The girl’s navel winks below her halter top, and her dimpled ass swells above her terry shorts. Her perfection forecasts its falling off and is marked, too, by her innocence this will happen. Her dark-haired mother carries too much meat around the middle. Her dad ferries drinks from Starbucks in a cardboard tray, and the hair of her younger brother is so dense it looks like a wig. What is she doing at the airport with these mortals? She brushes aside her bangs, and there it is, a flesh-colored bump, just above her wrist, that stands so tall it casts a shadow in the glaring light. The flaw makes her loveliness bearable, maybe even to herself, and you don’t know whether it is a dark fairy’s curse or a pea meant to keep the princess awake.



Laurie Stone is author of the novel Starting with Serge (Doubleday), the memoir collection Close to the Bone (Grove), and Laughing in the Dark (Ecco), a collection of her writing on comic performance. A longtime writer for the Village Voice, she has been theater critic for The Nation and critic-at-large on Fresh Air. She has recently completed My Life as an Animal, Some Kind of Romance and is at work on The Pain of Language, a collection of essays.

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