By Mitch Grabois
Copyright Mitch Grabois 2012
Published by Dirt e-books
Publishing at Smashwords
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Tuesday, September 16, 1997
Tiffany crosses Main Street, the borderline between FLOPSIE (staff shorthand for Florida Panhandle State Hospital) and the town of Chippahitchka. Unless reminded, she often forgets to watch for traffic, but most drivers have learned to keep an eye out for distracted patients. She makes a cigarette stop at Rebel Market, then ducks next door to The Gate for a cup of coffee. She fills her lungs with the cool luxury of menthol and the waitress’s ears with delusions.
In Highcastle Pharmacy, she meanders the aisles, always returning to the discount lipstick rack with its blurry mirror. Tiffany’s hands tend to shake from medication and, if I’m not with her to blot the edges of her lips with a tissue, she invariably smoothes the garish color beyond its intended boundaries. The effect is, I hate to admit, nearly clown-like. Her attempts to restore her wounded beauty are never better than awkward approximations.