Once upon a time, the small girl
went shopping. It was her mother’s
favorite past time. To visit a
store meant hours upon hours of sitting
with her brothers in the car parking
lot waiting while her mother tried
on clothes at shopping centers, specialty
women’s stores and boutiques
Or, she would have to go in to the store
(Add Scary Psycho Link Music Here)
Her mother was on a first name basis with
all the store managers who would call
to let her know when the new clothes
would arrive and be put on the sales floor
before the new arrivals were publicized.
The Small Girl learned it was better to wait
in the car than to go in with her
mother because the small girl cared not
one wit about clothing styles,
colors and matching hats. She was
her mother’s greatest disappointment.
By being born a girl, certain things were
required of the small girl by her mother.
She was to enjoy hair styles, make up and
clothing.Unfortunately, the small girl was a
bookworm and preferred to play in her head
than to play dress up with her mother, or
be the clothing confidante, since she simply
had no taste for the activity or the clothing.
“How do I look?” her mother would ask.
The small girl could never say the right
thing because no one ever asked her if she
could see the clothes. Everything was a blur.
Also, being so small compared to her giant mother
who stood 5’10” tall without heels. It was
a far distance for her weak eyes to travel
since she walked looking down at the
ground the majority of the time and has
childhood memories of people’s lower legs
knees and thighs under the cover of
1970’s wide corduroy fabric. (She
has memories of an incident of
being lost in a mall, she ran to a
pair of legs and cried “Mommie!!”
only to realize by touch that
they were the wrong pair of legs.)
After a silence that meant something negative
to her mother, she would look up and say,
“fine,” or “nice” in a whisper, as tears formed in
her eyes, uncomfortable with the attention she was
receiving by being asked a question. Her mother would
stare at her and sigh loudly in disappointment.
Small girl enjoyed walking amongst the clothes
feeling the smooth or crinkly fabrics with her fingertips,
hearing the swish of fabric as she pressed by the racks
so tightly packed that a shopping cart could barely be
forced through what should have been an aisle between the
racks as she walked in bored circles until she dove
inside to sit on the central support bars after she had
paced the entire women’s department or boutique.
Her mother hardly noticed, it felt safe and quiet
in there without questions, critiques
or irritated stares that she could feel
like needles being pushed into a tomato
shaped pincushion. The air did not even
blow through the racks so it was a safe bubble.
The small girl was a slight
version of her mother except she was of a darker
complexion with hair that would never behave without
a hot comb and blue or green Posner’s grease. She would leave the store with one of her handlebar pony tail poofs slightly askew
much to her mother’s chagrin.
She was always afraid of people,
not necessarily large, open places. Therefore,
she was so unlike her mother. She preferred the
small space of weeds behind her garage, though
she was not allowed to play there.
She would finally get to the back of the
garage, then her mother would call her.
The small girl was convinced her mother
could see through walls.