I have 12 “Little Black Dresses.” I have 10 glittery “Party Dresses.” I have 8 pairs of “Party Shoes,” and 5 “Party Handbags.” I have nice jewelry, a Rolex, pearls, and diamonds. I have a whole case of expensive unused make-up. I have no place I want to go. I have invitations to places I don’t want to go. My clothes and my jewelry can get me acceptable admission to any gala. My heart, however, doesn’t want to go to any of those places, whether or not I’m invited. My clothes are remnants of a life that was and I chose it to be no more. I thought it so chic and so desirable to dress up, to get ready, to converse and laugh all the while, and perform this erotic business of getting ready and going together. I think it sad and empty now, asking myself what the big deal was? I thought it so appropriate to arrive with a man holding my elbow, helping me step out of the car, helping me out of my coat, and dancing with me, all the time looking into my eyes and holding my gaze, full of promises of things to come. I don’t want the clothes, the jewels, and the empty promises. I want no part of the charade that fake commitments are. My clothes gather dust and become unfashionable, and my feet no longer feel happy in the shoes. I want clothes that fit me, not some crazy notion of who I should be. I want to go to places that make me happy and acknowledge me, only me, and no fake association of me to another. I don’t know the woman in those pictures. She died and the clothes in my closet are her shrouds. Time to go to a new celebration, with different clothes, in different shoes, dancing to a different tune. Time to change, or to stay true to myself. Time to celebrate something new. The Empress gets dressed.