The diva wanted everything white. Threw fits if a single dark lipstick case interrupted the absence of color – or was it the presence of all colors? That abstract white that vanished the second she stained a finger with the anywhere surface of the world. Perhaps a votive white, paraffin candlestick burning with almost no scent? I envision her guarding with a cupped hand her fifteen minutes of flame. Beset by a swarm of moths. Or the white sand beach of the silver screen, that mirror of the vanities, that tablecloth for a powdery pick-me-up? I can be whomever I want, she thought every time she went backstage.

Winter has locked us down under armored plate. Yes, all the messy stuff is gone. Logs and stumps and scrubby bushes are covered up; the ground is smooth and gently contoured as any glamorous nude. But it’s slick, you can’t get a purchase on it. The deer lose their footing, slide hundreds of feet downslope. The trees in their tight white collars bleed silently in the sun.

The diva’s handlers are forecasting a winter storm. But the language is arcane, as usual. No one understands the difference between a warning and a watch, a watch and an advisory. She tunes her headset to an open frequency to listen to the surf: white noise. When it’s on the screen: snow. And some call it pleasure when it’s in the mind, but its real name is power. Or powder, she thinks, applying each nostril in turn to the line on her mirror.

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