Kenneth Avery is a Southern humorist with well over a thousand fans. The charm and wit in his writing span a nearly a decade.
And There She Stood
at mid-way on the front steps of our school building. Both of us were frozen like popsicles. She was trembling and it was only July. I was sweating like I had been sentenced to picking cotton in some forsaken land in Alabama. She was a true princess, I could tell right off. But she didn't act the part. I was hoping that she would after we began to act human again. That moment never happened.
At first, her face was almost in grimace. Fear from me opening the door too quickly, I can only assume. My clothes were clean. I was clean, and I even used real soap the night before. If anyone challenged me, I would be glad to show them my water-soaked wash cloth. Rural people, I find, are very suspicious. Not this girl in a blue dress looking the part of a Southern princess. She was at peace. All except her eyes that darted up and down. This didn't prompt me to laugh. Funny, I thought that all fifth-graders laughed. Not this time. Not by seeing this ravishing beauty wearing a blue chiffon dress. No way!
In a very small sparkle of the sun, our eyes locked together. We were only fifth-graders, but I had heard my dad use the term, eyes-locked. It sounded good. And she never protested me as I stood there, eyes-locked, heart running, waiting on her to speak. As I stood there, I wondered if this moment, this rare moment, had ever happened to me. Silly idiot. A person will know if that moment has happened to them. I ask too many stupid queries. The girl in the blue chiffon dress must be someone who only loves answers.
By Now, Our Hands Brushed
as she was attempting to pass around me and I was so enamoured by her beauty, that I was like an old scarecrow, dressed in a burlap vest, ragged pants, and a mouth made of big piecs of white rope. I was standing stuck upon a piece of pine lumber. Man, did I look the village idiot. I knew how stupid that I looked when she walked by me, I caught the sight of her eyes looking me up and down. A buddy of mine (in the same grade) told me that girls with no morals like to size-up boys by gazing up and down, so I was scared. What if this girl dressed in a blue chiffon dress was an immoral girl? I would die if that be so. Not really, but I would find it hard to live.
But what do fifth-graders know? What do they think about? Some do not even bother to think. Such a horrible fact. But not the girl in the blue chiffon dress who has slowly walked by me headed to the school rooms to get more book-learning. I should be as pumped as she is. Did you notice that when we were in the ffith-grade, there wasn't words or phrases such as: pumped, prompt, and a truck load of others? Wow. If people around me here in this time were to see me, I would be taken away and put somewhere with a nameless sign on the building. This is a secret that I will treasure.
Now I am turning slowly back to where she went. I hear the distinctive roar of my friends in their desks while my teacher grades papers then gulps a cup of coffee, but we were not privy to this secret. I wonder what the blue chiffon girl will say when I say hi t her? Maybe good to see you, or some other respectful phrase. By her looks, she looks intelligent enough to write and quote poetry (from years in the future) and write little books about little women and yes, still be wearing her blue chiffon dress.
Please Tell Me What
is it about your blue chiffon dress? Or am I being too bold? Fact is, I love the dress. This is the first time that you have ever worn this pretty dress, and i never had the courage to tell you how much I liked it. This is all my fault. But still, remember the compliment about me liking your blue chiffon dress, it might prove valuable in those years to come.
Does your blue chiffon dress hold a special power to travel to and from time? Does your blue chiffon dress cause you to be invisible? I did notice out on the porch a minute ago that the breezes gently blew by you and your beautiful dress did not act-up, but the fabric did move ever so gently and smooth as if to say, thank you, for the breezes. Never in my mind have I ever thought of segments of Mother Nature being able to talk with one another.
Okay. Just let me ask you one question per day and I will be satisfied. My first question with your permission, what is your name? Hold it a minute. Just let me stand still and wait for my ears to tune to those melodic tones that will float from your vocal chords. Then we shall see each other again, say tomorrow, and I can ask you another question. Is this appropriate, to ask you one question about your blue chiffon dress?
It must be, because you are smiling and looking down at your feet.
March 26, 2012_____________________________________________________
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© 2021 Kenneth Avery
MG Singh emge from Singapore on March 28, 2021:
What a lovely article, thank you.