Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Kathleen Beard
"The first cut is the deepest
baby, I know the first cut is the deepest."
When my sister was 17, I remember her coming home from a dance late winter's night. I can see her throwing the coveted maxi coat on the floor and running up to her room. Only after trying the coat on, did I make my way up the staircase to sit silently outside her bedroom door. Inside, I could hear the muffled sounds and breaths of the pain of first cut. I was not sure of what I should feel worse about-- not being able to understand and make her feel better, or my selfish thoughts of just wanting that coat. I sat in the hall with the coat wrapped around me and listened to her tears.
30 years have passed.
I found myself amidst the holiday revelry, shopping for toys for my youngest. I am alone.
I watch the husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, lovers and lookers on my mission. I walk among them detached, so sad. Earlier that morning, I had been cut.
I do manage to enjoy a grande peppermint mint hot chocolate, so I know deep down I am not in line for Forest Lawn. Only my heart is. I think of constructing one of those giant mausoleum buildings, and placing portraits of my lost loves in there. One of those drawers certainly will not do, I could fill a granite building at this stage of my life. Filled with those red candles the dead read by.
I sip on my chocolate, and continue on. As I make my way to the toy store, I pass briefly through the women's department at Macy's. I spot it. Black. Mid-length. Small coat buttons from an Austin novel. I slip it on, and make my way to the register.
"Please charge it, and could I borrow your scissors? If it is ok I would like to wear it now."
Farmington , Maine
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