Sunday, March 7, 2010


Mark considers the words dressed carefully as he stands naked only a few feet from his sleeping wife.
He analyzes the purpose of clothing and tries to place today's occasion: funeral, appointment, party, every day, or rare special event?
Occasions are just another way of saying, I have a point to make or a lie to tell, I am good enough or better than you, and upon that last thought clearing his fettered mind, Mark chooses a special-occasion piece from the closet.
"Envy," he whispers softly to avoid waking his wife.
Mark imagines the fuss women make over appearance when only a little rouge and lipstick should do it, that and perhaps a gentle drag of a soft applicator over closed eyes, mascara, then a glide through moist clouds of Dior J'adore squeezed from an atomizer bulb, its shape very much like the female ovary.
He struggles to discern between hiding and enhancing at the image of stuffing a lacy brassie're, and decides man's fate is to devolve to a blunder of lies in a world that can't agree on what is beautiful.
He reaches for the Smith & Wesson hidden at the top of his closet and admires the alloy frame and the understated matte finish of the stainless steel slide. He loads the double stack magazine and adjusts the manual thumb safety before gauging his choice of attire.
After appraising his final image in the mirror, Mark glides toward his sleeping wife and places the four-inch barrel near her always beautiful face; he jumps at the sharp clack of gunfire.
He hums to dull the high-pitched ringing in his ears while remembering the beauty of his image in the mirror - the silk Versace covered in steady flashes of exploding sequins, then he eases the hot alloy into a Chanel Red pout.

Teresa Cortez is a freelance writer living in Sugar Land, Texas. She's written for the Houston Chronicle's Among Friends and Texas Magazine as well as several poetry anthologies. She writes random thoughts and stories at
EarthLink Revolves Around You.


MDJB said...

With room to move and spread its wings this story zings like nobody's business. It's dynamic and scary. And beautifully written.

Gita said...

I would not have pegged him for Versace. I would have dressed him in Alexander McQueen (may he rest in peace) and Magie Noire eau de parfum. It's what I will wear for my next murder. Kudos, Ms Cortez. A fine deca-story.

Anonymous said...

Teresa, it's wicked. I love it.

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JPA said...

Awesome piece!

-John Arthur

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Matthew K. said...

Great piece. I'm pondering the meaning of the "clothing" theme