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women without


 
“She went downstairs, staggering now very badly, and awakened Mary Jane.

Wuzzat? Who? Huh?” said Mary Jane, sitting bolt upright on the couch.

“Mary Jane. Listen. Please,” Eloise said, sobbing. “You remember our freshman year, and I had that brown-and-yellow dress I bought in Boise, and Miriam Ball told me nobody wore those kind of dresses in New York, and I cried all night?”

Eloise shook Mary Jane’s arm. “I was a nice girl,” she pleaded. “Wasn’t I?”

from “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut,’ by J.D. Salinger from Nine Stories, c. 1948.


 

Women together doing things, and men can’t see. Women together making fun of other women, and men can’t hear. Women as angels, courted, wooed, engaged. Women taken. Women playing cards. Women trying on clothes in dressing rooms with flimsy walls. Women running marathons, chasing each other, racing each other, beating their own times. Women out for drinks together, afraid to be alone. Women standing in line at the Gap, women dressing their children, women dressing themselves. Women eating too much, then not enough. Rolling over into their husbands’ arms. Rolling over into their girlfriends’ arms. Rolling over into their wives’ arms. Rolling over to comfort their children, who have appeared in the darkness, awakened by dreams. Women with feet and hands. Women without.

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