by Brandi Wells
I wear my father’s khaki work jacket inside-out and my mother tells people that it’s my way of staying close to him, but that’s not true. I only do it so people will look at me, because after he died, they quit looking and would only stare at the space around me and sometimes their gaze would come millimeters from my face or hair, but would stop just short of me. Now they stare at my inside-out jacket and I pretend they are looking at me. I sew the jacket so it is more form fitting and their eyes will be closer to my body. I cut the bottom and sleeves off so it looks like a funny kind of vest, cut the zipper away, and rip the buttons off. Every week I remove more and more of the jacket until it is just a strip of material that I tie around my neck in a loose semi-knot and when everyone quits looking at me, I will tie the strip tighter and tighter, urging them to look at me; oh, god, please look at me.
Brandi Wells has fiction in or forthcoming in Hobart, Monkey Bicycle, Elimae, Wigleaf and Paper Hero Press. She sometimes blogs here. (Click here to make a donation to Brandi, half of which will support 6S.)