Tully sat up, squinting.

“Slouched about the small theater were other isolated men, squinting, yawning, some asleep under the sudden glare of the houselights. Tully waited in line at the lavatory, and when he came back to his seat the theater darkened and the maroon curtain jerkily parted. To the amplified music of a phonograph, the women came out one by one in velour and satin and sequined net, in floor-length gowns with grimy hems and long black gloves split at the seams. Middle-aged, they two-stepped across the stage, pulling off the gloves, pausing at the proscenium to expose a mottled thigh and shake a finger at the audience for peeking. The gloves were tossed to the wings, the gowns dispatched, fringes rose and fell, waved and jiggled. Unclasped brassières were held in place while orange and platinum heads shook in coy demurring. Released, breasts descended, blue-white, bulbous, low, capped with sequined discs. Fringed girdles off, haunches flexed and sagged, satin triangles drove and recoiled. Calves sinewy, thighs dimpled, scars tucked in the fat of bellies, the women rocked and heaved, beckoned with tongues, crouched and rose with the edge of the curtain between their legs. Mouths open, they trotted out on the runway in high heels, squatted, shook, lay on the floor, lifted legs, caressed themselves, rose and ran off with coy little steps, wriggling dusty buttocks. Estelle appeared last, revealing meager breasts, sharp hipbones, and a belly that had lost its plumpness since the pictures outside were taken. There was nothing about it to remind Tully of his wife.”
Leonard Gardner, Fat City

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