pink gingham memories

At someone’s white clean grownup-already house in the morning, they had all the supplies. Coolers and water jugs and beer beer beer (I never liked beer) and blankets and sunblock and I had my tiny pink gingham sundress, so short I couldn’t bend forward or move much. I had my dress and my sandals with my cash and driver’s license tucked into my bra.

We went in their cars, I don’t remember who they were or how I got there or if they are people I still know now.

Hours before the show started let’s get a good spot, we’ll get a nice good spot that’s not too crowded but where we can see the stage. Lots of clusters of people in the dusty dirt parking lot grass field.

Soul Coughing was why I came, or maybe Matthew Sweet. The Spin Doctors were there, too, and I was cool enough to hate them but was still me enough to like the Two Princes song because it was catchy bouncy dance-y good to sing with.

The group near us I don’t remember much either, but there was a small man without much hair on his head wearing beady sunglasses and brown skin and a leather vest with fringe and he sat in a low sun chair next to a blanket and his friend or friends talked and he just looked at me.

The music was going had been going for a long time when I put the little piece of paper the size of my fingernail or thumbnail on my tongue melting fuzzy on my tongue. When I said, yes, let’s and we went up to the crowd in front by the stage and someone picked me up and I was being tossed around and I didn’t like how many hands were grabbing squeezing hard my breasts and ass and I got down quickly and I hated it hated it it was not fun and I laughed and laughed and smiled because it was always okay nothing bothered me no it was ha ha ha but I wanted to get out of there now.

On the dark streets of DC long after the concert was over in Northeast maybe, or Capitol Hill or I’m not sure but it surely wasn’t Dupont or Adams Morgan and I didn’t recognize anything and I think I must be still tripping because I don’t know why this car bumper shimmering in the street light looks like it’s ocean waves hello who are you? Oh my god it’s you from high school? Do you live here? Do you recognize me? Who are you? Can you hear me talking? I am so cute? What? Yes okay yes, here is my number, it is so weird we met here at this time can you help me get home?

The florescent lights of the office seem dull but I’m back at my desk and I’m showered and it’s been two days since the show and coming back from such an event isn’t too hard on a 20-something if I drink a lot of water a lot of water. I’m doing my job. The front desk buzzes, I pick up. There’s a man in the front who wants to see me. I ask who he is. She tells me his name and I have no idea who it is. I tell her I’m sorry I’m busy please have him leave his card I will get back to him. She comes back to my office in a few minutes and gives me his card a beautiful business card with an irregular shape and hand written text. I don’t recognize his name. She describes him and I get a picture a quick picture a strange sunburning feeling and I feel puzzled.

The next day the front desk buzzes and it’s him again and this time I come to the front and say hello and yes it is the small man with the balding brown head and leather fringed vest and he looks at me looks at me looks at me like he is going to eat me pounce on me devour me and I say why hello, wow, you are here! as if I’m not all that surprised but that I’m surprised and he grins with beady rat eyes and says yes I am you told me you worked here and I said well that’s so great I have to get back to work though and he says I have a gift for you I want to give it to you should I bring it to your apartment later? And the gift he gives me at the front door of my apartment hours later is hand-made paper boxes inside boxes inside boxes and it is stunning and beautiful and full of time and concentration and care and effort to assemble and talent and art and I am so afraid. His rat eyes and his drooling hungry mouth face and his slow heavy breathing and his looking at me like I can do no wrong.

It’s time for you to go now I say before I open the front door thank you very much I appreciate it it’s beautiful and now it’s time for you to go how did you know I lived here nevermind thank you I will talk to you later. When? When. I will talk to you another time. No I don’t want your number no thank you thank you for the gift it was really nice thank you no.

The things I write here and think here and feel here are the things that come from inside me where my memory courage hides.

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4 Comments

Filed under my life story, my own chautauqua, writing

4 responses to “pink gingham memories

  1. Don

    This is good, very good, the sort of writing you need to do, face-in-knee, memory brave.

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    • Thank you. Your comment means a lot to me. This stuff is so much feelings that I don’t have a sense of how it would be for a removed reader. That listing thing that happens, absence of punctuation, repetition that I wonder if it seems like mistakes (but is absolutely intentional)… All of it, I don’t know how it reads.

      I am tempted to break it up. I mean, put in hard returns more often. That’s the influence of the Internet, of course, but I wonder if it might make it more readable (if it’s not readable).

      It’s strange because it’s the kind of writing that when I read a kind response like yours I think, “Really?” because it’s hard for me to believe other people can read it and “get it.”

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  2. Heather, every now & then I find my way to one of your blog entries. This one really drew me in: I know of what you speak. And the thought that really strikes me at this moment is … how intriguing, the way our families have been so intertwined over the last 40 years. Yet here we are, you & me, marginally connected by the internet. I know your parents so much better than I know you – and the same is likely true for you as well (you have spent way more time with my parents over the years than with me …) When I see the picture of the cherry tree at Hunt’s Corners it is so familiar to me, yet you & I have probably never been there at the same time! A thought: I hope to visit Maine sometime in the first half of August … any chance you will be around? It would be really nice to connect in person. All the best to you & your lovely girls …. Cathie

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    • I’d love to see you in person, yes! I’m sure we can make it happen. heather at serenebabe dot net (or, of course, here or Facebook). I remember at my wedding globbing on to Monica with “we should hang out!” and she looked totally shocked like, what is this woman talking about? It’s because of that family-familiarity — strangers and family at the same time. :-) Thanks for checking out my writing, by the way. It’s a big deal when people do that.

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