at the vintage in tower
by monique quintana
When my world ends, I want my friends to play The Psychedelic Furs and the Thompson Twins, I tell my mother. They don't play good music here. We pause in front of the mannequin, saying hello at the door. If only the dress she's wearing would fit us, we both agree. Black and red flowers are everything together. We haven't met the little rabbit yet. Her eyes are making their way through the best of the dust clouds that want to come through.
The place is a consignment shop in my neighborhood, the Tower District, each open space and cubby decorated with its aesthetic. We come across a desk with matching chairs for a more than reasonable price because the wood is sturdy with collapsible leaves so that the desk can make itself smaller. We are always a few steps apart, and our hands clutch different things. A red leather purse with no strap is good in my mind, while my mother goes for the brown leather. I find a multitude of rabbits on a shelf because it's almost the summer equinox.
I recall a rabbit that escaped from my uncle's apartment, still chewing curls of purple cabbage in its freedom.
This afternoon, I go for the two things: the hollow rabbit and a palm-sized copy of Benjamin Bunny. My mother is a perpetual shop block and tells me to put the book back because she has a whole case of books leftover from her kindergarten teaching days. Those days weren't too long ago. I refuse to put back the rabbit, even though she snickers at me in amusement. What? I ask her even though I'm accustomed to her moods. She leaves everything there, even what she wants.
I roll my purchase receipt into leafy teethers to make food, pretending that the rabbit's teeth are gnawing my palm awake.