#53: Krysta's Night Off

Friday at Coastside Comic Con was a whirlwind. Though Alicia's scheduled events were not until Saturday, she made several surprise guest appearances throughout the day at panels, vendor booths, and cosplay meet-ups. Fully in her element, Alicia delivered a master class on celebrity. Her personality played well to her fans, particularly one-on-one. Jumping rapidly and excitedly from subject to subject, she'd squeeze five minutes worth of conversation into two while Krysta nudged her along to keep her on schedule. Their day finally concluded at 7:00 PM with the closing of the exhibitor hall. After an hour of managing foot traffic around Alicia's surprise appearance at the Dynamo Wigs booth, an exhausted Krysta retired to the hotel room while Alicia joined her friend Mari for a late dinner.

The notes Krysta left for herself the last time she'd been Alicia's con handler recommended she stipulate an evening off. Citing cosplay and storage needs, Alicia had negotiated for a suite as well as a per diem for food, which she gave to Krysta. In the quiet of the hotel room, Krysta uncorked a bottle of cabernet she'd brought along (another note from her past self) and poured herself a glass. With Alicia covering her food, Krysta had no qualms about ordering the $19 black bean burger and sweet potato fries from room service.

Despite caution urged by Julie and her own past self, Krysta studied her site and social media analytics while waiting for her food. Her numbers were no more encouraging than the last time she'd checked them. Dejected, Krysta refilled her glass as her food arrived. Another fifteen minutes later she'd scarfed down her burger and picked through the remains of her fries as she poured glass number three. Noting the time, she decided to check on Whitley, who was transporting not only herself but supplies and outfits for their Saturday morning shoot with Julie.


Julie would intervene if she knew Krysta was even thinking about work while on vacation. For Krysta, 'vacation' meant she would do one live webcam show instead of three and take no more than thirty minutes a day for email and messages. She had no doubts Whitley would tattle on her. However, Julie would be taking photos until at least 10:00 PM, leaving Krysta an hour or so to play with hotel room selfie and video ideas.

Keeping the frame limited to her third of the space, Krysta took several selfies but found herself shoving items aside to reduce clutter, and then re-adding them for balance. She tried to relax and be spontaneous, but her wine buzz coupled with anxiety over her site numbers left her increasingly frustrated.

Eventually, Krysta tossed her phone aside, grabbed her laptop, and pulled up her "emergency pics" folder where she stashed some photos she could draw from in a pinch. Some were outtakes from past shoots, while others were one-offs she'd saved for occasions like now. She paused when she came across a photo from her last visit home. It depicted her in all her bosomy bikini glory while holding an undersized blue polka dot bikini from high school for comparison. It was a good picture, and she tried to remember why she had not posted it.

I look so happy. So relaxed. Why can I not do that now? Wait...what's with my glasses? How did I not notice the glare? That is what it was…or maybe it was my smile. My smile is kind of wonky and fake, but that is nothing new. That's what people are probably getting bored with. They want someone fun and spontaneous who vomits their life all over Snapchat and Instagram stories.

...or maybe it was that bulge in my underwear, she thought, reaching for the wine bottle. What was going on there?

Where would I even go?" Krysta said, setting the bottle down on her nightstand with more force than intended. She blinked with surprise at the racket before looking around, searching the room for a recycle bin. Spotting one near the door, she debated whether or not to toss the bottle. She could always tell she'd drank too much when over-thinking started slowing her down—also, she'd finished a bottle of wine by herself.

Krysta glanced back at the bed, littered with the exploded shrapnel of her life at present: her laptop, a couple discarded shirts and bras, a makeup kit, her toiletries bag, the remains of her dinner, a wine cork, a bottle opener. This casual chaos was far too personal for her carefully crafted image and more suited for the Alicias and Lexie Cheers of the Instagram world. Why couldn't she do it?

Lifting her phone above her head, Krysta switched to selfie mode and framed her face, cleavage, and the bed in the shot. Studying the screen, she realized it wasn't nearly as big a deal as she'd worked it up to be. Sure, it was more 'honest' and 'casual' than her usual content, but most of her fans would think nothing of it. She needed a real bump.

Krysta pressed record.

"Hey, Instagram! It is K-Cup Krysta, and I am liiiiive at Coastside Comic Con 2018. Who wants to go exploring?"

Having the forethought not to be too specific about her location, Krysta had moved her phone to her cleavage for the walk from her room to the elevator. While there was little to see with her phone packed in the pink stretch halter top she'd changed into, she figured her fans didn't mind the POV shots from stashing and retrieving her phone.

"All right," Krysta said. "We have left the room, and we're headed to the elevators.

dudubutta3939: You're a comics fan? What's your favs?

yanickalex: please put us back in your cleavage. Take your time.

aliciaanimuscle: Come to the social lounge! J's on her way.

"Social lounge, eh? Sounds like a plan!" Krysta said, winking at the screen. "Let's find this place." A notification appeared on her screen. Alicia had texted directions to a destination Krysta recognized from earlier. She held her phone at an angle that gave her viewers a shot of her face as well as her jostling bust as she followed the sounds of music to her destination.

"Alright, time to scope out what we have going on here," Krysta said to her phone, trying to articulate and hide her intoxication. The social lounge was a large conference room laid out as a 21+ mini-club, complete with neon lights, food, full-service bar, couches, and a DJ booth with Karaoke. Krysta had barely gotten through the entrance when she heard Alicia yelling her name. She gave her phone a smirk before proceeding in.

"Some of you might recognize this one," she said coyly, before turning her phone towards Alicia, who gesticulated to the camera while also participating in the chat.

kuntrygrill02: WHOA. Your friend is SWOLE

snowm00n: Helloooooo nurse!

aliciaanimuscle: Awwwww! THANK YOU!

shorsham8: YOU'RE WITH ALICIA FREEMAN? What the hell is happening!?!?!?

Alicia put her arm around Krysta and drew her in for a selfie, motioning for a third party to take pictures, while Krysta noticed the low battery notification on her phone and pouted.

"Hey everyone! My phone is dying, so I will have to wrap it up! Thanks for taking a stroll with me." Krysta held her phone aloft, winked, and gave her assets another shake as she danced along with Alicia.

Amarjeet: 😭😭😭😭😭

blameduane33: Nooooooooo

aliciaanimuscle: Don't worry, I'll be posting updates! Come visit me on IG live. It's about to get awesome!!!

"Bye, everyone!" Krysta said, signing off. Alicia waved from behind her before turning her attention toward wrangling her other roommate.