A Fairytale

In the sunroom watching the Royal Wedding, next to the piano, my brother’s violin, where my mother gave music lessons to a handful of neighborhood kids, and us. She’d yell from the kitchen with corrections, as I plinked out the first few bars of The Entertainer. I liked that song. I wanted to play it better. And I wanted to make my mistakes in private. I practiced less and less. I quit. No one corrects silence. And then there was Princess Diana, floating across our little TV screen in the corner, in her white satin dress, train dragging for yards, like a waterfall trickling down the steps. She took up all that space. She managed all that perfection. When she leaned in for the wedding kiss I thought what I always thought about weddings: being a bride seemed divine, but kissing a man while everyone watched was mortifying, almost a deal-breaker. I heard my mother behind me, as I sat cross-legged on the floor in my brown corduroy pants, faded at the knee: “I suppose you want to marry a prince now.” I remember thinking not now, but maybe later; I guessed I did, if that was the cost of admission. But it wasn’t about the prince: the big ears and awkwardness, the excruciating act of being claimed by a sloppy public embrace…The princess was a glowing beacon of beauty and benevolence, with her grace, her shy grin, her knowing patience. Like the good witch in every story that had a good witch in it: that was something to be.

Published by msdeer

I am an interdisciplinary artist, slightly incognito here.

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