#wordmongering writing started so I reached into my prompt boss and pulled out… a dress. An Origami dress. I reached in again and found… another origami dress, this one made from a map of Missouri with a touch of Oklahoma from what I can tell.
I’ve been working on flowers this weekend because I don’t want to get stuck on thinking all I can make are dresses, but they are so darn cute!
I’m going to run with the prompt: “Kansas” since that is the state on my doll dress map. I’m adding the “Grandmama” of all prompts: “I remember.”
I remember driving across Kansas, a day of rolling prairie my brothers and sister deemed boring. I found it comforting. I found it beautiful. I reveled in the colors and sounds of the prairies.
I sort of understood why they may have thought it was not the most interesting landscape, but I was mesmerized by it.
Our cross country journey was more than thirty years ago, but I can still remember bits and pieces of it.
I remember in St. George, Utah, when I went to buy stamps from the front desk and the clerk thought I was checking in with the young man in front of me. At first I was shocked and confused and then, I must confess, it felt a little titillating and my fifteen-year-old mind and hormones imagined checking in with this young man, if he wasn’t a complete stranger, naturally.
In my mind I wrote biographies of the two of us and our romantic storyline. In memory, he is faceless to me. What I remember the most is the collar of his shirt – a regular t-shirt – and his hair, blonde and cleanly cut in a straight line leaving bronzy skin that I admired and wished I had myself. When he turned I kept my eyes steady and noticed his lips, another straight line. Not full, not completely thin – I glanced only for a moment to his eyes, a slate gray-blue.
I wonder whatever happened to him?
I remember Missouri, ordering dinner at a Howard Johnson’s type restaurant and Mom complaining that we kept ordering cokes. That’s what we called soft drinks then. Cokes. The universal name. To us, Cokes were quite a treat. We rarely had them in our home so ordering Cokes was exotic.
I remember in Colorado, we went to a hotel that had a pool from the neighboring hot springs. It felt weird to swim in it, not very refreshing, and the place we stayed was much more expensive than my mother would have liked. She was only cranky for a short while. I learned how to be a prize stoic from my mother, who never showed much in the way of anger nor much in the way of bliss or sadness. I never saw her cry until my baby daughter was stillborn. If I attempted to count the numbers of times my children have witnessed me cry, I would quickly lose count in the stew of my embarrassment.
I remember driving closer and closer to my Granny’s house in Pasadena. We drove on what I now know is the 210 Freeway. The green freeway signs seemed so organized to my undriving self.
I didn’t know then I wouldn’t drive across the country all the way from coast-to-coast again, even though I loved the process of taking such a journey. Perhaps the Summer of 2014 will be the one.
I must remember to remember.
(And to think that all came from an origami dress!)
Julie Jordan Scott is a writer, performance poet, Mommy and mixed-media artist. Her word-love themed art will be for sale at First Friday each month in Downtown Bakersfield. Check out the links below to follow her on a bunch of different social media channels, especially if you find the idea of a Word-Love Party bus particularly enticing.
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