She stood out from a long way off. Mostly because she had enough shine tacked to her blouse to attract a murder of crows. Sequins erupted from the purple, formfitting top, and a black velvet beret tilted over one ear, topped with a white feather secured by a diamond stud. Her steps were unsteady, yet each totter stretched into a sashay to better display the cramped toes peeking from strappy heels. She shimmered like a mirage in the desert as she weaved through the strip mall parking lot. She was too confident in her ensemble to tuck or primp as she walked, never mind that in these parts, oversized jeans and sports-themed sweats were more standard weekend wear. And never mind that she was pushing eighty. At the local limits of culture, one might see hipster vintage or hippie batik, but only for those still working on their first half century. Eyes followed her, and as they ticked off each extreme on her person and in her air, they judged. In her mind she was strolling Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, and she was seventeen, and it was 1980.

Or maybe not. Maybe she was seventy seven and loved both heels and the city bus, both purple and errands, loved a fashion that defied fashion. Her life was one long entrance. What’s the matter with being different, anyway? Examine your own entrances, folks: take a peek in the oil slicks your cars leave behind, rather than staring at her while pretending not to. How do you like what you see, your own drab lives reflected upside down and iridescent?

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