Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cleaning out my closet...

I took the black cashmere Ralph Lauren sweater off the pretty paisley cushioned hanger it has sat on for the last 3 years. I carefully cleaned the dust off the shoulders. Admired the neck line, the way it wrapped inside itself, and the lovely cable knit. It doesn't fit me any more, this beautiful sweater I bought in Atlantic City while on a weekend trip to see my friend Amy...
I sat and remembered for a moment, smiled at the way it looked on me the last time i wore it, the plunging neck line, the dark blue jeans and the knee high leather boots. Damn I was a sight to see.
I'm pretty sure the arresting officer didn't take the time to appreciate the neckline on me, neither did the police woman he called to search me, though she was surprised to find I wasn't wearing a bra or panties that night. The handcuffs cut off the circulation to my hands, and pulled on the cuffs of the sleeves whenever I tried to move.
That night, it didn't keep me warm, but it soaked up my tears while I attempted to sleep in my cold, dirty, stagnant cell, under a paper blanket. I was aware of how the cashmere felt on my skin more than ever before. So soft, whisper like. I blame my awareness on the metal bench pressing my left shoulder closer into me, the metal bench that bruised my hips from the pressure of my bones crushing into my skin.
In the morning, I don't think the pretty young thing across the holding cell noticed the fine knitting that looped around the neckline, she was too busy sweating, shaking, and detoxing from Oxycontin. The chatter of baby daddies, drug possession, drug dealing was more than I could handle.The other girls asked for my milk and the bologna sandwich that I could not bring myself to eat. Another asked if she could braid my chestnut hair, I nodded. I looked down at the bruises on my wrists from the handcuffs, pushed on them aware how any pressure now brought numbness to my fingers. I stared out through the cell bars at the passing deputy sheriffs and their prisoners...
I thought how my eyes must look raccoon-like from my tears and my mascara, I was sure the mixture had run down my cheeks leaving black streaks on my pale skin. I watched as women hovered over the community toilet, urinating all over it. Dirt, filth, just brought more tears.
My beautiful black Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater was all I had that made me feel human, it was all I had to remind me I was still Amy under those conditions.
I held the sweater up to my cheek, closed my eyes and breathed deeply, so thankful that I no longer needed the reminder of that night hanging in my closet. I folded the beautiful sweater, and hid it away....

2 comments:

Kurt said...

Beautiful and haunting. I'm glad it's just a memory.

amy said...

Me too.
Thank you for taking the time to read me, I so appreciate it.