Six O' Clock

Six O'Clock: Excerpt



I’m not gonna wear it today. I don’t have any so I shouldn’t have to wear it.

Yolanda stood naked in her bedroom, looking with disgust at her bra. She opened her closet door and looked at her body in the full-length mirror. Nope, nothing had changed; she was as skinny as ever, and her breasts still looked like two angry mosquito bites. Running her hand down her flat stomach, she imagined her hips miraculously spreading, making her look more like a woman. She turned sideways, confirming once again how sad and pathetic her flat butt was. She grabbed it, trying to imagine that it was big and round. But there was precious little to grab—other than skin. Even though she had performed this ritual many times, she still experienced a sense of disappointement.

Sighing, she looked at her bra again. With its pink lace flowers and set in white satin it was pretty, beautiful in fact. But she felt vaguely cheated as it didn’t do the job it was designed for—lift, support, define. It did nothing but limply rest on her chest. Putting the bra on, Yolanda once again relived the cruel taunts of the boys in junior high, who would run their hands down the girls’ backs feeling for bra strap to snap. But when one of them ran his hands down her back, there was no strap. She was mortified when she learned she was the only girl in her class who wasn’t wearing a bra. Yolanda remembered going home and begging her mother to buy her a bra. Her first bra was size 32AA, the same size now. She pulled her white cotton shirt over her head and slipped into her black slacks, cursing her ancestors for sleeping with white women, thus diluting what could have been a thick, curvy body.

“Hey, Precious, baby. You hungry?” Yolanda asked, picking up her cat and rubbing behind her ears until she heard her familiar purr. “Yeah, well I’m hungry, let’s go eat breakfast.”

She carried Precious to the kitchen and sat her down gently on the beige laminate kitchen counter. It was a small kitchen, more like an aisle really, but it fit her cozy studio apartment perfectly.

“So what do you want to eat today?” Yolanda asked absently, looking through dozens of cans of cat food in her kitchen cabinet.

Precious stopped licking her paws long enough to look at Yolanda blankly.

“Okay, tuna it is,” she said, opening the can. She dumped the food into a red bowl, stenciled ‘Precious’. She got a fork from the dishwasher and separated the tuna. She slid the bowl to Precious and watched her eat for a minute. She was a prissy little thing: wouldn’t eat if you didn’t separate her food and would not deign to eat on the floor.

She then turned to getting her own breakfast. Everyone seemed to be on one of those low-carb diets and was losing weight. But at five feet ten inches and 110 pounds, Yolanda was on a mission to gain weight by eating a high-carb diet. She buttered two buttermilk pancakes and placed them in the microwave. She then put two pieces of white bread in the toaster and poured a big bowl of Frosted Flakes and dug into her cereal; taking big spoons of it, until the microwave beep.

She poured a generous amount of maple syrup on her pancakes, and spread butter and jelly on her toast.

If I keep eating like this, soon all this food will go to my hips and thighs, maybe even my butt.

She always found it funny when she overheard other women’s conversations about food.

“I can’t eat that doughnut, girl, it’ll go straight to my thighs.”

“I know. If I eat another one, my butt is gonna need its own zip code.”

Now, there’s a problem, I wish I had.