How She Walked Away

First she painted her toenails, a rich sage with some shimmer but no glitter; glitter would be too juvenile.  She painted her toes and carefully drew an acetone soaked q-tip around them which made her hand appear to have been more steady than it had truly been.

This walking away thing unnerved her.

She didn’t trust the “quick dry” top coat so she wore sandals.  She checked her mascara in the mirror but denied herself lip gloss lest she appear like this mattered.

It didn’t really.  She’d already imagined no one would notice the absence of one more torture to add to their slush pile.  Hell, there was a tree in the forest rejoicing, fresh skin around the edges of her fingernails anticipating a longer life than the skin that had come before it, opportunities for long lazy mornings and new hobbies—her favorite uncle had called this a hobby—to pursue.

Walking away would be better than any breakup she had ever initiated, all the potato chips and lattes she had devoured late into the night, and all the wining she had ever wined to with Richie’s house ska band.

The door slammed behind her brushing the skater skirt against her pale thighs; they craved more sun than she’d ever given them.  But that was about to change.

She debated the stunner shades; her mascara application had been flawless and besides, the tan lines might…she was writing her day again.  She sashayed through the front door and out into wherever the day would find her.

First, the Historical Society.  No.  Too many ideas.  The diner?  More stories.  Where could she go without phantasm and irony?  She considered noisy and boisterous but on a Tuesday afternoon in June, the options weren’t exactly endless.  Maybe this was a bad idea.

A playground in the middle of the city was bordered by pricey running strollers, women in Ray-bans and Lululemon; the youthful nannies with whom they competed in Pilates, barre, and kickboxing classes, wore khaki shorts and Proactiv skin.  There were also the East African girls who would be scooped up in any other city by a model scout.  But this wasn’t that city and there…she was writing stories again.

She feared she would never be able to really walk away but this was a process, like the time she started taking a community drawing class and the instructor promised that with daily practice she would finally get her representation of the banana to look like the actual banana on the table before her.  The time she’d spent practicing undressing for the new, now older, beau who called to say he had a flat, maybe tomorrow.

Process, especially revision, was worrisome.  It brought her to this decision, a decision she wasn’t convinced she could stick to.

Ahh Sabrett’s.  Mustard and relish.  Reminded her of the 2 weeks she spent in New York pretending she would be the person she was dismissing as of today.  The sound of it had matched nothing and everything her pencils had scribbled.

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