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AN EXCERPT FROM THE WOMAN IN THE TRUNK …
She knew something her husband didn’t.
She knew that if she just stood out in the front doorway of their store, sales would go up. She would say she was bored, or hot, or she was just checking out the traffic, but the real reason was quite different. The very same reason she wore high-heels to work everyday, even though it wasn’t practical – because they accentuated her calves, made her rear-end more pronounced and pushed out her breasts. She would rotate her hips, lift her arms up to the sides of the doorway when the traffic was inching along and watch the heads turn. At her corner, only a few buildings away from the lights, traffic would move a little slower still. Some of the drivers just weren’t in quite the same hurry anymore to rush home to their newspapers and the six o’clock news.
Within a few minutes a man, maybe two, sometimes a woman, would wander into the store – the White Street Trading Shack. They would ask politely about an old chipped armoire, the framed copies of old pages out of Life magazine hanging crooked on the walls and priced at $50 each, or even an old coke bottle collection. But they really came for Sonya. Sonya in the tight black dress, her hair teased too high, her rouge too red; what they used to call “fuck-me” boots, laced up high on her chunky legs. She smiled and bent over slowly when they asked to see something. Then they opened their fat wallets and she would separate them from their hard earned cash. That was her job. Her husband just didn’t understand. And it was all so sad in a way to her. Pathetic too, and so obvious, but sexy at the same time in a way she hardly understood.
What really killed her was how the other wives in their neighborhood acted like they found her husband so sexy, which Sonya couldn’t really understand at all. He had never been romantic. He was pushy and hard and demanding. Maybe this looked masculine from a distance; all that snorting and bluffing.
These other men though, her customers, their faces perspiring in the un-air conditioned heat of the musty store, were like children being led to some uncomfortable sticky fate they couldn’t resist. That felt right to her. It was the only power she wielded.