Staring at that corner I know one thing, and I know it real clear, at once: this lovely dress, made of heavy satin and trimmed with lace and beading and what not, which I’ve dyed, the morning after the wedding, orange at the top and purple at the bottom, so it can still be used in the future—like, at dances and parties and stuff—this dress isn’t gonna to fit me no more.
Up to now I’ve pictured it in my head, shining awful brilliant, just like a rainbow, and swirling all around me; and with every step, billowing between my legs, and like, making me adorable, so adorable in Lenny’s eyes—but now that I touch my belly and feel the beginning, the very beginning of change, right here around my waist, what’s the point of all that.
On the floor, under the hem of the dress, I can see two pairs of shoes: one is my new, white satin shoes, which Lenny’s bought for me, like, two weeks ago, just for the wedding.
When he wants to, he can be real kind. He knows so well how to spoil a woman. He gave me a ring with a pink sapphire. I bet you it’s real! Also, a gold chain with a locket, which at the last minute—like, just before saying, I do—I decided not to wear. I wanted to look classy, and worried that it’s gonna be a bit much.
And the other pair? Now, that’s my very first pair of high heel shoes. They’re worn out, but still kinda bright, and chipped only a little. To this day I’m totally crazy about the color: hot pink!
Ten years ago I spotted them up there, in a store window, and for a whole month I stared at them every day, on my way home from school, and my heart sank, knowing I didn’t have no money to buy them. I liked how the side of the strap was like, spruced up with a plastic rose, which has since fallen off. Awful cute, it was!
Then I found a job at this ice cream place, down there at the Santa Monica pier. I got my first week’s pay, and was so happy, so thrilled to rush in and buy them, because they wasn’t only pink—but glossy too, and because now I was just like an adult. Ma took one look at them and slapped me, which made me figure that now, I was gonna have no choice but to apply plenty of makeup, so that this side of my face, which was flaming red, won’t stand out all that much.
Excerpt from My Own Voice
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