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Rewind: Shelby

Odd Man Out: Timothy

1969: Micah

by Sarah Colter


Rewind: Shelby

The mirror wasn’t kind to me on that cheerless September morning in the year 2000. Blowing my hung-over reflection a raspberry that made enough noise to give me a headache, I turned to the shower for help.

It had been one hell of a party. In hindsight, it dawned on me that we had celebrated Kerry ‘Sunshine’ Sutton’s twenty-fifth birthday a little too elaborately. I wondered how many of the other guests were waking in similar conditions, or worse. The running water sounded like boulders crashing down a mountain and my neck ached from the boneless slump in which I had slept. I had no idea how I had gotten home. I assumed that Micah or Tim -- or perhaps it had been a combined effort -- had dragged me into my tiny trailer and, because they were as drunk as I, dumped me onto my short sofa instead of tucking me safely into bed. I had awakened with my head on the high armrest, my neck strained beyond its limitations. I rolled my head around beneath the spray as I applied shampoo to my mop of dark hair. It was so thick and had grown so long that I also needed a handful of conditioner to ensure that a comb would pass through it without snapping in half. My hair was seriously wild when I neglected it. In front of the dreaded mirror again, I also conditioned my face with razor, tweezers, lotion, concealer, foundation, lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, and rouge. Keeping the five-o’clock shadow under control took a massive amount of upkeep. I doubted that few women and fewer men went through this kind of time-consuming, tedious daily routine, but no matter how miserable I felt, I never slacked on days that I had to work. I paused to evaluate my handiwork and gave my image a semi-satisfied nod of approval. A boy had to look good for those C-Mart customers. I gagged down a cup of coffee and a glass of water before gathering my essentials: snack crackers, coke, purse, jacket, and keys. I couldn’t get my piece of shit Mazda to start, so after slamming the door and kicking the front tire, I began to walk the four blocks to the convenience store where I worked.

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