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This Is the Tie

by Luc Reid

This is the tie that makes me invisible. Other people have shoes that fly or t-shirts that let you see the future, but I have this tie. I found it in my father's closet after he died. He was 57. I don't know if he bought it before or after my mom passed.

When I'm not wearing the tie, you can see it has yellow and burgundy stripes. It's from a time when most cars didn't have air conditioning, when there were four TV channels. Maybe he bought it new. Maybe he bought it new and never told her. Maybe he bought it before they were married and spied on her.

I've spent happy afternoons in women's locker rooms. I've stolen more than six thousand dollars worth of household electronics. I went to a Willie Nelson concert for free once and went backstage and sat two feet from Willie after the show. He was tired and had to wait a long time while somebody brought him a burrito. We just sat there for fifteen or twenty minutes, me and Willie, not saying anything, like old friends. I got up and left when the guy came with Willie's burrito.

Tomorrow I'm going to meet Benny's sister Rachel. Benny works with me at the bakery. I saw his sister Rachel once when Benny's car was in the shop and she had to pick him up. She has brown hair down to her shoulder blades that tumbles like sweet cereal falling out of a box. I could go to her house right now, wearing this tie, and she'd never see me. I could watch her take her clothes off for bed or stand a foot away, barely breathing, as she brushed her hair. Tomorrow I'm supposed to meet her the regular way, the way where she can see me.

This is the tie that makes me invisible.

I'm thinking of selling it.

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