Thursday, May 26, 2005

She's writing a story in a leather journal with home made paper inside.

When I was a little girl I would sit in quiet reflection and try to imagine another little girl, born the exact time as S'mee, on my birthday, whose mom gave her the same name I had. It was the whole parallel universe type of thing only I was too young to know that sci-fi thought this could happen.

I would see the other S'mee. She was black. Not Whitney Houston black, but the deep rich darkest black girl I could imagine. Her skin matched her eyes and she had pretty teeth. Her mom dressed her in orange and yellow and bright green and she would always be barefoot. She had a baby brother and her dad was tall and thin and had laughing eyes. She had a gramma who cuddled and told her terrific stories about the village where she lived. They had a grass house and the trees made her feel secure and cool all day. I wanted to trade her places; but I did not want her to have to trade back. So I left her in Africa.

I also saw S'mee in China. I had heard you could dig there if you tried long enough. She had tan skin and black almond eyes and was so shy she never spoke. Her mom dressed her in shiny pink and gold and told her to behave. She peeked out of her paper room but not too often. She liked her pet fish. They were named Goldie and Sam and they had their own home in a pond in her garden; but didn't talk much either. She was like me and didn't have a dad too often.

Then there was the S'mee who lived in the South. All I know is she had a syrupy swagger to her voice and she was "pleased as punch" a lot. She felt guilty for things and tried hard to spell, but she was good at finding stars and flowers. I could see stars through her eyes and I could smell her momma's perfume if I tried hard enough. She was able to catch fire flys in Mason jars.

One of my favorite S'mees was a Pirate. She was always on the sea in a boat with boys who got to play and swash-buckle and dance in colourful outfits and wear eye patches. That S'mee had the most fun and she didn't mind scrubbing the deck because sooner or later she could crawl up the mast and look out over the white caps for the island hideaway. She was good in a fight and she ate a lot of fruit. She didn't mind her manners and she said what she felt like without too much trouble. She also had a parrot that told her jokes.

We moved so much as a kid I think I developed an odd imagination and made these counter images from parts of myself. It was nice to know there was someone out there. I still wish my skin was that deep rich black. If I could I would have a pond with fish. I feel guilty all the time and math, well it may never happen for me. Sometimes I say what I feel and I don't care much if I get in trouble for it.

I still think about the other universe and wonder about all the other S'mees out there. What they are up to and if they ever wonder about this S'mee. Are you ever too old to "pretend"?

add to sk*rt

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