“It’s been that kind of day around here,” she says. “You’re lucky you showed up today.”

“What kind of a day?” I ask, staring at my beat-up Converse and thinking that I should wear a better pair of shoes the next time I show up to life.

“A day of confession. A day of epiphany. A day of relief.” She rubs lipstick on her lips, puckers and smiles broadly for an invisible camera.

“I should have dressed better for this. Worn make-up, brushed my hair.”

“But you did.” She presses a compact into my hand. “Look.”

Pinky-peach powder crumbles over my palm as I open the compact. The woman I see in the mirror is not me, but a woman I used to know. Face painted like a mask, yes. Long hair, freshly highlighted, yes. Wrinkles, no. But not me. She was someone I shed in order to grow.

“But you don’t shed yourself like skin.”

“Did I say that or did you?” I ask, or does she? The words have already evaporated.

“You can have this back.” The compact passes from my hand to hers.

“You’ll want it again soon. And I’ll keep it safe until then.”

Her high heels walk away. Click, clack, click, clack. A private conversation they’re having with the floor. And my beat-up Converse remain silent.

A Citizens’ Guide to the Government Shutdown


Confused about the government shutdown? Here’s a handy do’s and don’ts guide to help you through this trying (i.e. bullshit) time.

DO: Watch TV. Preferably sitcoms, dramadies, Lifetime movies, and cartoons.

DON’T:  Watch the news, especially political news (other than the Daily Show). Don’t give them attention. It only encourages them.

DO: Question why congress can behave this way when private citizens are fired for walking off jobs.

DON’T: Walk off your own job to drive that point home. Unless your job really sucks, then go ahead.

DO: Suggest that members of congress are responsible for the money they are costing taxpayers.

DON’T: Spend too much time thinking about that money. It will just piss you off and they will NEVER, EVER pay you back.

DO: Consider becoming an anarchist.

DON’T: Wear white shoes after Labor Day. I know this has nothing to do with the government, but it’s still very important, even for anarchists.

DO: Eat your veggies.

DON’T: Blame the entire state of Texas.

DO: Lose interest in this ridiculous shutdown which is not unlike a group of children holding their breath and stomping up and down until they get their way. Or like some little shit getting mad and being all, “It’s my ball and I’m going home” because he lost the game.

DON’T: Stop going to restaurants. Because cooking every single night for your ungrateful family is for suckers.