Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Momma Said

I've been feeling sort of blocked today. Just sort of fuzzy around the head and not feeling much like writing. But, I've decided that not writing is not an option and part of why I throw these challenges at myself is so that I can write through those times. Creativity is grand, but I want to be the sort of writer who can write museless.

I'm always telling others who complain about writer's block that there should not be such a thing. That the only way to get over such an indulgence is to write through it. Actually I borrowed this attitude from Laurence Olivier. He said to Dustin Hoffman, after Hoffman went without sleep for three days to get into his character, "My dear boy, why don't you try acting?"

Anyway, I did drive over to Martha and Lizie's and walked around the ruins of their farm to clear my head a bit. It was near sunset and I disturbed two gorgeous white tail does who were grazing around the old cabin. They were so lovely and clean looking bounding across the creek with white tails blazing in the air. And I thought for a moment, isn't it neat that two does would be grazing there, and if reincarnation were true, wouldn't it be neat if Martha and Lizie came back to their old home as deer sisters, to haunt the place they loved so well.

Anyway, today's offering is:

Momma Said

Tonya stepped out onto the makeshift stage in her pink satin evening gown, splattered with green sequins with a mermaid theme. The ensemble included elbow length gloves in pastel green that picked up the pink and green of her outfit. Momma paid two thousand dollars for Tonya's dress for the Little Miss Baby Girl Beauty Pageant.

She cocked a hip, satin straining, and waited for her music to start. She tried not to wiggle too much--Momma said her baby fat rolls stretched the seams when she did that.

The announcer, a lady with crunchy silver hair in a purple velour jogging suit, said, "This is Tonya Smedley. Tonya is nine years old. She likes horseback riding, ballet and collecting Precious Memories figurines. Her favorite TV show is American Idol and she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Her favorite food is spaghetti and she loves Jesus." Momma said it never hurt to say you loved Jesus.

Mrs. Blatz, the lady who made the dress said it would clash with Tonya's red hair. Momma said, just make it, it will make her stand out. Tonya overheard Gracie Ledbedder's mother saying she looked like a cartoon--that she looked like tutti-frutti ice cream. Tonya told Momma the netting was too much, but Daddy said you couldn't tell Momma anything.

"I'm a model--you know what I mean…" Right Said Fred began and Tonya flipped her ginger hair over her shoulder and began her routine. She caught Momma's eye as she sashayed back and forth on the platform. Momma pointed two index fingers to the side of her mouth reminding Tonya to smile wider, revealing the perfect fake teeth she had to wear for the pageants.

Tonya peeled one glove off and swung it around her head while pumping her hip forward. She batted fake eyelashes at the judges and threw the glove into the audience. Momma said you always had to play to the judges.

Tonya hoped she could win this one. This would be the last year she could compete at Little Miss Baby Girl and Momma said she could have a pony and stop going to the pageants if she took the title this time. It was her last chance at Little Miss Baby Girl.

Right Said Fred rumbled, "…as I shake my tush on the catwalk--yeah…" Tonya looked over her shoulder with her lips pursed while she shook her tush as Right Said Fred indicated.

Out of the corner of her eye, Tonya saw Gracie Ledbedder, sitting on her mother's lap. Momma smiled at Gracie's mother, baring her teeth like a fountain statue, cold and formal. Gracie had been up before Tonya. Gracie beat out Tonya in the Miss Adorable Girl Pageant last month. Momma said she saw Gracie's mother coming out one of the judge's hotel rooms.

"So sexy--it--hurts." Tonya held both arms out, palms up to do the shimmy move her dance teacher showed her. Momma clapped louder than anyone as Tonya finished her number and Right Said Fred faded out.

Tonya left the stage and went over to Momma. She pulled her teeth out and Momma said, "Don't do that, you have to go back up there in a minute. You forgot to Vaseline them again--I saw your lip catch on them once. I swear, I don't know what I'm going to do with you. Don't you want to be Little Miss Baby Girl?"

Momma bent over to get a hairbrush out of her bag, so she didn't hear Tonya whisper, "No, Momma, not really."

Not that it would have mattered. You can't tell Momma anything.


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