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Eloise's New Belt

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Published 8 years ago
It’s 1955, on a farm in Round Butte, Montana. I am Eloise, and I’m four. This is what happened today:

After chores, and breakfast, and after my older sisters went to school, I followed my mom around. She was cranky and angry and shook her fingers at me in a way that said “leave.” So I sat and looked at my new brother for a minute, but he’s too small to be interesting yet.

I climbed upstairs backwards, and sat on my bed and swung my feet back and forth for about thirty seconds.

I went into my older sister’s room and began looking at her pictures of Elvis and putting on her clothes over mine and walking around in her shoes. Clomp, clomp, clomp. I put on her drill team uniform belt, or tried to. It was too wide to go through the loops on my pants and I had to pull it to where it caught on the tightest hole, and it was still loose around my waist.

I went outside, still wearing the belt. I petted the cats. I went to the pasture and pulled handfuls of grass for the horses. I caught grasshoppers. I looked at the geese in the pond, and caught a frog from the ditch.

I used the outhouse, and wearing the belt made me feel big, so I used the big-people hole in the bench in the outhouse rather than the one that is my size. When I unlatched my sister’s belt, it slipped from my fingers and plopped into the wet shit below.

When my sister got home from school, she was furious. My own name is still ringing in my ears.

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