Waking up takes hours. Nestling into my fort of pillows and feeling the warm linen threads catch on my toes. The sun catches all the whites of my room, inviting me to open my eyes. I smash my face, flat into my pillow, breathing in the stale oils. Last night’s intentions of breakfast and coordinated outfits dissipate with each snooze.

The curtains absorb the sunlight and sounds of the other women tinkering with their drawers and hair dryers. Seven and a half pounds of fluff prances around on my back, digging her nose into my armpits and crawling into the warm space between the sheets.

After rearranging my bed-head, I leave for work wearing summer on the bottom, Christmas on top. Lunch will be a half pound of guacamole. Maybe I’ll pick up chips over lunch break.

Once, my church had a special event for women. They flew in a fashion designer who held signups for a reality television style makeover at the end of her first talk. My sisters and cousins pushed me into the huge lineup that wrapped around the TV set. She asked me what my main struggle was:

“I’m 23, but I look like I’m 33.”

“That’s a new one.”

She ended up picking two ladies transported by time machines from decades past, and costumed them in hair dyes and contact lenses. Her message for the night:

“There’s no such thing as an ugly woman. Just a lazy one.”

Aw, shit.

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