Columns Saugatuck/Douglas Commercial Record

Blue Star

By Scott Sullivan
Emancipation by manipulation? Lincoln was accused of it. In America we depend on our independence, which can serve and boomerang.
Witness Waxology, a new shop that fills a double suite in a strip mall next to Fruition, where I buy my daughter acai-bowl Sweet Tooths. The spa offers waxing, sugaring, a lash lounge, spray tans and laminations, which I first took for lamentations.
In the Bible, Jeremiah laments God deserting Babylon due to mankind’s fornication, abominations, chaos, heedlessness, all the fun stuff. You’d think we’d have learned after Noah’s Ark, but oh no. The tower of Babel, per Genesis, was built by a unified human race with its pinnacle in the sky, causing God/Yahweh to confound their speech into different languages and scatter them.
At Waxology things are different. All staff are women and women are largely their clientele, a de facto unity by division. Should I break the plate-glass window? Burst in through shards and demand Chloe wax, Daphne sugar, Delphine lash, Hannah spray-tan and Zoe clear plastic-coat me for the merry old land of Oz or, shy of that, preservation?
I’d had run-ins before with candles. My wife lit one first time her/our tests came back positive, a flame rose as the wax waned and it came to a wicked end.
I sought truth in Niagara Falls wax museums while covering marathons shuffling from Buffalo across the Peace Bridge into Canada. In the Great White North, runners ran alongside the Niagara River as it turned into rapids then thundered down into rainbow mists at the Horseshoe Falls.
Wax museum tours were de rigueur on my bucket list. Posing for selfies with sundry Elvises/Elvi, Lizzie Borden whacking parents with an ax, in place of Charles next to Princess Di were inevitable if not musts.
Louis Toussard was “Madame” Marie’s great-grandson. His first London waxworks opened with heraldry on Christmas Eve 1890 and melted down six months later.
Undaunted, Tussaud moved to Blackpool, set up shop in the Hippodrome basement, expanded the family franchise, died, but his heirs sold to Ripley’s Entertainment, of Believe It Or Not fame, so his name at least has an afterlife.
Ripley’s owns several of the Falls’ five waxworks, plus more worldwide. For the Grand Tour I can book flights to Grand Prairie, Texas; Atlantic City; Copenhagen, Denmark; Pattaya, Thailand; Bangalore, India … by the time I’m done, they’ll have added more.
Through the 10th floor window of my Falls hotel room, I could see a sky wheel turn and the strip twinkle on at sunset below as the stars came out.
Downstairs slot-machine supplicants, drinking and smoking next to the marathon runners, crammed casinos. A Hard Rock Café with photos blown up and signed by pop stars hung on walls near Keith Moon’s alleged drumsticks and the guitar Jimi Hendrix set afire at Woodstock. The short-skirted waitress, growing skittish when I asked about their authenticity, slammed down a stein of unordered suds instead.
Through the glass goldly I saw my inner beauty set free at last by cosmetology, an emancipation by emasculation. I woke to a ring of waxologists and estheticians, haloed by surgical lights, peering down at me and was reunited with my ancestors, all wax too.
Dad had warned me about seductresses who serve mickeys. “Don’t fly near them, son,” he said. I told Chloe the Waitress that in the east skies during June before dawn you can see Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune and Uranus align and asked her what this might herald.
“I’ve seen Uranus but didn’t plan it,” she lamented.
I’d added a syllable to the cosmologist I’d thought she was, but that’s what happens when you speak in tongues. Stupid Tower.
All grew clear when I read I could have lucid dreams by taking the drug galantamine, which in medical language inhibits degradation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that triggers you being conscious when you’re unconscious. I delays things falling apart, like Ponce de Leon thought he could do finding fountains in Florida. Then I could direct my dreams, as Christopher Noland did “Oppenheimer,” though mine would likely turn out like “Barbie.”
“Our planets are aligned,” I told Chloe.
“You’re loco,” she said.
“Not local,” I misheard. “From somewhere else.”
“No, loco!”
Logos — Greek for discourse or reason, logic — is often mistaken for what equals in Spanish “crazy.” Saugatuck had a Loco Burrito with its own logo, but now has El Burrito Feliz so why not be happy?
Into forever, I say.

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