The wine finally whittling at the burr of her thoughts, Alice read descriptions and assessed fabric content before selecting her size. Partial to leafy green and navy blue, cautious of dressing as a lamb when she knew she was close to mutton and yet not ready for Eileen Fisher–baggy old lady, her fifty-one years compounded the shopping challenge her considerable height posed. Even if she wasn’t actually buying, the clothes must potentially fit if the process were to give her any satisfaction. The virtual acquisition required less than possession but more than pure abstraction. The clothes and shoes and bags must be plausible purchases were she to decide to purchase them—always a possibility. But not even wine, an empty apartment, the tiresome BBC drama of Brexit unpardonably mixed with the devastating news of another Ebola outbreak overlain with repeated clicks of not-quite-complete acquisition could keep her from thinking about the dog.
Excerpt from Private Means
August 11, 2020 Fiction