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2001-06-13 - 1:05 p.m.

I am dressed like a girl today, unsuccessfully, I might add. I am wearing black and white plaid capri pants, and a black v-neck tank top, and girlie shoes, all bought this weekend at the outlet stores. My hairy legs, dotted with mosquito bites, poke out of the bottom of the capri pants, which, not being made out of cotton, make this swishing sound as I walk. My black tank top is dusted lightly with dandruff, and has deodorant stains under the arms. The shoes, however, are the worst. I was excited to find them, because they're composed entirely of manmade materials, and yet aren't plastic. They're dressy, and girlie, and they're not sneakers or jesus sandals or flip flops. But there's no easy way to walk in them, and I flip and flop and clod my way to the kitchen or the bathroom every hour, my feet anxiously trying to gain footing in these shoes, my calloused heels peeking out from the back, and my uneven toenails clamoring for a hold up front.

When I get back to my cubicle, I slip the shoes off underneath my desk, and put on my sweatshirt: gray and cotton and hooded with a zipper, even though it's 95 degrees outside. Then I feel more like myself.

* * * * *

My body is waiting. And my mind is too. Every month, my period surprises me. Why have I gained five pounds overnight? Why am I so moody? Why does my stomach hurt? Oh, of course. 28 days exactly. But not this month. I recognize the bloating for what it is. My breasts are so engorged with water that they're practically translucent, and seem like extensions of my body, not really my own. I burst into tears twice on Sunday, and was generally unreasonable all weekend long. But I knew, I'd counted the days, my purse was stashed with maxipads and tampons and pantyliners. But my body must be conspiring against my mind, because it still hasn't come. Of course not, not when I'm expecting it.

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