About Straps

flash fiction, StoryADayMay writing prompt,

Carmella’s blouse is so sheer, I can see her bra! And it’s not a training bra because there’s a tiny white flower between the cups. I know these things; I’ve studied bras.

Mary Ann, the smartest girl in the class, wears a bra slip over her bra. So, all you can see are the straps.

Even Sabrina doesn’t wear undershirts, and she’s shorter than me. Doesn’t anyone else? Oh, wait, Felicity’s wearing one. Ha! Ha! Felicity’s wearing an undershirt! Oh, and Josie!

I thought only good things would happen once we removed the top part of our wool jumper. I thought wearing only a skirt and blouse as our uniform meant that Katie wouldn’t faint if it’s one hundred degrees, again, for this year’s field trip, or that Adele wouldn’t vomit from heatstroke like she did in second grade at the Bronx Zoo! I didn’t expect to be “the girl in the undershirt.” That’s not fair!

I’ve been pestering Mom for a bra. And when she wouldn’t take the hint, I wrote in the steam on the bathroom mirror, “I think I have enough to wear a bra!” I didn’t. It was all about the strap. I wanted straps.

When I asked Mom what I needed to do to develop, she told me to “take care” of myself. The next time she went out, I went into the medicine cabinet and used two sprays of her Secret Underarm Deodorant and one quick spray of her Feminine Hygiene Deodorant (FDS).

Once, I got that purse-sized, glossy black cylinder from the top of Mom’s dresser and sang as I sprayed, “Every woman alive wants Chanel Number 5.” A beautiful blonde lady with an accent advertised it. And someone gave it to Mom for a special occasion.

Boy, did I get in trouble. You know there’s not much in that little bottle, and I was wearing most of it. I smelled worse than the beauty parlor and gave myself a headache. Everyone got mad, and I got sent to my room. Even I didn’t want me in my room.

I remained flat-chested. “My little friend did not visit.” I did not “get unwell.” I did not “become a lady.”

But I was able to talk Mom into buying me a bra at Woolworths. And since I measured 26 AAA and the smallest-sized bra in the store was 32 AA, Grandma took in three inches on each side. In between bouts of laughter.

I enjoyed Grandma and Mom’s erupting laughter. I liked watching and listening to it. I secretly tried to guess when it would start up again.

I did mind them laughing at my brother suggesting I use a band-aid. So, I told him to just shut up. He’s fat anyway. We shopped in the husky department for him.

Whereas, I got sent to Grandma’s to put on weight. She was a good cook. For the longest time, I weighed thirty-five pounds; when I hit fifty, we celebrated.

I started wearing a bra slip over my undershirt to school. No one noticed my strap.

I was allowed to wear an actual bra on weekends.

If Mary Ann or Carmella asks what I did this weekend, I’ll say, “I wore a bra without an undershirt. What’d you do?”

 

Dad Musings

past, memories, remembrances, nostalgia, loved ones, gone

Portrait of Dad, June 1970, Pittsburgh, PA (prose poem)

Armed with a No. 2 pencil in his right, a quartered Arts and Leisure in his left, and Polaroid lenses flipped perpendicular to his bifocals, Dad sat in an inflatable, transparent orange club chair, scowling.

A short-sleeve, button-down shirt that looked like a pajama top revealed arm hair that kind of stood like alfalfa sprouts. He wore an Omega watch with a cheap elastic drug-store wristband.

Right ankle crossed over his left knee, a milky white kneecap peeked between his black, nylon Gold Toe knee socks and khaki walking shorts. His feet slipped into a pair of brown rubber thongs that accommodated socks.

He rose, and with his hands on his waist, did a backbend, groaned and cursed the Atlas Van Line movers for striking. Damn them for making him sleep on a borrowed cot for three weeks.

Then he returned to his inflatable club chair to take on his final opponent — 11 across — Leisure suit

 

Dad Moment (100-word story)

I’m ten-years-old and playing with that self-pitching tube you bought my brother, who spends most of the time in his room reading comic books.

Mom’s somewhere inside doing something.

Stomping on the closed end jets air to the plastic ball atop the open end.

When I swing the lightweight bat at the now-suspended ball — Crack!      

it soars over our nine-foot hedges.

I’m gonna’ go get it when,

I spy you in the picture window doubled-over laughing,

at what, something Mom just said?

But once I see you see me, then I beam back at you beaming at me.

National Flash Fiction Day June 6, 2020

In a flash, Flash fiction,
michal-mancewicz-R9L7ukhBSgs-unsplash.jpg

In a Flash

What is flash?

Flash is organic, it bubbles up. There’s something there. A kind of golden nugget.

What is the definition of flash?

Flash is a very short creative piece. (Nowadays, it can be less than or equal to 500 words.)

What’s the difference between flash and a traditional short story?

Traditional short stories have a beginning, middle and end, story arc, epiphany, resolution.

Flash has emotion, movement and resonance.

Flash goes further than description.

There’s a forward momentum, that builds, illuminating your reader along the way, and leading them somewhere.

If the reader gets it by the end, it’s flash.

What’s the difference between poetry and flash?

Flash and Poetry are cousins.

Windy’s Seven Favorite Forms of Flash:

  1. Vignette
  2. Character sketch
  3. Diary entry
  4. List story
  5. Fables
  6. Prose poems
  7. Soliloquy or Rant

Listen to the full Story A Day (Apple) Podcast #166 It’s well-worth it.

 

 

 

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