I’m not even lying when I say to you that I took ballet lessons for about 8 years out of the back of a country store.
We moved to
Kennesaw, Georgia, from when I was still a baby because my father got a job there for a roofing company. His office was across the street from my “ballet studio,” which was the back room of a two story country store. It was a wonderland of peach potpourri, handmade rocking chairs, hand-dipped candles, and stuffed bears with parasols and Scarlett O’Hara dresses. My ballet instructor was the red haired, big-eyed daughter of the couple that ran the store. To me she was a goddess. Stone Mountain, Georgia
My father’s office was in a small white building across the street, across
Main Street of course. Sometimes he would pick me up from ballet on his way home. I would climb up into his big pickup and listen to the radio for the three minutes it took to get to the house. One time in particular, I couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 years old, and he told me to come with him back to the office for a minute before going home.
The office was uncharted territory for me.
We walked in and my father plopped me down on a chair in the room, straight across from his secretary, while he wandered over to the vending machine. The room smelled like paper and carpet, my chair was hard and black. The secretary sat at a big metal desk covered in architect paper and a bulky beige phone with a shoulder rest. The phone had so many buttons! His secretary was intriguing; I couldn’t divert my eyes no matter how hard I was trying to be polite. She smiled at me with her magenta lips and I rustled around on the chair in my tutu and tights.
“What’s your name, darlin’?” she asked, squinting her eyes a little. I didn’t say anything, just blushed and looked down, fingering the tulle of my tutu. She went back to typing with her long acrylic fingernails on a huge IBM.
My father returned with a moon pie from the vending machine and handed it over to me. I grabbed his hand and pulled his face down towards mine and whispered in his ear:
“But daddy, when she types on the computer she doesn’t even have to look at the keys!!”