May 4, 2012: No ideas, but in things. CWE 215

A young woman who was as wide around the middle as three, or even four, young women pushed a plastic card into the slot over the doorknob. A green light flashed and the woman turned the dull gold knob and opened the door. Her long black dress blew open around her legs like a tent when she walked across the navy blue carpet flaked through with gold. She placed a purple leather handbag on the bureau. A TV remote rested beside the purse, and she picked up the thin black box and pressed the red rubber button in the top corner. The larger than life face of a black news anchor filled the flatscreen. The anchor woman stood in front of a cherry tree cloudy with pink blooms and held a black microphone to her mouth. The young woman didn’t look at the TV. She walked to the corner of the room and used her toes to kick off her flat black shoes under the ironing board. An iron sat on top of the flat board and she followed the cord to the black square at the end, and she fitted the thin gold spokes into the plate on the wall. She turned the iron clumsily with her sausage fingers and checked the heating dial. She walked to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror but didn’t look at it. She squeezed open the plastic claw that held a knot of hair to the back of her head. Thin brown hair dropped without fanfare around her round face. She placed the claw next to the sink. Her cuticles were swollen, and the nails in their nail beds looked like m&ms pressed into frothy icing on a bakery cupcake. She bent over, her body filling the small bathroom, and pulled up the hem of her dress. She lifted the dress over her head and dropped it in front of the toilet. The dress fell heavily into a round black pile. She stepped out of large white underwear. The woman reached behind her back and unhooked her white bra. She pulled it down her arms, and her breasts dropped to her sides like bags of flour. Her body was a pile of folds, of falling skin, like the splayed pages of a book that had dried out of sorts after being left open in the rain. Her skin was pink. She was big and pink and looked scrubbed and fresh, like she was in bloom. She lifted the silver lid from a cracked glass jar beside the sink and turned the jar over in her palm, shaking out seven gold bobby pins. She laid the pins on the marbled counter and put the lid back on the jar. She lifted each bobby pin, slid open the prongs with her big fingers, and easily snapped the pins in two at their crowns. She swiped all of the metal sticks into her hand and walked out of the bathroom and across the navy carpet flecked with gold. She laid the pins on the flat ironing board. She lifted the iron by its plastic molded handle and held her palm an inch from the metal plate. Her hand bounced back a little. She laid the iron on the metal pins and stood over the ironing board. She was a large tree in pink bloom, holding the iron in place on the pins.


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