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.
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.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.