The World Ablaze (Winter Coat pt. 2)

On the table sat a bowl of what looked like vomit-yellow paste. It stank as it was placed over her. Her eyes burned as if she was bathing in some sort of noxious gas. The women to the right were speaking Spanish. She spoke Spanish. The women to the left were speaking Croatian. She trusted Croatian. She turned her eyes to the little electric fan holding back the fumes. Pain is beauty, she thought.
After about an hour, another woman came, blurting out absent-minded “mmm-hmms” over the blow-dryers. The woman stared, probably absent-mindedly, too. She turned away from her—the stinging of her eyes keeping her from seeing the woman clearly, anyway.
Another hour passed, the stinging turning to nausea, but her hair looking better than ever. She felt something come over her. In the last moments, she was warm and a smile slowly unfolded. It seemed so familiar. Yet, like every other time she recalled feeling this way, she could not pinpoint the source.

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