Falling down stairs unlike a slinky, bumping clumsily hitting elbows and knees on the narrow walls, landing on my knees at the bottom, putting runs in both my nylons. kneeling in sprawled prayer, this was a time if there ever was one, for God to appear
He didn’t, and neither did She.
Cutie Rassmussen was in the living room. Maybe he was in the kitchen. Around the corner from my absolutions; washy devotions, unskilled prayers uttered in whispered profanity, GodDAMmit. Cutie was in our house making small talk, waiting for me to appear for the honor of his escort to The Dairy Princess pageant? Contest? Competition? Cutie was a 400 year old bachelor and his name described him in the most cynical terms.
My little sister raced for the scene of clattering, clomping door-bursting disaster. Her eyes, usually brown, were popping-out black, and her lips pursed a perfect 0. I flew to my feet, crippled her with a scathing look which I regret to this day as the moment was immortalized in her experience. Yet how else would a Dairy Princess act? I wasn’t about to writhe around on the floor and show my misery.
Instead I went back upstairs for a new pair of pantyhose. My jaw set firmly so as to not burst into tears, I returned to walk stoically into the living room, like I imagine a more together princess would walk to the guillotine. Both my knees ached in a dull way. It occurred to me that feeding Jersey calves was a much more natural activity, even pitching Jersey shit into a wheelbarrow seemed vastly more appealing.
Cutie’s car was kind of like him, nondescript. I remember nothing about it except that it was dark blue and smelled musty mildewy like the insides of a repeatedly flooded garage. It is not my intention to be unkind, none of this was his fault. I just silently hated him for no good reason.
I was runner-up Dairy Princess. No riding on the convertible for me. No State competition. I returned home to answered prayer; my poopy Jersey calves bawling hungry the next morning. That evening I heard my father say to his colleagues that he was proud of me, his eldest daughter. He seemed to not notice that I had given an anti-war speech, urging the audience to take action towards bringing our troops home from Viet Nam.