By Jen Mierisch of jenmierisch.com
The Top hangs out in my closet, toward the rear, nestled between bridesmaid gowns and suits so vintage that I could personally clothe the entire cast of a late-1990s office sitcom.
It is a striking garment, constructed almost entirely of black fishnet fabric. Its single concession to modesty is a rectangular pleather panel, occupying just enough real estate to cover female nipples to the minimum degree required by law.
I acquired The Top during an adventure in a foreign country when I was 24 and single. It was designed for dance clubs, which I haunted regularly at the time. It was not designed for normal life, a category that included 99% of my life thus far. But like a good jambalaya, even a normal life needs a little spice.
The Top is cheeky. It is daring. It is rowdy. It gleefully gives conventions and modesty the bird. It is all the things I never was, but secretly aspired to be. If there’s any perfect time and place to lose yourself and be someone else for a while, it’s dancing to techno music underneath strobe lights at 3 AM.
I was never a showoff, never one to flaunt my figure or wear clothing that screamed “Look at me!” Buying The Top was completely out of character. But as I stood alone in that shop, surrounded by incense and crystal skulls and silver jewelry shaped like snakes, I understood, philosophically, biologically, that I’d never look this good again so why the fuck not.
In those days, I was concerned that my own personal top – that is to say, the assets thereupon – weren’t big enough to be attractive. The Top begged to differ. Large bosoms would have overflowed that black rectangle like a monsoon river, but my B cups fit perfectly, with a succulent smidge of side-boob on display.
My clubbing days have been extinct for well over a decade. Ages ago, I culled my skintight black pants, midriff-baring tops, and beer-stained miniskirts. I should have consigned The Top to Goodwill a long time ago. And yet, I haven’t. Through every move to a new home, every culling of the clothing herd, I held onto it.
It’s silly, maybe. I mean, what am I going to do with it? Have it bronzed? Give it to my daughter, when I’d been too embarrassed to show it to my mother? Take it with me when I move into the nursing home in 2056? Then again, it would make one hell of an icebreaker for me and the other grannies.
For now, The Top keeps company with a fetching minidress sporting a lustrous gold-and-orange print. Living a chill life in retirement, they hang out together in my closet and chat. “See that mamacita?” they remark, winking, when I open the door. “She was a hottie back in the day.”
They can vouch for that. They traveled with me to Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, and Barcelona. They know things even my husband doesn’t know. And like the best of old friends, the ones you were young and crazy with, they keep my secrets close to the chest.
Who am I to throw away a bosom buddy?
About the Author
Jen Mierisch draws inspiration from science fiction, ghost stories, and the wacky idiosyncrasies of human nature. Her work has appeared in Funny Pearls, Little Old Lady (LOL) Comedy, Lighten Up Online, and elsewhere. She lives, works, and writes just outside Chicago, Illinois. Read more at www.jenmierisch.com.