This morning I asked Mr. Handsome to shimmy up into the attic through the hole in the ceiling of Yo-Yo’s bedroom (it’s the only way to get to the attic—I wasn’t being unkind) to fetch my box of highschool and college papers.

I’ve been wanting to riffle through the pages and pages of words I wrote once upon an eon ago. In particular, I wanted to reread what I had written in my creative writing class in college. I loved that class, working my tail off for the teacher in hopes of receiving the occasional gruff compliment. (I did get it, once. He said my short story “sounds like the stuff of a novel.” I walked on air for a week.)

Just for fun, I’ll share one of my character sketches. I wrote two of them for that class, both more-or-less-true descriptions of real people. This one is not about my aunt, though some of you, my dear readers, may be able to figure out who this person is.


Polyester Bras

My aunt Muriel is going a little off the deep end, I think. She lives by herself and she’s pretty lonely, so she complains. When she comes to visit all we hear is, “Oh, my eyes are oozing this yellow liquid,” or “I think my hip bone is rubbing into my cervix. I get the oddest pains.” And then she started going to this quack doctor in Lititz, so now all we hear about is what Dr. Lyons says. It makes me mad that she believes all his bull and that she’s willing to pay seventy dollars an hour to hear him pronounce some insane, ridiculous cure. But then we hear the craziest stories and they do serve as wonderful entertainment. Once her chest and thighs broke out with red and purple spots and Dr. Lyons told her that it was the polyester in her clothes. She restocked her wardrobe, but she had a problem—they don’t make triple D bras without polyester. So he told her to soak her bras in a solution of four gallons of water with one-half cup of powdered milk. And she did! She declared that her bras were polyester-free. When we asked her what now made up the bras that were once a hundred percent polyester, she said she didn’t know, but it wasn’t polyester. Of course the rash didn’t go away, and Dr. Lyons said she needed to come in for another seventy-dollar visit so he could cure that problem. I think he said it was an allergic reaction to the milk.


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