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  • second installment from Something of an Autobiography

    (if you'd like to read part one, it is told here.)

    Ah happy butterflies! Full of wild excitement, they bounced all about within the walls of my belly.

    Now wearing three shades of maraschino cherry, red for the lips, blue for the eyes, and green for the cheeks, and with fiery orange tresses made of a 50% cotton/polyester blend, I made one last survey of my Winnie the Pooh bed sheet cum elegant evening gown and the engaging but slightly oversized heels that pleasantly engulfing my feet, and determined I was ready.

    Little five-year old me cued the entrance music in his head and made his way into my the front room. I found an easy sophisticated walk to match my sartorial glamour (and this despite the dangers of high heels.)

    Tah Dah! little i announced beaming with glee.

    But when the unsuspecting audience - which included my mother and father, the local parish priest, and a sleepy Great Dane named Ike – did not erupt in immediate applause, the butterflies stilled and the music crashed to a halt.

    Oh look, it’s the neighbors’ boy, my mother said dryly, the folds on the side of her mouth for a moment petrifying.

    But isn’t that –, sputtered the priest.

    The dog and my father just looked at each other, then me, then each other again.

    Yes, yes. Well, you know, Shane will do whatever he wants, my mother said, her tone cutting forever with a single sharp snip that other umbilical cord -more imaginary and therefore more real - that had linked her son to her and her to her son.

    And then another expression came over her face, one that made me tremble, made the butterflies huddle behind my heart in fear for their safety.

    Where, she demanded, did you get those shoes?

    [photo: Shane Convery]
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