Shine: Last Page

It was a turquoise blue silk dotted with a brown and beige floral print, a slight ruffle at the neck. With a slim '40s silhouette, the waist was cinched in just enough to be flattering, and just enough for me to know that I'd never fit into it.

I bought it anyway.

I unpacked it carefully and hung it in my closet, hoping that I'd forget about it long enough for the apocalypse to happen, for me to get a parasite, or any other event that would result in enough weight loss that I could finally fit into it.

Claire Lawton

Deep into that night, I dream that I am in my bathroom, struggling to get the beautiful shirt over my head. I shove my arms down into the sleeves, when they abruptly stop at the cuffs. I push and push, and even though I have a patch over one eye, I can see that my wrists are too fat to slide through. It is dark outside, and I know it is late, but I have never done something so important in my life. I realize my hand is mechanical, and I rip it off, knocking it to the ground with what should have been a clatter, although I hear nothing except the sound of my own labored Tony Soprano breaths.

I look into the mirror and I do not look pretty in the shirt. At all.

The next morning, I am clomping down the stairs, as pieces of the dream flutter in and out of my memory. A wave of blue, muffled sounds, a fake hand falling to the tile below. I laugh at what stupid dreams I have as I turn on the light and catch a glimpse in the mirror of my puffy velvet sleep mask so askew it only covers one eye, and as I take out my earplugs, and pull off my wrist brace, I see a beautiful pile of blue silk crumpled on top of the toilet tank.

• Laurie Notaro is the author of New York Times bestsellers The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club and It Looked Different on the Model. Catch up with her at laurienotaro.com.

 
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