Chapter One of Leo

CHAPTER ONE OF LEO

IN WHICH

Leo hates the Bridesmaids,

Aries hates Leo,

and Sagittarius isn’t a hater, yet 

***

No one is paying attention to M-E. 

I   say   to them,    I say, “L-E-O,   as an anagram of   O-L-E, should be exclamatized    no matter where it occurs in a sentence or the world. LEO! OLÉ! LEO! OLÉ!” 

They stare. 

I star. 

But then they stop. 

So, I do it again, I yell, “LEO! OLÉ! LEO! OLÉ!” 

But they’ve stopped staring, damn it. 

LEO QUOTE: My preferred mode of transportation is parades. 

Aries turns to me, I hear, “Does this mean you’re going to be yelling more than usual?” 

I say to her, I say, “Yes, Aries. Yes, it does.” 

Aries hates me right now.  

This morning, I called her, I said, ‘I’m wearing my modest black dress to the wedding,’ when we both knew I’d wear the silver dress because it’s the hotter dress. So, Aries wore her silver dress assuming I’d wear mine too, but I actually did wear my modest black dress, thereby making Aries look overdressed and inappropriate, which means I can do anything I want now because standing next to her makes me look like a Mother Theresa Mahatma Ghandi. 

So, I laugh loudly. I roar. 

They stare. 

I star. 

Everyone approves of modest M-E  

Because Aries looks like she’d sex your father in a Denny’s. 

LEO QUOTE: If I were a piece of fruit, I would be a steak. 

I announce something, I say, “When I’m nervous, I imagine everyone else imagining me naked because it gives me confidence.” 

“Leo, don’t be embarrassing. Please lower your voice,” Aries says. 

“LEO! OLÉ! OLÉ! OLÉ!” I respond. 

So, there are two bridesmaids drinking at the bar right now. There’s a Blonde Bridesmaid and a Redhead Bridesmaid.  

The Blonde Bridesmaid looks like a constipated ballerina and it’s really sad because I use similes but I don’t. It’s even sadder because she’s handling the attention like the ugly child at a parent’s funeral — not used to the stares — way too aware. When it comes to attention, here’s a rule for you: Awareness is awkward. A star of the scene is always a stranger to it. Your indifference equals their interest. That is a rule. I don’t give a damn about T-H-E-M and they love M-E for it. 

I say to Aries, I say, “I should be a bridesmaid.” 

“Please be quiet,” she says. 

“You don’t put up with friends like me just to shove ‘em in a pew like every Dick and Celeste. I need to be presented. That’s what I’m for.” 

“Leo, please. Your voice.” 

I say to her, I say, “A hot bridesmaid makes you look hotter. A hot friend, no. But a hot bridesmaid, yes.” 

“Leo.” 

I continue, I say, “If I look bad, I want people to tell me.” 

“Leo.” 

“If my bridesmaids look bad, I still want people to tell me.” 

“Leo.” 

“That’s not gossip, Aries. That’s guidance.” 

“Leo, please. Your voice.” 

“OLÉ! OLÉ! OLÉ! LEO!” 

And they stare. 

I star. 

But then they stop 

And it’s this dress.  

No one is looking at me tonight because I’m wearing a modest dress. 

So, the Redhead Bridesmaid is good. She knows how to handle the attention. She knows how to cultivate their admiration with rhetorical questions like ‘Isn’t it beautiful tonight? Don’t we clean up well? Isn’t everything gorgeous?’ 

As a juicy red grape, she’s choosing to swell the moment instead of forcing a squeeze.  

Top of the game. I hate it.  

I hate T-H-E-M. 

Here’s a LEO grammar lesson for you: ‘T-H-E-M’ absorbs its ‘E-M’ out of a mirrored ‘M-E’. And since Leo is always mirrored, it’s always M-E that gets screwed. 

LEO QUOTE: My health insurance people send me coupons and I’m not even that poor. That’s how big of a deal I am ya’ll. 

Sagittarius gets back.  

She’s always telling me to think about something greater than myself, but I’m already great as myself so I have difficulty seeing her point. Things that don’t involve me make me sad. I divorced Facebook for this very reason. No one was paying attention to M-E. 

Just like now, damn it.  

No one is paying attention to me.  

What is wrong with the world tonight? Is it really this black dress? Is it really because I wore a modest dress? Is that really all it takes to disappear? 

Zod damn it. 

Maybe I should’ve worn the silver dress.

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