Acte 3: Interlude before the Show
Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of my favorite poets, said…
” Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Long before the time I discovered this quote, I found that my life’s path had already been heading that way.
Without boring anyone with far too many details of my rather complicated youth, I found myself one of the unlucky souls who, try as I might to fit in, was being treated like I was just not there.
Like a servant who is mandated to stay out of sight, I was the type of personality that most people failed to give any attention to!
I also discovered that I had a certain knack or adeptness at being able to nimbly pickpockets, and since I was being ignored by my peers anyways, while let’s say I put that to good use!
Lifting from pockets and, then purses, became for me an exciting hobby.
When I was eighteen ( having graduated at seventeen) and out on my own in the world, I found this hobby to be useful in making a bit of extra money.
But it was at a wedding reception in my early twenties where I became of age, so to speak…
She was older than me, resplendent in a sleek black satin gown with bright white frills, and her jewels were mostly pearls.
Except for her long white satin gloves, upon which graced a pair of diamond bracelets.
She was very tipsy and would not take no for an answer when asking for a dance partner!
She cornered me and before I could catch my wits, we were soon in a close embrace on the dance floor.
I was mesmerized by the feel of her warm figure emitting through the sensuous satin gown.
My eyes feasted upon the dazzling show put on by her flashy twin bracelets.
When the exquisitely long dance ended, she moved on to greener pastures, leaving me, and my warm feelings, suddenly chilled!
What I was left with, however, was a lot of tingling stimulations in other areas …
I was also left with my first trophy, the Lady’s appealing necklace of pearls that I had ever so delicately sipped off her throat, using the sleekness of her satin gown, and her alcohol-induced tipsiness to its fullest advantage.
I found myself enthralled with my new take on my hobby!
Throughout the next couple of years, I sought out fancy dress affairs to better learn how to master the art of attracting and dancing with any lady I chose.
Along the way, I managed to accumulate quite a few trophies for my efforts.
I stayed under everyone’s radar by picking out only those females who had been enthusiastically imbibing and by allowing myself to acquire only one trophy per gathering, two if the function was large enough.
During this period of my life I soon made two discoveries:
One was that most women would rather assume their jewel had been merely lost long before ever considering that they had been robbed of it.
The second was that most of my collection of pretty trophies carried an equally pretty price, and could quite acceptably be turned into ready cash.
So, by the tender age of twenty-two, my life started to lead where there had ever been but few tracks.
And thus we finally come to this particular branch of my rather unique, slightly crooked, path that led me to this very Evening’s Costume Ball!
Acte 4: The Curtain Rises