Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bloor Line, foot up on the seat in front of her.

Caucasian woman, mid 30s, with salt and pepper hair, wearing rolled jeans with flip flops, yellow tank top and jean jacket.

The Girls, Lori Lansens (Vintage)

Page 147:

What a silhouette Ruby and I must have been, there against the glare from these high windows. Frankie reared back with a quick intake of breath and some words that sounded like What the fuck?
Excerpt from "Fading", now appearing in Maisonneuve Magazine.

The light under the bathroom door went out. Alice closed the drawer and scanned the room grabbing details, things to remember from the moment before her life would change. Wicker basket. Pastel artwork. Mirrored doors. Hand weights. Eyes adjusting to the darkness, Alice felt the sting of bile against the back of her throat when Cass stepped into the moonlight in a lacy nightgown. It was delicate. Dainty. Where was the sporty tee from earlier sleepovers? Alice had imagined the sort of woman who wears a tuxedo shirt, or an undershirt under a cashmere cardigan while she shops for groceries. A woman who knows what she wants, not one who needs showing. This nightgown made Cass look feminine in a way that made Morgan Fairchild beautiful to many but hideous to Alice.

Standing rigid in her flannel bottoms and torn t-shirt, Alice felt like less than the man she’d need to be to please this girl. Cass must have known because she went to Alice, guiding her to push Cass’s nightie up past her waist. This was it. Like falling off your bike, or slipping on a patch of ice, or reaching the highest level of Pac Man with nowhere left to go, it wasn’t quite real. Hipbone to hipbone, Alice and Cass made out until their lips were chafed. Alice had become good at kissing. She knew that if she licked the corner of Cass’s mouth she’d gasp. Nip her bottom lip and she’d exhale loudly. Tonight, the girls created a tight seal, keeping their noises muffled to the curious ears in the next room. Cass ran her hands under Alice’s t-shirt, along the broad of her shoulders, hesitating slightly around a mole, then down the back of Alice’s underwear. Alice eagerly palmed Cass’s breasts—they were heavier than she imagined. She shifted forward onto the tips of her toes as if she didn’t have breasts of her own, bracing herself against Cass, strengthening her grip. Cass grabbed Alice’s wrist.


Alice backed away, falling onto the bed so forcefully that the brass headboard knocked against the wall.

“I just don’t feel anything in them.” Cass softened her tone. “Never have.”

Her nightgown continued to rest on her thick hips. Alice grimaced, thinking: My grandmother wears those underwear.

A sharp rap came at the door, Barb needing her face cream. Alice dove under the covers. A beat passed and Barb entered, moving quickly past Cass into the bathroom. Cass whispered after her, “She’s asleep.” Cass continued to stand in the middle of the room for no good reason. Barb stepped back into the room, face to face with Cass and her hips.

“You girls should close those blinds if you don’t want people seeing in.”

Barb left and Cass got into the bed, her back turned to Alice. Alice trained her eye on the night table waiting for the sounds from the next room to stop. Bowl of pocket change. Sweat-stained watchband. Emery board and nail polish. The neon clock bled 9:25 PM. It was over. When would this chance come again? Alice didn’t feel rejected so much as defeated.

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