Author: Alison Tyler
About: "Edit Me," which first appeared in "D Is for Dress-Up," is a story based on Alison Tyler's experience working on a Weekly Paper in Los Angeles.
Tyler says, "Throughout the years, only one of my men was truly interested in fashion--consumed with putting on my clothes as opposed to taking them off. Hunter was my editor on the newspaper, my Pygmalion. He changed my entire sense of style, turning me from goth girl to girl Friday. He was why I had those pencil skirts and white blouses, why I wore my hair the way I did, wore my make-up in the style of his choosing. He is featured in 'Edit Me,' and there are certain items in my wardrobe that I can't wear without getting wet from memories of him. Of the way he'd tilt his head and take in my whole look, before making some minor persnickety adjustment. It was as important to him what went on my body as what he ultimately took off."
3175 sizzling words. Adults Only!
My panties, newly purchased, perfectly polka dot, were drenched. I squirmed, and he admonished me. "You flush so pretty. It's lovely with your skin. But you shouldn't squirm around as if you're uncomfortable. You should soak it all in when a man tells you secrets. You should learn from what he says."
Soak. That was a good word. That's what I did.
"Now ask," he'd say magnanimously, lifting his emerald green bottle of imported beer to his lips. "Ask whatever you want."
He was fair in that way, always allowing me to quiz him after the lunchtime lessons. I tried to show him that I was learning, that I'd paid attention and memorized the facts. But I wasn't used to drinking beer during the day, stolen sips from his bottle when the waiter wasn't watching since I wasn't old enough to order my own. My mind felt hazy around the edges, and all I could mumble was, "Did she like it?"
A headshake. A frown. I'd asked the wrong question, and I felt as bad as if he'd put me over his lap and spanked me. No, that's a lie. Because that's what I wished he would do. I hated to disappoint him. I wanted to make him proud. This was why I spent hours agonizing the leads in my sentences, the clothes in my closet.
"Did she come?" I asked.
That was better. More in-your-face, which he liked coming from me. I was so desperately quiet, so unusually naive. How'd I get like that? He simply couldn't fathom. I was no L.A. woman. True. A transplanted San Francisco girl, I couldn't begin to blend in a world of silicone and faux blondes. With my ebony eyes, cherry-lips and long dark curly hair, I didn't fit in. Hunter liked that. He wanted me to blush less, but be comfortable more. Confidence, he said, was power.
"Of course, she came."
And then, to show him that I was advancing, that I was finally catching on, I said in as husky a voice as I could manage, "I would have come, too."