sometimes, I wish I were a spirited southern belle. One of the ones that couldn’t dream of loving a place as much as the humid quarries and sweet tea summers of dixie, one of those girls who rode her bike to the grocery store and couldn’t imagine anything more perfect than a pair of blue jean cut offs. I can just see it, brown hands and face from the sun, or a hat on my head with such a broad brim that my face is totally hidden in shadows, I’d decorate it in prim roses and my dream man would be the guy who still has a skinn’t knee from falling off of his little crotch rocket.
But I was given books.
That’s how I know that story anyway. I was given books that were written by girls like me about girls we know who really have life down. simple. green… just the south, deep down in the little towns of dixie, where they still sit on their front porches and talk. I know they do, I saw them doing it when I went to the beach once. And maybe they are crazy, like the character that reese whitherspoon plays in ‘sweet home alabama’ or maybe they are just sweet little twenty-something girls who are still being courted on their front porch like it’s the 50s and they don’t even know that time’s really still moving. They are picking cotton from the fields their neighbors grow, walking barefooted on cracked sidewalks, they have sweet accents that tell you they are innocent, and quiet eyes which have only a twinge of a sorrow they can’t understand… like peter pan’s kiss in the corner of their mouths. They are sweet little things, these belles in my mind. But if you’re reading this, it probably isn’t you either, I didn’t know many when I lived at home in Birmingham. I don’t know more than a handful now. But if you see her, don’t disturb her, let her sip her tea, and smile her apple cheeked smile and think that the world was made to be held in the palm of her Alabama hand. She doesn’t need to know that the rest of us are even out here.
Oh, and don’t let her read the books. Just let her smell the roses.