Tiara is shiny and sleek. She has a coppery mop of bobbed hair. And she has great shoes. Her pumps are pointy and have heels shaped like an hourglass. A woman’s shape. The long opening of the shoes exposes the cleavage of her toes. Just back from that low opening, a strap crosses the bridge of her foot to frame tightly the clefts between her toes.
Tiara places her order at the tea shop in Seattle. A young woman in a loose, wooly sweater and an older woman in a straight shift stand behind the counter. The young worker asks, “Where did you get those shoes?”
“I don’t know,” Tiara says. “My mother picked them up in a second hand store. They’re my favorite pair. They make me feel like Audrey Hepburn.”
The eyes of the young woman behind the counter widen. She breathes-in Hepburn air. Then her shoulders slump a bit beneath her shapeless sweater. “What’s your name?” she asks.
The eyes of the young woman behind the counter widen further. “Do people harass you about that name?
“No,” Tiara says. “Just Spanish speakers notice. It means ‘dirt’ in Spanish.”
The other young woman asks, “It’s not like a crown?”
Tiara looks quizzical. She hasn’t thought about her name as a crown.
After Tiara leaves, the older proprietress of the tea shop says, “I don’t think I’d have somebody here named Tiara.”
The younger woman slumps again in her wooly sweater.
* * *
[Thanks go to Adrian for capturing these details!]