Sister’s Underwear Drawer

At the committee meeting, someone suggested sneaking a look at an internal candidate’s teaching evaluations. No way, I said. Why not, they asked. That, I said, would be like going through your sister’s underwear drawer while she’s at archery practice. My colleagues, sensing an element of unsavory confession, fell awkwardly silent, gave me looks of hooded surmise. So be it.  In early adolescence, that drawer was my shrine, I was its furtive celebrant. Slippery fabrics, supple elastics, unfamiliar clasps, even an already-anachronistic garter belt. And those line-drawn Tampax insertion diagrams! Precious enigmas to be pondered, refolded, replaced for another day.

For more, read Paul Strohm’s interview with 100 Word Story and his other stories:

Paul Strohm grew up in Western Springs, Illinois. He has taught medieval literature at Oxford and Columbia. He now divides his time between Oxford and Brooklyn, and writes freelance.

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