Long before she bought her first pair of fishnets and rolled down the waistband on her skirts to raise the hemline, there was a nakedness in her eyes like swollen blackberries on a leaf-barren vine.
She looked for it in other people, touching strangers' arms in passing to lure a glance and thumbing the brows over young eyes, soggy with whiskey, until one night there was a wicked dance between the conversationalists in her head that lasted well into morning.
Her ugliness was unique.
She wore it in embarrassment, like stained panties, discreetly, always glimpsing behind to ensure invisibility. She tried to calm the pain by holding in her stomach. Jutted hipbones, concaved stomach, fleshless between her thighs, she fumbled around like a skeleton, a skeleton with bulging ugly eyes.
The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America