The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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In order to stand out while interviewing for her current position at Free People, my boss packed her own favorite vintage garments into a suitcase and took it to her interview to give examples of what kind of vintage garments she would buy for the company.

Ali ripped off the luggage tag that had been on the handle of her suitcase for the past 2 months and 12 days. She plopped down on the top of her suitcase and using all of her body weight forced it closed and zipped it. She yanked open the front door to have the warm dawn light cast over her and her jam-packed suitcase. It’s too damn early for this.

The meat distributing companies that served as Ali’s neighbors were busy bustling with deliveries. The clicking sound of her suitcase wheels rolling over the brick sidewalk competed with the shouts of men and the back-up beeper sounds of delivery trucks.

Ali arched her back and pressed the heavy suitcase into her stomach as she lifted and threw it into the passenger seat of her 1997 Jeep Wrangler. As soon as she turned the ignition Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” blared on her radio. She quickly cranked the volume knob all the way down.

After 97.2 miles and 2 and a half hours of watching over at her jam-packed suitcase like a baby, Ali arrived at an unusual destination. Ali drove under a blue iron gate that read “THE NAVY YARD” as a man with a friendly smile waved at her as she drove by. Ali gazed up at the vast number of gray navy ships to her right. She gazed left to a row of perfectly spaced brick houses with circular driveways. Ali gazed a little too long because a blaring horn brought her eyes back to the road, she had swerved into the other lane. Ali and her ’97 Wrangler safety rolled into a parking spot in shadow of a colossal old brick building. Turning the ignition off, Ali’s nerves finally got to her. Fuck.

Ali slowly navigated to the building labeled “5”, dragging her suitcase closely behind her. She was ushered into a small office where stacks of paper covered every surface. A woman whose clothes were two times too big for her and whose hair was in the messiest bun Ali had ever seen, looked up from behind her glasses. It looked as if her glasses were about to fall off the tip of her nose.

“Hi!” Ali blurted out.

 “Hi, I’m Sheila.” She gazed behind Ali looking puzzled at her suitcase.

Just fucking do it. Without saying another word Ali laid down her suitcase, unzipped it, and started hanging her clothes around the office. Redline Levi’s, Victorian camisoles, Vietnam era military uniforms, and ‘70s suede jackets cloaked the walls of the small office.

“Hey, I’m Ali!”

Sheila Harrington

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2011
Philadelphia, PA

In order to stand out while interviewing for her current position at Free People, my boss packed her own favorite vintage garments into a suitcase and took it to her interview to give examples of what kind of vintage garments she would buy for the company.

Decade: 2010s
Rating:
Recorded by Brianna Feeney on December 7, 2017
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