Salome Starfire

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Dorothy Parker for Dinner

I would have had this posted earlier but I was looking for Enough Rope. You know you are on the hunt when that strange thing you do with your tongue on the edge of your lips occurs and you hunch forward into the computer scouring for…a 1st edition 5th print run of Parker’s Enough Rope. I’m thinking at this point ‘Ahh it’s so cheap! Fools! How is it no-one else has found it??? This is incredible! I think I know where I want all my spending to go from now on!!’ And so I begin carefully looking at photos of the old brown book, all the while conscious of my purse just disappearing off the table edge. So I looked at the photos of the rather plain brown hardback book. I thought about having it and reading it on the tram and then thought about how dangerous on-line shopping is. I’m not the kind of girl who buys expensive shoes or bras, and I’d perhaps be better supported and dressed if I were, no….I’m the girl who stresses over not having enough money to get my teaching registration and then begins to salivate over a 1st edition book of Dorothy’s. I imagine holding it in my hands…no I imagine coming home tired and checking my letter box and finding the bundle of joy, clutching to my cheap brassiere¬† and relishing in that delicious vanillary smell of old books. I don’t open it straight away, no I take my shoes off, wash my hands because the tram is full of flu-ish sickly looking folk and click the switch on the kettle. I put the package down and pretend I don’t want to rip it open… I casually turn it over in my hand all the while inspecting the finer details of place of shipping, what stamps they’ve put on there, the way my name feels very important and certain on the front. I feel for the book, its hard exterior seems so much smaller than I thought it would be. I feel it through the packaging, the thin wave of bubble-wrap. See!! This is what happens when I had decided to look up Mrs Parker’s birth date and death date to make sure I had the right details. Ah the details! And sure enough, I hear the postie rattle by but not for me, and I’ve boiled the kettle twice and have not managed to move myself from this incredibly uncomfortable sitting position. Perhaps in another life I would have the expensive shoes, the perfectly fitted bra that lovingly caresses my decolletage and my first edition copy of Enough Rope. But I have bitten off more than I can chew, I retreat from the electrical lights of internet shopping and remember my copy stashed in storage in Brisbane in one of my father’s ten sheds. I wonder if I can get someone to get it to me. Looking for Dorothy means I am in need of her smarts and wit, it means I need to be the broad that is not ashamed to be broad, to be big and bold, to be out-spoken. I need that Parker gumption, I need that tenacity to play with the boys and win their marbles! I need my smart ladies around, plotting to overthrow every big book industry giant in the world ( Vanity Fair kicked Mrs Parker out for her leftie tendencies! )

Dorothy Parker

you did not take shit

though often,

you did like to dish it.

Dorothy I need you,

your bravery and charm,

I wish I had your skills

with words to dis-arm

all the pallid girls

and the wretchedly cool men

But I have only boring impatience,

and an uncertain pen.



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