I’m strutting in front of the mirror in a blue pin-stripe blazer I just bought from the Disabled American Veterans thrift store, proud of myself for finding such style for 95 cents. I start to slide my hands into the outside pockets but find they’ve been stitched shut, by hand, in thick orange thread; I wonder why anyone would’ve done that.
I check the inside pockets, right side first. There’s a receipt from Copy Co. — the previous owner spend $17 and change on copies and binding. In the left pocket I find a slip of paper with the laser-printed words “MAGDALENA VEGA.” I assume Magdalena Vega either inspected or sewed my jacket; there’s no indication which. Magdalena Vega — what a name! A girl with that name should be the darling daughter of a South American patron, the object of every neighbor’s affections; or an aging but ever-radiant film star. Syllables evoke images and it feels incorrect for such a perfect name to be connected to the vision of a sweat shop. I like to think Magdalena Vega will escape her life of needles and machines.