‘Which photo do you like best?’ Peirene is holding her phone in front of me and flicking through an array of selfies.
‘This one.’ I point to one where she smiles straight into the camera. It looks very natural.
‘Impossible! Too many wrinkles around my eyes.’
She continues flicking through, then shows me a picture where she is heavily made up – back combed hair, bright blue eye shadow and scarlet red lipstick. She’s looking over her shoulder, pouting lips, eyes half closed.
‘Peirene, I’m not sure this is you,’ I laugh.
‘So, you think I look ridiculous?!’ she glares at me angrily.
‘Well-‘ I can see she’s hurt and I stop myself. ‘What is it for anyway?’
‘I need new facebook, twitter, instagram and what’s up accounts.’ She’s now standing in front of the mirror, continuing to pull seductive faces, photographing her image in quick successions.
‘But we’ve got all of that,’ I reply.
‘Yes, as a company,’ she rolls her eyes as if I’m slow off the mark. ‘But these accounts are going to be my own, private ones.’
I’m suddenly intrigued. ‘And for whose benefit?’
‘Anthony’s.’ She’s leaning into the mirror, putting blush onto her cheeks.
I’m surprised to hear this. The Nymph is usually quite pragmatic with her romantic feelings and only becomes infatuated with people – and men in particular – who have delivered results. Anthony Cartwright is still a few drafts away from the final version of Peirene Now! No2, so I expected the Nymph to hold back.
She seems to have read my mind. ‘My heart belongs to the other Anthony, and to him alone, the one who pushed us over the £6500 mark to ensure we receive our kickstarter funding.’
That Anthony! Of course! I could have guessed. He’s been the talk in our office since last week. He’s a Peirene fan. None of us knows him personally but he was one of the first pledgers for our kickstarter project with a gift of £18. Then, when we were very close to hit our target, we put out another call, asking our supporters to increase their pledge by £5 each. Anthony increased his donation to £150 and then must have seen that if he added another £12 we would hit our goal. And so he adjusted his pledge again, pushing us over the victory line. What a man! What a hero!
‘Peirene, he already likes you. No need to lure him with selfies.’ I feel I have to save the Nymph from herself.
She lets her shoulders hang down in disappointment. ‘But I thought that’s what the youth of today does, post selfies for their sweethearts on social media.’
I put the arm around her. ‘You’ve impressed him with your books. That’s far more important.’ I wet my thumb and wipe away blue eye shadow that has smudged her cheeks.
By Meike Ziervogel
Image by Annie Pilon, creative commons.
This blog was originally published as part of Peirene Press‘s series Things Syntactical. The Pain and Passion of a Small Publisher on 6 November 2016.