The Model
Sandy Steinman
“You've got your mother's looks, Thank God,”  Dad tells me. Mom was Miss Jersey City in her day: tall, like me, high cheekbones, but with sky blue eyes I'd die for. Mine are boring brown.

Yeah, Miss Jersey City, Mom’s only claim to fame. She had high expectations, but she married Dad, who wouldn’t let her out of the house.

“You could have been famous, Mom,”

“Yeah.” Mom sighs. “Could’ a,  should’ a, would’ a.” 

I’ve tapped the key. Dad controlled her.

Me? I’m a model in the garment district.

Until last year I lived at home. Mom complains when I moved out that  I abandoned her, but  I couldn’t take the booze and butts.

Dad is a big time alcoholic.

College? No way! I never knew anyone who went. A miracle I graduated high school since I was hardly ever there.  

Secretarial school?  Who’d want to go if they could be a model?

My boyfriend, Charlie, wants to protect me. He calls daily to check up when the buyers ask me to dinner, which is part of my job.  Charlie asks where, then trails me there and back, making sure all I do is dinner.

Mom says forget Charlie, he’s a loser, like Dad and  I should hook up with one of the buyers, but they’re too old for me and too short.

“Yes, Charlie drinks, but nothing like Dad,” I tell Mom. “He's only soused on weekends.”

First published: May, 2013
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