Thursday, January 29, 2009

Smashing Butterflies

Her hair was long, hanging to the middle of her back in shiny soft waves. She often thought it was romantic the way her hair would cascade down the front of her bare chest, creating the mythical image of a princess waiting in an ethereal forest for her prince.

The romance continued as she lay on her canopied bed, closed her eyes and tuned in to the velvety voice of the DJ as he relayed promises of love from one listener to another. She lost herself in the music as Phil Collins begged for just one more night, as Whitney gave all her love and Air Supply ran out of love.

She hungered for romance. For the starry-eyed wonder that inhabited the faces of her friends. For the swirling butterflies, the racing heartbeat, the unicorns jumping over rainbows. She wanted it all . . . even the heartbreak. Yes, she'd take the heartbreak.

But instead she stood. Along the wall. Pulling her hair behind her. In front. Behind. Smoothing her skirt. Sniffing her wrists. Smiling coyly, hoping to catch his eye. Any eye.

No eyes. No catch.

The song ended. The couples broke apart and Kool and the Gang filled the air. She wrestled with her thoughts.

Am I ugly? Do I smell? Is my skirt too short? Too long? Is it my hair . . . she questioned everything. Something must be wrong.

Another slow song and she slowly headed toward the wall as one by one her friends were grabbed by pimply-faced boys with not-so-hidden agendas.

The wall.

She dreamed about the butterflies that she longed to feel bump into each other as she spread a coat of Cherry Chapstick across her lips, knowing that he'd like the taste.

But the wall was her only partner.

She thought about the butterflies. About taking them by their mocking little wings and smashing them against the wall. Watching them drop . . . one by one. Like stinging tears from swollen eyes.

The song ended. She threw her hair back as she headed toward the benches.

Head up high, she repeated to herself.

She hiked up her skirt out of defiance and yanked off her skates. Before pushing open the big metal door, she looked back. At the wall.

And she thought about the butterflies. For one last time.


flutter said...

this is beautiful

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Haven't we all been there?

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Oh! Come back with you soft wavy hair. There are beautiful butterflies! You will find them!

slouching mom said...

Gorgeous writing. And yes. I remember. said...

I was the wall flower quite a bit, too. And, dang, you know how much I loved the music references. I'm humming Air Supply now.

Cat said...

Wonderful piece - the wall was her only partner, head up - god I know this girl!

Indigo said...

Such familiarity in these sentiments. An echo of memories past...wonderful writing dear one! (Hugs)Indigo

Tracey said...

Oh! My heart.... So gripping, hon.

Well done.

ConverseMomma said...

I've seen what you can do on the sidelines, unassuming. They do not notice who you really are until... Youu unfurl those wings of yours and suddenly the whole room takes flight. If I could raise up any one person in the blog-o-sphere, any friend in my life, and get people to really see their courage and their beauty, it would be you. But, you don't need me or anyone to do that. You are your own force. You carry the weight and motion in the tips of those fingers busy, beautifully typing things like this.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...


MoziEsmé said...

So well written. Brings back memories of a time I'd rather forget...

Nap Warden said...

You really are a talented writer.

Trannyhead said...

Aww ... I feel like such a biotch to say so, but I can't relate, really. Well ... there WAS the 8th grade dance. I brought this guy who was totally hawt but he was shy. So we danced to the slow songs but the rest of the time we didn't talk to each other. But I guess that isn't really the same.

I was a total party whore. Or maybe just a whore in general.

Heather said...

Oh, the angst. I wouldn't go back there for anything.

I see you are a follower of Angie’s blog, Keep Believing. We have set up a way for friends and family to help from a distance. Please check out if you’d like.

Kat said...

That girl was ME!!!!!
Beautifully written. Wow.

I remember when I was getting ready to go to a dance, complaining about probably not being asked to dance, my brother looked at me and said, "Just don't be that girl who cries at the dance. Don't do it. Everyone is annoyed at that girl." And it stuck with me. There were a number of times I wanted to cry at a dance, but I never let myself. I didn't want to be that girl. ;)

I love this post!

Kelley said...


My girls are going through this now.

painted maypole said...

were you following me around at the RollerRama when I was in 7th grade?

Hyphen Mama said...

GET OUTTA MY HEAD! Yes, that was me.

That's also the reason I'll never attend BlogHer. I don't need to relive those years.

crazymumma said...

gah. you made me think of my grade 8 dance.


abby p said...

I can so see you yanking off those skates in an EFF IT sorta way.

Those pimple-laden boys with body odor were so not worth it.

At least that's what I'll tell myself.

CC said...

Are you describing my teenage years? Never mind, I guess I would have had to show up to even have a partner with the wall!

Beautifully written :)

tommie said...

you have such a way of writing to draw me into it..

Momisodes said...

The details here are so perfectly outlined.

I remember being there, painfully alone, myself.

So many times.

maggie's mind said...

Your writing always just blows me away. Seriously. Wow.

Woman in a Window said...

ugh, this (unfortunately) brought back a deluge of memories, most of them wet and hot on the neck and unwanted. That means what you wrote is really good.

Karen MEG said...

This one's for all us wallflowers, baby.

That was gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.

amanda said...


the writing of course. not the moment. bc man have we been there and so desire not to go back.

Lindsey said...

Fabulous, once again. Velvety, cascade, ethereal....I'm a sucker for flowy words. Write a book.

nikki said...

Wow, takes me back to my teenager-hood. Except I never had pretty long hair. It was more afro like.

Beautiful writing.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Read your other post and had to read a few more.

And you are totally a writer--a really good one.

Kaytabug said...

I am totally blown away by this post!
I was a total wallflower, still am.
So much of what you wrote resonates in my memories. WOW!

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