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It was a pretty ridiculous shirt: multicolored angelfish tessellated from sleeve to sleeve, the kind of camouflage that might work in a Crayola 120-pack. Its wearer had a Cromwell haircut and a sneering way of talking that let you know that his shirt, and probably more, was a sarcastic affect.
Nonetheless, drinking on The Lighthouse deck at the zenith of Labor Day weekend, he became an object of conquest for three girls. They sent the prettiest among them – skinny, chinless and bitter-looking – to fetch his shirt. Bargaining ensued.
Loud Shirt’s friends started discussing exchange rates. What was fair – one shirt, one bra? He’d have to wear the bra. No no no, sell high, one shirt for two bras. Miss Bitter tossed looks to her friends, looking for a sacrificial bra. No luck – just sour looks.
The capitalists lost interest. I watched Loud Shirt disappear into the crowd. I could see the neon angelfish even through the thicket of polos and joke shirts.