, she was bruised a couple weeks ago by her pimp.

He beat her bloody because she didn’t make enough the week before. He wasn’t happy about her performance, obviously to him she needed to perform more. She had to be strong though, she had a four year old boy who’s life depended upon it. She didn’t know who the father was, could have been anyone, all she knew was that she was the mother. She had a plan though, she was going to make it big! And tonight, tonight was the night she was going to make more than enough money to get her and her fatherless child off the streets. As she gazed in the mirror she could see that the strikes to her face had bruised the skin tissue so deep that her bone was mildly disfigured. But her hope was tenacious, she was determined to look beautiful at any cost. She began to cover her face with foundation than cherry colored blush. She had to use a lot of blush if she was to cover the recent souvenirs of her one bad night.
After the layers of cosmetic ‘medication’ were applied and her face looked more human, she fumbled through an old box of jewelry given to her by some of her fellow stree-twalkers. She dug through the cubic zirconia and found this beautiful pearl necklace that seemed to fit so perfectly that it must have been made for just her. In fact, it was, it was made for her by her grandmother who gave it to the young girl before she lost her innoncence. The pearls were followed with these words ‘don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, you are always beautiful, inside and out’. The girl turned prostitute clutched to the string of pearls as if it held her very soul. It was as if she was holding on for dear life that something might just change for her. As she stood there mesmerized by the beauty around her neck, she rememberd an old Rabbi tell her that “beauty is the power of life, it is the spirit within that chooses to fight on despite the hopelessness that seems to prevail.” He went on to tell her ” Beauty isn’t what you see on television or magazines or even what you put on your face. Beauty also isn’t the next person. Its you discovering you. Its you being determined to be you against all odds.”

As she began to put her stockings on one-by-one she could still hear the Rabbi talking in the back of her mind ” Remember the Torah young one, beauty is defined as someone who passes through many rivers and storms and makes it out on the otherside.The word beauty is the same as the word presist. Beautiful child, beauty has nothing at all to do with the outside. Nothing. That is all fleeting as is youth, but it is the person who hold onto to extreme hope that there is something more than what is now. Never forget this”. And she never did. She is still holding out hope. Oh sure she isn’t beautiful on the outside right now, but on the inside she is more beautiful than a thousand sunrises or sunsets placed in a jar. I would love to tell you that the girl found her way to freedom. That she and her child has found a nice 2-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of town. But, I would be lying.

She is now nothing more than a silhouette that stands looking out for hope. Even though to her, hope is a stranger, she continues on. She believes one day it will be alright. That one morning the sun will rise and it will be her and her son living on the other side of hope. And the more she holds on to hope, the more beautiful she becomes. Even though the history of the world is written upon the scars on her face, she believes she will get there. And that’s what makes her beautiful.



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