Jack woke suddenly with the magazine open on his stomach. He spotted the clock illuminating from the night table. It was 4:00 AM. He must have dozed off around 9:00 PM last night. It was a complete and total surrender to sleep, and he reveled in it for another 15 minutes.
TIME TO GET UP! he thought. He rummaged through the closet looking for a uniform that would fit, but they were all slightly too small. He had to do something to make it appear that he was serious about the job, and willing to go the distance.
He had two hours to kill, or rather prepare. So he decided that using what he read last night he’d put his best foot, or rather feet forward. He eradicated all body hair the night before, so decided he’d paint his toenails and fingernails.
It didn’t go all that well. He was trying to use muscles and coordination he had never used in his entire life. The toes he completed without too much difficulty. He used the toe separators that he found in a drawer in the vanity, and slowly applied the polish, And driven by what he — as a guy — liked on women, choose a ruby red. As instructed, he waited for them to almost dry, then applied a coat of clear.
But the fingernails were not so easy. For one thing he only could use one hand. It was all very cumbersome. It took him three tries — beginning, wiping them clean with remover, and beginning again — until he finally got it right. Using a tip he’d read in the magazine last night, he used a hair dryer on his nails and they were dry within minutes. It took care, however, remembering not to let them get too hot or the polish would bubble. In the end he was pleased with the result.
The sensations of his bare legs under the dainty fabric was odd. He felt somewhat self conscious about it, but at the same time found it to be a bit sexually exciting. But he couldn’t think long about it because he still had much to do, and it was now 5:00 AM. The colonel would be unlocking the door in an hour when he’d have to begin breakfast.
Sitting at the vanity he lined up all the cosmetics he could recall from last night’s article reading: moisturizer, foundation, compressed powder, loose powder, lip liner, lipstick, rouge, eye liner, and mascara. Then he set the magazine beside him so he could review the article and follow the instructions as he went along.
He just sat there and looked at it, never realizing how much work went into a woman’s morning routine. He began with a double-close shave, followed by tweezing the eyebrows a bit. Just enough to form a mild arch. He applied liberal amount of moisturizer.
Next came the foundation. Using a cosmetic sponge he dabbed some on his forehead, the cheek bones, the nose, and the chin. Following the instructions he then used an upward motion, evenly covering his face.
From there everything got more complicated. The eyeliner was tricky. It took several tries of trial and error until he began to find the stroke. With each screw up he had to wipe it clean and begin again. Once to his liking, he then applied the rouge, but felt it looked clownish. He again read and made adjustments. “What’s next? Oh, yeah, the pressed powder.” With its application it toned down the bright rouge, and suddenly things were coming together. Eye shadow, the article had said, should be neutral colors by day. So he used beige with a hint of pink. The mascara then brought the eyes to life. But it was the ruby red lipstick that matched the nails that had the most impact. He thought it looked hot!
Lastly, with only about 15 minutes left before the colonel arrived, he undid the curlers from his hair that he had set the night before. When his hair fell around his face in cascading waves, he shuddered: he didn’t recognize himself.
Just then there was a knock at the door.