...continued from yesterday:
Then the day came for her to leave. She had told everyone she knew how her entire appearance would be streamed live on the internet. They could all watch while she was on the Plinth. While she waited at the station for her train, Beryl posed an unexpected puzzler to Maxine.
“So what are you going to do while you’re on the Plinth? Have you thought of something?”
“Do?” Maxine stared vacantly, silently. Curiously she hadn’t thought of this.
“You have to do something when you’re up there. Everyone will be looking at you, waiting for you to do something. It will be like you’re on the stage or something.”
Thus Maxine began her journey with a sense of ambiguity and dread. The organizers didn’t really say that she had to “do” anything in particular. She had candies to toss out to the crowd. But she didn’t dance, or sing, or juggle, or anything of the like. The people would all be looking at her waiting for her to do something. She tried to push these thoughts from the forefront of her mind and convince herself that she was merely going to be part of a work of art—a living statue of sorts. Nevertheless that thought of “doing” something nagged at her.
“Jane, it’s Max. I’m here.”
“Sorry Cuz, I had to leave town for a few days,” Jane apologized. “I left a key under the doormat. Make yourself comfy and just help yourself to whatever you need. I’m so sorry I can’t be there. I was looking forward to seeing you. When you leave just lock up and slide the key under the door.”
Maxine felt very alone. The flat was nicely kept and quite comfortable. She had really looked forward to having the company tonight and perhaps even going out for a bit. However, Maxine was decisive that she would not go anywhere on her own. She settled in for an evening to herself. With a dinner of biscuits and jam that she had brought courtesy of one of her patrons, she turned on the television and that was that. When she retired she merely did so on the sofa in the reception room so as not to stir up a bed. Sleep came easily and well she slept.
She reported to the project welcome center and under the professional direction of the representatives of the organization she was meticulously guided through the process. She was led to a change room where she donned her special fine looking dress and carefully adjusted the tiara onto her head. Looking at herself in the mirror, she held her head up and pronounced with amusement, “There! I shall be the Queen of the Plinth.” She paused with uncertainty and bit her lip. “No perhaps that would be far too pretentious. After all we have a Queen. No, I shall be the Princess of the Plinth!” She was pleased with the alliteration of the title and decided that this would be far more artsy. Now she was ready for her hour of glory or gaucherie.
....to be continued tomorrow....