Last year, I completed my master’s degree in Creative Nonfiction, and chose to write my thesis about events surrounding the fire that destroyed our home and our neighborhood in 1991. I’ve covered it in previous posts here and in a number of published essays. This is one of the chapters from my thesis-that-I-hope-will-grow-up-to-be-a-book-someday. I’ve written about things I’ve come to think of as artifacts: the “things” I lost that only live in memory now. And yes, things can be replaced…but not all of them. The pink dress is one remnant of my former life, my life before the fire, that I can never replace. Writing about these things is the only way I can hang on to some of those remnants…
Silk chiffon in ballerina pink–just a whisper of color–with a handkerchief hem; dropped waist, banded in pink satin; and sheer sleeves with the same pink satin at the cuffs. A light sprinkling of rhinestones on the bodice added a touch of bling. It was love at first sight.
Just one problem: it was two sizes too big. But I bought it anyway, figuring I could get it altered in plenty of time for the wedding.
I wore it twice, once to the wedding and later to a New Year’s Eve party. We posed for a picture at the house before we left for the wedding. Just one picture. And then off we went to dance under tiny, twinkling lights. The handkerchief hem swirled and twirled around me like cotton candy.