FC: Vignettes | by Kathryn Loranger
1: Table of Contents | Pages 2 & 3 - Blonde Pages 4 & 5 Shadow Pages 6&7 - Yolanda Pages 8 & 9 - Ugly Sweater Pages 10 & 11 - Spiders Pages 12 & 13 - Barbie Pages 14 & 15 - Corn Pages 16 & 17 - Uncle Terry Pages 18 & 19 - Home Pages 20 & 21 - Bums
3: I have very long hair. Hair that should be brown but I won’t allow it too. Hair that looks like a waterfall from my head. I hate to cut because I can’t let it go. Thick hair, straight as a pin, Italian hair, and I have so much pride in it. My hair resembles someone in my family, it’s my aunt Marcia. Bleach blonde hair and dark brown roots poking out. When really think about it, everyone in my family seems to be blonde. They’re fake blonde, real blonde, honey blonde, bleach blonde, just blonde. I love blonde. Something about its shine, its brightness makes me love it. Like a brand new Barbie dolls hair, it’s so bright. I guess the color comforts me since it has been around me for so long.
5: My mom has a dog; Shadow, we got him after we lost Dawson. Dawson was our old black lab, and it was hard to lose him. Shadow is a black lab who loves babies more than food. Shadows a dog that doesn’t like to cuddle but, doesn’t mind to kiss you either. My mom takes her time to eat and so doesn’t shadow. They actually are more alike than she thinks. Both of them could lie around and do absolutely nothing all day. They can also be selfish, and not care about what you or anyone else wants. My mom loves to shop and I could never see a dog shopping. Shadow smells like mud and trees and my mom smells like Chanel. Shadow loves lettuce and my mom can’t stand it. But they both have something very important in common, they love each other.
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7: One day we got the call. A hospital call, a call everyone runs from and I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It was about my Great-Grandmother Yolanda, she had died from old age. Most kids don’t get to meet their great-grandparents let alone basically grow up with them in their lives. I hadn’t been able to have a real talk with her for almost a year. She went back to speaking Italian, her first language. Every time I saw her it killed me more and more. “Bella! Bella!” she’d say, it’s hard to think back. Some days I don’t have a thought of her, but then some I really think about her. When we went to Italy to see her Nonna’s house, after a whole eighty years she pointed the house out. You could see it though, that was her home. Not the South End, Italy was. It was never a choice to come to America, it was what she had to do. Home is what makes you who you are today. Her heart was somewhere else the whole time, and nobody would blame her for that.
9: My mom bought me a sweater, and ugly, fuzzy sweater. She came home with it and told me it was for my Christmas outfit. I remember laughing at her when she showed me it. She was crazy if she thought I was going to wear that. It was red, with a giant, plush snowman on the front. I couldn’t even fathom why she would go out and buy it for me. I couldn’t even try it on, I was too disappointed. Is that how I dress? Why would you think I wanted that? It was so embarrassing, just why Jennifer, why.
11: I cant look at a spider without screaming. Those eight legs make me shake. What if there was one on me? Would it eat me whole? Poison me with one bite? A spider who is significally smaller than me terrifies me. I remember I was in the shower and there was one on the wall, I had to have my mom kill it. Black and hairy, nastiest thing in the world to me, I hate spiders. Spiders are never 2 feet away from you. All the time there’s one by you, watching. A spider’s presence is what scares me the most.
13: I've always wanted to be Barbie. Just like her, that little doll every girl had. I loved her hair, her makeup, and her clothes. I remember doing my makeup when i was young and tried to be Barbie. Back when i had blue eyes , when I was three. I loved Barbie, everything about her I loved. She was perfect, and thats what i wanted to be. Perfect.
15: When i was a little girl i had a hideout. It was where we grew corn, all the way in the back of our yard. A garden of corn, that i would hide in. I never hid from people, just the world. Just to think about my day and what i wanted to do with my life. It was an escape from the North. I hate the North, I want to be down South. Where the weather is nice and never snows. In that corn i could pretend i was down south. I miss those corn stalks.
17: My uncle terry has been 12 for 40 years. He's not a kid, he's a child. He plays video games on a 72-inch TV, cuts ice pops with the biggest knife available, and sticks his head out of sunroofs. But I love him, thats family. He's the one who taught me how to give a duck a bath. Which is really hard actually. His Mohawk that he hides under a beanie, his killer blue eyes, and all of his colorful tattoos. He's the one who makes you laugh when you don't want too and he's my Uncle Terry.
19: You have to go home again. Home is the what raised you. Home is where you find most of your memories. Your first boyfriend, first kiss, first dog or cat, first birthday and your first day of high school. You have to go back home. It’s what made you feel safe when no one else could. You have to go back home some day. Even if it’s just for a day, it’s important to appreciate and recognize where you came from. You have to go home again.
21: Cisneros does not invite bums in her attic. She was young when she wrote that vignette, you can tell. Success and Fame gets to your head, no matter how much you think it doesn't. Flashing lights, everyone knows your name, published books and autographs? Clearly she wouldn't invite bums to stay in her attic. It's not how the world works. Its a sad concept, but its the truth.