Ten Things I’m Worried About:
- Too many wedding dresses
- Not enough wedding dresses
- Going broke
- Losing my home
- Never finding an unbroken, black butterfly shell
- The upcoming interview with the fashion writer.
- Not having peppermint sticks in my life
- Turning back into the person I used to be
- Always being worried
My studio is filled with odd and found things. I need the color and creativity for inspiration for the non – traditional wedding dresses I sew. Weathered, light blue shutters from a demolished house are nailed to a wall. Two foot tall pink letters spell out my name, June. On a huge canvas, I painted six foot tall purple tulips with eyes, smiles and pink tutus. I propped that painting against a wall next to a collection of mailboxes in the shapes of a pig, elephant, dragon, dog, and monkey. The monkey mailbox scares me.
I dipped a strawberry into melted chocolate and kept stomping about. I eat when I get upset or stressed, and this had not proved to be good for the size of my bottom. Fifteen extra pounds in two years. After only four more strawberries, okay seven, and more pacing, I took a deep breath and tried to wrestle myself away from my past and back into who I am now, who I am trying most desperately to become.
“Remember, June,” I said aloud as my anger and worry surged, like the waves of the Oregon coast below me. “You are in your sky lighted studio. Not a cold, beige home in the city. You are living amidst stacks of colorful and slinky fabrics, buttons, flowers, faux pearls and gems, and lace. You are not living amidst legal briefs and crammed courtrooms working as an attorney with other stressed out, maniac attorneys hyped up on their massive egos.”
My tired eyes rested, as they so often did, on my Scottish tartan, our ancestor’s tartan, which I’d hung vertically on my wall. When I’d hung it in our modern home in Portland, he’d ripped it down and hid it from me for a month. “Tacky June, it’s tacky. We’re not kilt wearing heathens.”
I am a wedding dress designer in the middle of a soul-crushing divorce. I am a wedding dress designer who will never again marry. I am a wedding dress designer who has about as much faith in marriage as I do that the Oregon coast will never see another drop of rain.
A blast of wind, then a hail of rain pummeled my French doors.
I ate yet another chocolate strawberry. I have been told my eyes are the color of dark chocolate. Not a bad analogy. I washed the strawberry down with lemonade, then a carrot.
No, I have no faith in marriage.
It was a bad day. It became worse after the next phone call.
One More Scene with the hot rancher, Reece…
“You want to know about my childhood?” I pushed a strand of wet hair off my face.
“Yes, I do.” Those eyes were sincere. I was being pulled into a green pool, only the pool was warm and sexy and had big shoulders. Look away, June. Look away! Remember, you do not believe in lust at first sight.
I shook my head to clear my burgeoning passion. “My sister, August, was born on a commune in California. My next sister, September, was born in the back of our VW van. I was born in a hippie colony here in Oregon. There’s some difference, not much, from a commune. My brother was born about fifteen feet over the US border.”
“About that. We had been in Mexico, living on a farm with other Americans, but my nine- months – along mom decided at the last minute that she wanted March born on American soil, like the rest of us, so they drove through the night. My brother was born on the other side of the customs building.”
“That must have been quite a ride.”
“It was. I remember it. We packed up the van on the fly. We were all wearing tie dye shirts and sandals. We also had three mutts, two cats, and a bird who flew loose in the van. We each had our tartans, our ancestors were Scottish and we’re proud of it, and we had a box of apples and a box of bananas. I slept on the floor of the van between my sisters with our dog, Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death, asleep over my legs. Our other dog, Flower Child, snored away on a seat, and the third dog, Fleas, because he had fleas when we found him, my sister was using as a pillow.”
“You are making my childhood as boring as heck. I can barely stand it.”
“We were travelling gypsies in a VW bus.” I drew my arms tight around my freezing, shaking body.
“So, your brother made it to the US border?”
“Yes, he did. My poor mom. No drugs at all during child birth. She wanted it natural. All of us were natural. My dad grabbed two tartans out of the back of the van for her to lay on.”
“From Scotland. Our ancestors are from Scotland and our family takes our love of Scotland seriously. My dad fluffed the tartans out for her to lay on. Afterwards, my dad’s face was whiter than my mom’s. I remember my sisters and I had to stay in the van and there were a bunch of men in uniform helping my mom, and all of the sudden one of those men was holding our brother, March, who was screaming his head off but, I’m sure, delighted to have been born in America.”
He laughed again.
My, what a seductive and deep and gravelly laugh. My!