The Underwear Models’ Convention
Jose Enrique Medina
What’s going to bother you, twenty years after the fact, is not remembering: were you asleep or awake when the ground started to gyrate, drunk hips, a merengue dancer setting off car alarms and cracks of blue lightning in the pre-dawn darkness?
You and your boyfriend stand up. Dressed in identical boxers, feet spread apart, you two surf the buckling mattress. That moment, when you stare into each other’s eyes, means something.
When your house lands safely back on terra firma, you and your man run outside, almost naked. To your amazement, all your neighbors have gathered on the sidewalk in their undies, too. Half nude. Gabbling. Everyone’s exhilarated to be alive but scared of aftershocks.
In her hurry to save her life, Laura, the most beautiful woman on the block, forgot to fix her silver-tinted hair and you see a bald spot the size of Africa on the back of her head. Juan Carlos hugs his brother’s trembling wife in her skimpy red negligée, her throat paisleyed with big purple hickies. María, who lives across the street and has been trying to seduce you for years, looks at your and your partner’s matching underwear and frowns and stomps away. Your boyfriend smiles at you, but one of his dimples is missing, a half-smile withholding something. You will discover in three weeks that he is hiding that he has AIDS.
Lolita, who always gives you fruit, is going to be dead in two years, but for now, you can stare at her only breast, a perky nipple lifting the transparent nightgown in moonlight.
About the writer:
Jose Enrique Medina earned his BA in English from Cornell University. He writes poetry, short stories and novels.