Thursday, April 10, 2008

Talk Thursday - Once Upon A Time...

Any one with a good sense of judgment can tell you there is more than one me. Once upon a time I was a little girl who looked up to my older and wiser cousins. Cammy was everything I wanted to be: he was a teenager with a license. Well okay, not at first, there was the time he got all of us kids thrown in to the Scottsdale Jail because he was driving without a license, I think he was old enough to have one. Cam was so cool, until the afternoon that him and his buddy Darryle (who he doesn’t remember) told me that I couldn’t go out with them because they turned into monsters who slathered little girls up with mayo and mustard for midnight snacks. I boldly told them (hands on hips, chin jutted out in defiance) “Nunhhuh you liars” and then cried when they left.

Once upon a time in a southern California grade school I was the gawky limbed, tall, skinny girl everyone, okay really Dennis Vincegura, beat up all the time. I never knew why he hated me, why I was the easy target, except I never fought back. Mouthy yes, physical no. I would go home, swallow my sorrow, and get on with my life until the next time Dennis Vincegura kicked my underpants up my ass. In hindsight I shouldn’t be surprised, his dad beat his mom up regularly. Hey, Dennis, now I wear thongs, thank you.

In high school I was the weird girl hanging with the cool smoker chicks in the quad. Wearing the really short dresses, chain-smoking at fifteen, and cussing like a longshoreman. I was known for being willing to try any thing once. But I doubt few knew my name. My fa├žade said if you don’t like me, your loss; my interior hid a sad loneliness.

As I grew I embraced me. If you don’t like me I do care, but I won’t bend over backwards to please you. I have a mind and I don’t always speak it, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion. I am loud wallpaper, but at 52 I am trying hard to come out of my shell.

Once upon a time I loved change. Moving to new places, eager for the next adventure, to see where in America or the world it would take me. What I would see, what I would learn, who I could become. I am still eager for the adventures, but my roots are solid and well dug in. I don’t want to live anywhere other than Florence, Oregon, but that doesn’t mean I’m not into learning new places, embracing new people, testing new waters.

Once upon a time I would never have been so bold as to think people would want to meet me. Now I travel to places beyond to meet people I’ve never seen. Sit with them in London poetry cafes and chat about what and who we have in common. Not a geeky, middle aged woman, and a British screenwriter, but two poets communing. Two friends with much to share. Tonight I will have dinner with a dear friend whom I’ve never laid my eyes upon, his partner, and his sister. We will sit down and break bread, share wine, and each other. And I will not be afraid, but I will embrace them. Saturday I will not be the tall, black clad, wallpaper (okay I’ll be wearing black—because that is me, but I won’t be wallpaper) and I will finally get to meet JulieAnn face to face writer to writer, girl friend to girl friend, never strangers again. I will get to meet people who so far have just been a name on a comment on someone else’s blog. Saturday night I will laugh and be filled with joy and new people. Once upon a time I would never have had the guts.

So who are you today and what were you yesterday?


JulieAnn Henneman said...

Beautiful....and I'll be in black too. ;)

Anonymous said...

You felt like a long-lost friend the moment we met. Thank you so much for joining us last night. I'm all for first-times and last night upped the ante: having my sister visit my home for the first time and meeting a writer/poet/DJ who has believed in me and my writing from the very first days - all while eating Indian food and sharing a bottle (or two) of wine. You are every bit as brilliant as I had imagined, and you are a beautiful woman, Cele.

I do apologize (again) for Midas knocking over my wine glass and drenching your shoe! I'll try and get my issues with gravity ironed out before the party :)

Hugs and love.


Oh - I may consider wearing black. It is a solemn occasion, after all.