#5Bergdorf_Goodman

Gwendolyn was named Best Dressed in her high school senior yearbook. After fifteen years of living with her and her wardrobe, she still turns my head, in our little one bedroom.

I am doing dishes in the morning, and she appears from the bedroom to get her coat by the door (which is six feet from the kitchen). I feel as if someone knocked down the wall and threw open the view to the busy sidewalk outside Bergdorf’s on Fifth Avenue: her crimson scarf, her satin-hemmed black wool coat (bought in a thrift shop in 1989), her blue eyes, the silver eyelets of her knee-high boots, the layers of color leading inward from her coat’s lapel— a metallic blue sweater; a thick white collar; a silver necklace from Paramaribo; the glimpse of a purple bra strap as she swings her bag onto her shoulder— this parade of inviting colors and textures cannot be attributed to one woman.

“I gotta run, amore”, she says, and puckers up.

I turn away. I force the joy down and away from me, away from my face, and away from my voice.

Martin Amis’s novel Money is subtitled “A Suicide Note”. All writing, he says in the epigraph, is a suicide note. Is this?

The drama, which you and I have the same perspective on, is my ability to suffer connection. The drama, which (I feel) you and I have the same amount of agency in, is my ability to turn towards Gwendolyn. Towards others, as well. But towards her, that blur of lips and colors suddenly inches away. I know that she understands why I turn away. And I know that there is a limit to how many times she can be turned away, without turning herself.

Advertisements