Navy blue pumps, red kitten heels with closed toes, dreadfully expensive and uncomfortable board room black low-heeled Allen Edmonds’ dress-for-success pumps, strappy sling-backs. Still in their shoe boxes, lightly worn if at all, they go into a big box.
The other box holds business suits (jackets and skirts) in black, blue, pinstripe, and ivory. I want to frame the animal print skirt I bought but never wore. It’s beautiful but crazy flashy. I probably could have carried it off in my early twenties, nearly fifty years ago. But when I bought it in my late sixties, well, let’s just say it didn’t work. But I kept thinking maybe it would, and didn’t return it until it was way too late. There’s a little black dress and a miscellany of tops and skirts. I’ve been retired a long time. My personal dress-for-success formula these days is a pair of shorts and a tee-shirt.
The clothes and shoes are bound for the prison re-entry alliance organization in our town where, perhaps, a woman recently out of jail and trying to get hired somewhere, can find something in the boxes that will work for her interview. Maybe not the animal print skirt, but I’m guessing that little number will go first.
REAP is the organization’s acronym. They’re near an old hospital, in a neighborhood I haven’t been to in a long time. They’re not close to any other place I need or want to go.
It’s only two boxes. They could go to the Goodwill store a few miles away instead of all the way downtown.
But I talked to a woman at the REAP office. I told her I would come. And I have a picture in my head of a woman reaching into those boxes and finding something just right for her in that moment. I can’t stop thinking about it and feeling hopeful for her.
I feel like I would be stealing a possibility, gosamer though it may be, from someone who needs it if I don’t deliver the boxes to REAP. I hope at least a little of the luck I’ve had in life is sprinkled in with the clothes and the shoes and rises up like magic dust into the room when they open the boxes, rises up and sticks to them and stays with them and they get that job.