The scary-ass truth of the whole mess is that this town made me who I am – I am forcing it to own up, even if it doesn’t want to.
Because before I was the walking mound of
dorkbomb awesome I am today, I was Tiny Me – one half of the town fixture set of sweet little blonde twins riding bikes and going to dance class and selling Girl Scout cookies and generally doing our gleeful little girl thang in the Colorado sunshine of our safe and friendly hometown. (Gosh we were cute.)
Time passed – and I was Teenage Me. Not really a bad thing, unless you are my mom (sorry, mommy… love you. Seriously.) Even then – in all my teenage angst – I was still very connected to our growing burg. I sat on the Coordinators’ board at the local teen center from 6-12th grade. Hell my graduation speech was about how our little town had grown up with my class.
I got to try on all the different identities that appealed to my fickle Gemini teenage girl self – here where mountains-meet-prairie-meet-civilization they all made perfect sense.
-Wanna-be College Kid Me, in her Birkenstocks and wool socks baking in the sun over a cup of coffee and some pretentious novel on University Hill, nursing the broken heart of my College Boy first love lost and buzzing back and forth to Boulder in a rusted out $600.00 Honda Civic covered in political bumper stickers. All “student council VP” and “I’m SO testing out of this class and graduating early” and overwhelming desire to get things started already.
-Angry New Wave Me, bangs spiked straight up in the air with a mixture of egg whites and Aqua Net, Smiths t-shirt and worn out Vans cast off from the skater boy next door – smoking cigarettes under the street lamp in the middle of our tiny street with the rest of the suburban hood rats trying so hard to rebel. (Gasp! SMOKER!! Don’t worry – grown up Keri did give it up.) So much attitude and black eyeliner, I am lucky both came off as I got older.
-Country Sunshine Me, cowboy boots and boot cut jeans and the reason the Bull-Riders Only logo (about 1 inch big) is tattooed on my left shoulder – not that you notice with the others that have come along since. Throwing my overnight bag in the back of the Cherokee and hauling up to Cheyenne with my oldest friend for some family hospitality and country boys, Thelma and Louise style. (Well, sans the whole “death” thing… you know.) Hitting up the tiny county rodeos with my dad, farmer tans deepening as we walked the stalls looking the livestock up and down.
And a bajillion little mini-personas that came and went, no-harm-no-foul, as we all went through our days growing up here. Convening at the Country Kitchen Cafe, or the 7-11, or (for the most private and sacredly secret conferences,) the hill where the water tower (now towers) presides over the town spreading out before it – where we could stand and stare out and speak into the drop off, not looking at the other person, knowing the wind might well blow the words away if we weren’t quite ready to have them truly known.
If you consider all of those versions of me – then
City Me Current Me, makes perfect sense. An enigma, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a sarcastic comment, peppered with tattoos, cozied in a cardigan, rocking a pair of well worn-in cowboy boots.
I may be marinated in 17 years of city grit, but I am the monster they created here.
When I think of it like that – it is actually REALLY easy to want Jr to have every bit of the same.
Awww – she got sappy. LAME!!
( Add that to the description: “wrapped in sappieness.” I am uncontrollably, unabashedly sappy – and it is always a sneaker, Ninja-style Sap attack that leaves people going “awww man, she did it AGAIN! I need another beer if she is gonna get that way about stuff.” I know. I just don’t care.)