4:32am: Incoming text message. From Elizabeth. Reads: “Bring your swimming suit. Maybe after we’re done we’ll head to the lake.”
5:23am: Alarm sounds. Day begins.
9:28am: arrive at the door of room 411 in a swanky hotel on Wabash. Knocking occurs. No answer. Eventually a hipster walks down the hallway and introduces herself as the fashion editor.
9:45am: the entire trunk of designer clothes is unpacked and I am busy trying things on in the bathroom. Most are entirely too tight. The makeup artist and photographer arrive.
10:15am: The application of makeup begins. All the while I tell my life story to the shaggy-haired photographer who has made himself comfortable on the couch. By the bottom of the hour I have picked three outfits, gotten a face fulla makeup and, with the help of Elizabeth, solved the world’s problems.
11:00am: We’ve loaded into a rented minivan full of camera equipment and cosmetics and begun driving along Lakeshore Drive, heading toward what appears to be the perfect tree. “We could totally get a good shot from there. How do we get to that tree?” After parking, scouting out the area, and unloading equipment I’m told to change outfits. Stockings + 90 degree heat + van as dressing room = discomfort and frustration.
12noon: The first roll is finished under a shade tree that brushes against the skyline. It really is a good tree. We head closer to the beach. I go and change in the beach house stalls from the Marc Jacobs into a linen shirt that retails more than a single paycheck. I get makeup on it. I hope no one notices.
12:50pm: We’re nearing the end of roll 3. We’ve discussed Catholicism a billion times over. I answer questions like its my job, and I love it. I’m still wearing a winter coat. Shirtless joggers are looking at me funny. We’re all famished but needing to finish out the work. Load the van and head to Catholic church across town.
1:30pm: Homeless men are sleeping under trees and I’m getting my picture taken. There is so much irony in this day.
2:15pm: Roll 4. Accomplished. AAAAAAand I’m spent.
The day is concluded with a 3-course meal compliments of the publication. My tummy and my temperature are happy. It begins to pour. I am too tired to swim.
Dear Catholic Church and nuns,
I know you could care less about designer clothes but it was a pretty bizarrly rock’n day. I don’t care so much about the clothes either. Remember that time the photographer was impressed by the outfit I wore to the shoot–that jean-skirt with layered tank-top get-up? Its not a habit or anything, but it cost a lot less. I hope I did okay. I know I kept awkward in style. Hopefully it’ll show. And hopefully there will be more vocations.