Ray Bans at the U of A

by Kate McGloughlin

The Ray Bans I borrowed from Aunt Loretta’s

make-up drawer in the cabin at Indian Lake

made all the difference this past semester

at school, like, I finally had something

that everyone else at the U of A had,

and now I could pull off wearing my cut offs

and v-neck tee shirt and flip flops from Caldor’s

while everyone else sported plaid, Ocean Pacific

shorts and bright green Polo shirts and Topsiders.

The irony was not lost on me that this was the desert

and the nearest dock was in San Diego, eleven

hours by borrowed car, but they had dough

and I had balls, not really balls, just a steady

buzz and my new Ray Bans.

Now it’s like I’m an eccentric art student

from New York not another hick from nowhere

with not quite enough cash to buy into Gamma Phi

or the prerequisite—really—white sandals

for Chi Omega (white sandals all winter long,

Gram would have a fit). I walk past those

Sorority houses quickly, to get to The Green

Dolphin where I’ll pour pitchers of cheap

beer and make them laugh while they wait

for the brothers of Delta Chi to storm

through and give them a sniff and choose

from the sisters—need a date? Tri Delta!

I wink from behind the power

of the bar and nod at the blonde boy

I slept with last week. If I knew he was

the sought after president of the Fiji house

I might have thought better of it, but he

asked where I got the retro Ray Bans,

and one thing led to another.