The Black Dress

September 24, 2006 at 4:05 PM (Assumptions, disabled women, Uncategorized) (, , )

It was Halloween. I was late teens early twenties, and somehow, someone “borrowed” a vintage dress from the theatre department…black, taffeta, floor length v-neck.

Everyone did costumes.

I loved it. The way it moved, the way it hung, the way it sounded…if a rustle could be sophisticated it had it.

I went to the dance. It was a silly, awkward but hilarious good time…but I didn’t dance the whole thing…midway through I chose the wallflower seat.

Someone unknown came and sat beside me, sounding oddly talkative for a place where the music blasted, and smelling of various intoxicants.

Then, I realized without a whisper of motion from me, his arm was around the back of my neck, to the opposing shoulder…an unwelcome snake. I thought, if I got up and danced he’d sheer off.

I did, and he didn’t. He watched…from different angles…from far away…from closer in…

friends tried to run interference for me (and the fact that they were in costume didn’t help…Mimes ordinarily can’t project “tough”)…

I didn’t want this…person (I don’t like calling him a person)…creature to ruin the night. I moved all around the party space, but it was no use.

So, I just left. In a hurry. Fled on four feet. On Canadian crutches equiped at the time with snow blades up above the tip level, that could be twisted down to grip the ice during winter…”running” in black taffeta on Hallowe’en night.

He followed…I got some distance from the dance was out in the square, and when he got close I took my left crutch, leaned as much of my body weight on it as possible and slammed it onto the top of his left foot.

I must have hit *something* since he made a weird shriek and peeled off and away.

I did not go home. I was shaking. I ended up in the music building at one of the practice rooms…hammered out more than a few dissonant chords of this and that…

The security guard came at eleven…he didn’t say anything, and I pushed past him and out the doors, and “ran” again, fast, to home, the dorm…that houseful of women.

I don’t fit that dress, that profile now…

Because of both my impairment and the thing that makes me way less than saintly, my sugar jones…I had such a brief time to be the “correct” weight…to be pretty…

*Why,* if those of us with impairments have fewer ways or less time, to be percieved as “pretty” by the able world….

*Why* do they wreck it? Why are we even *more* the ones with *vulnerable* tatooed on our forehead for the creeps to target?

If we’re only going to have four *hours* a year to be a knockout, damnit…Let it happen!

Let us be charismatic and compelling and *safe* at the same time.

2 Comments

  1. bridgett said,

    The only thing more va-voom than you in black taffetta would have been you in sapphire taffetta. Unfortunately, the person who (ahem) borrowed (ahem) the dress (not that I would know anything about that) couldn’t find it in blue. Ah well.

    I remember that I was dressed in Andi’s old Athenian maiden costume from Antigone — I glammed it up and called myself Aurora, Queen of the Dawn. That’s the night that I met Dale…which eventually led to John Version 1.0.

    But I digress from the point of your post, to which I can’t add another well-chosen word. Except to say that I think you’re pretty all the time.

  2. bridgett said,

    The only thing more va-voom than you in black taffetta would have been you in sapphire taffetta. Unfortunately, the person who (ahem) borrowed (ahem) the dress (not that I would know anything about that) couldn’t find it in blue. Ah well.

    I remember that I was dressed in Andi’s old Athenian maiden costume from Antigone — I glammed it up and called myself Aurora, Queen of the Dawn. That’s the night that I met Dale…which eventually led to John Version 1.0.

    But I digress from the point of your post, to which I can’t add another well-chosen word. Except to say that I think you’re pretty all the time.

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