Issue 4

Fiction

Gia Sola

The Corset


"So I’m out on a date tonight. One of my more arrogant gentlemen callers has invited me to dinner, and as a kind of foreplay to the prime rib, I decide to compliment his tie. He thinks it’s a coded message, takes me for a walk along the downtown street where we pass a lingerie shop with a name like Aphrodite. Or maybe Circe.
He crows about the display of sexy dainties draped across the mannequins in the window, says he’d like to see me wearing one. I wink at him, but don’t otherwise respond. Nevertheless, my attention is attracted too. Not because this is a man I would ever ache to model for, but because there
is another.

Well, an hour passes and we’re at the restaurant where he’s perfecting his cocksure demeanor. While he promotes himself with his millionaire’s boasts, I get him to fork over a hundred dollars for my “favorite charity.” By now, we’ve shared a little talk and a little tease. (He: What word would you say best describes you? Me: How about I whisper it to you later?) We’ve split an appetizer, sipped our dry martinis, have finished our soups and our salads.

I’ve also finished pretending to attend to whatever is being said. And I decide I want to go back to that lingerie shop and buy myself a corset. I’m thinking about that big bill burning a hole in my pocket when the waiter comes around again, and I ask him to please delay my entrée while I visit the powder room. (Why we call it that, I don’t know, although during my disco days, I did dab my nose at the mirror.) 
But I bypass the loo and sneak out the door and back down the street, where I find a corset that suits me. I take it into the fitting room and take off my dress and my bra. The garment has little hooks in the front, laces up the back. I need help to get into it. And even as I consider that I’m too big for a thirty-four, I call the salesgirl off the floor. She arrives on a cloud of perfume.

“What do you think?” I ask, moving into the light.

“Perfect,” she says, as she pulls the leather laces tight.

“And surprising too. I never would have suggested hot pink for a redhead.”

So I buy the damn thing and shove it in my bag and return to the restaurant, where ol’ Foghorn has been waiting with the waiter and another bottle of wine.

“Well, what’s the word, lady?” he clucks, as I ease into my chair.

I smile at him, lean across the table, and whisper an answer that seems fair. “How ‘bout Foxy?”