Umber (49.43 — Oleander’s Story)

September 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Months earlier, when we got home from the rodeo where I first saw Miss July Benbow in all her flag-waving cowgirl glory, I made rodeo paper dolls.  Julie was the star, of course, along with her horse, but I made other paper rodeo performers as well– clowns, cowboys on bucking broncos, boys selling hot dogs, a man with a megaphone.  Since Daddy was the chute boss, I put his paper doll in with the rest of them, inside an old ledger book.

I felt a surge of weakness as I realized what I had done.  I had put the Daddy paper doll in with the Julie paper doll.  I was the reason our family broke up.

I carefully gathered up all of my paper dolls, their clothes, and the pink cake.  I folded up the tablet-paper castle Freida and I had made.  I laid them all gently in an old cigar box I’d found in the garage.  Not knowing what else to do, I carried the now-bulging cigar box into my bedroom and shoved it as far beneath the bed as I could.


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