“I should think a ‘blower’ might be a good thing to add to your tools, Glossy,” said Desire. “You have brush, poker, and tongs, now, to say nothing of coal-hod,” she added, glancing at the little open japanned box that held some kind of black powder which had to do with the shadow of Glossy’s eyelashes upon occasion, and the emphasis upon the delicate line of her brows.
“No secret,” said Glossy, magnanimously. “There it is! It is no greater sin than violet powder, or false tails, for that matter; and the little gap in my left eyebrow was never deliberately designed. It was a ‘lapsus naturae;’ I only follow out the hint, and complete the intention. Something is left to ourselves; as the child said about the Lord curling her hair for her when she was a baby and letting her do it herself after she grew big enough. What are our artistic perceptions given to us for, unless we’re to make the best of ourselves in the first place?”
“But it isn’t all eyebrows,” said Desire, half aloud.
“Of course not,” said Glossy Megilp. “Twice a day I have to do myself up somehow, and why shouldn’t it be as well as I can? Other things come in their turn, and I do them.”
“But, you see, the friz and the fix has to be, anyhow, whether or no. Everything isn’t done, whether or no. I guess it’s the ’first place,’ that’s the matter.”
“I think you have a very theoretical mind, Des, and a slightly obscure style. You can’t be satisfied till everything is all mapped out, and organized, and justified, and you get into horrible snarls trying to do it. If I were you, I would take things a little more as they come.”
“I can’t,” said Desire. “They come hind side before and upside down.”
“Well, if everybody is upside down, there’s a view of it that makes it all right side up, isn’t there? It seems to be an established fact that we must dress and undress, and that the first duty of the day is to get up and put on our clothes. We aren’t ready for much until we do. And one person’s dressing may require one thing, and another’s another. Some people have a cork leg to put on, and some people have false teeth; and they wouldn’t any of them come hobbling or mumbling out without them, unless there was a fire or an earthquake, I suppose.”
Glossy Megilp’s arguments and analogies perplexed Desire, always. They sometimes silenced her; but they did not always answer her. She went back to what they had been discussing before.
“To ’lay down the shubbel and the hoe,’—here’s your poker, under the table-flounce, Glossy,—and to ‘take up the fiddle and the bow,’ again,—I think it’s real nice and beautiful for Hazel—”
“To ’go where the good darkies go’?”
“Yes. It’s the good of her that’s got her in. And I believe you and Florence both would give your best boots to be there too, if it is behind. Behind the fixings and the fashions is where people live; ‘dere’s vat I za-ay!’” she ended, quoting herself and Rip Van Winkle.