The Dolphin House – Audrey Schulman
At the age of 21, Cora got a job as a waitress in a club in Tampa. It seemed right that the costume was difficult to pull on. She had to wiggle in and tug it on, then lie down to zip it up. The management required all the suits be cut one size too small. The outfit had ribs that pressed tight against her skin and pushed her breasts up. The result transformed her. Standing up, she was sleek and curved, had a rabbit’s ears and a tail. She did not recognize herself in the mirror. The things the men said, the things they did, she tried to consider as intended for the rabbit. The work shifts were long. She developed welts along her sides from the costume’s ribs. Her arms, strong from mucking out her dad’s pigs, trembled by the end of the night from carrying the trays of drinks and dishes. One plus was, in this echoing hard-surfaced club with the loud music, everyone was partly deaf and had ringing in their ears. Here, she had the advantage of knowing how to lipread. And, since her shift didn’t start until five in the afternoon, she had the whole day to be outside.