SPENT [Story] by Misti Rainwater-Lites


I’d spent the skirt in at least a dozen different ways since receiving it in the mail last Saturday. Did I ask for this weird surprise package with no note? I did not. My cousin, the one I can’t stand, sent it right after Christmas. We haven’t spoken in two or three years. I blocked her on all of my social media accounts after she attacked me via an instant message with a cheap grocery list of all my perceived flaws. Narcissist. Shock value poet. Terrible mother. Sociopath. Attention whore. Common user and abuser. She left out cage free brown eggs and Nutella. I’m all of that and so much more. Also. I’m organic kale.

The skirt smelled stale and it was Barney purple and covered with ugly splotches of yellow and green. It’s a Culture Club song. It’s a first year art major pretending to be Jackson Pollock. The size is medium. I feel more at home in a large. I had no intention of trying the skirt on. So much fabric and nothing to say. I studied the label. Anna Banana. Austin, Texas. Ah, the clouds part to reveal an angel with a trumpet. This skirt is something special. This skirt is holy. This skirt has more value than a peon like me could ever hope to comprehend.

That has always been an awkward thing between us, the fact that my cousin has money and I don’t. She has always flaunted her inheritance, spent it on big deal designer clothes and big deal cars. The last time I rode around with her she was driving a yawn of a cliché, a black BMW. She blasted Depeche Mode from her iPod. I buy my clothes at Goodwill and Walmart. I ride the bus. I walk. Sometimes I get fancy and ride Uber. I’ve never cared much for Depeche Mode and I’ve never owned an iPod. I’m more a Merle Haggard on the dive bar jukebox kinda gal.

My first thought was, “This will fetch me a sweet price at eBay.” But then I thought, “Fuck. I’d have to wash the damn thing then put it in a big bulging envelope and take the bus to the mail store and…no. No energy for that noise.”

I decided I’d shred the skirt, turn it into voodoo dolls, mail the dolls to my cousin with a note informing her that I’d hexed her and hoped she would die soon. Nah. She would use that fuel for years to come, tell our grandmother that I’m sucking Satan’s cock, go on Facebook and post that she’s praying for me. Puke. Who needs that kind of drama in her life?

No. I’d burn the skirt in the tub then wash the ashes down the drain.
No. I’d throw the skirt in the garbage.
No. I’d take a picture of myself standing on the skirt in muddy boots.

My intuition sure surprises the hell out of me sometimes. I was frying an egg one morning and suddenly told myself, “You are living in a material world and you are a material girl.” I grabbed the skirt and a few dresses my mom had given me over the years (she has a Macy’s card) and caught the bus to Buffalo Exchange. I didn’t get much, just enough cash to treat myself to three tacos and two beers. But it’s the thought that counts.

Published by mistyrampart

Freelancer, poet, dreamer

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