desert wanderland



The dark skinned woman points to her face and asks the question again.  “Skeeen? Vatdoyouuse? — Nice.”

Imagine.  I hold up the small jar of Vaseline she’s about to ring up and add, “water, no soap, well occasionally some mild scrub — maybe twice a week — I like Aveeno.”  Ok, enough.  She was probably just being polite anyway.

Imagine.  Not a bad thing to hear at 6:30 in the morning when I’m padding around Mandalay Bay in hotel-issued slippers and a sweater thrown over what I slept in last night just minutes before observing what may be the new cleavage — a woman exposing her bare rear end like people do this all the time, what are you looking at?

Imagine. I start the trek back to my room with a new spring in my step —clutching my magic skeeen potion and thinking ‘who knew waking up to find a dead computer and the entire hotel without a drop of water could be so much fun?’

Imagine.  My boss and I gowning up to attend a big gala that night.  Me standing in a reception space listening to Ode to Joy played a million different times a million different ways while the room fills with 5,000 people sipping Curtinis and Maritinis.

Imagine.  Me being a sucker for a guy in a white dinner jacket and it taking a few minutes to register that my boss has been found by the friend she was hoping to find.  A few more minutes to register that the friend has a friend, and a few more minutes for the introduction that will send the friend’s friend into my arms screaming “Jul-eeeee!  Oh my god!”

Imagine.  Two girls sitting pretty in party dresses on the bench of a picnic table at a birthday party 40 years ago.  Thrown together in the desert at the 70th Anniversary of a legendary Minnesota company along with Garrison Keillor, who boarded the airplane right behind me less than 48 hours ago.

Imagine.  Unhooking myself from a few things I take for granted and a few things that I control and that control me.   And then just letting go.

I think I could be on to something here.

Author: Julie Ann Stevens

My art flows from the patterns & paths of my lived experience which ⏤ like yours ⏤ are at once deeply personal and entirely universal.

One thought

  1. We will need to review on Wednesday. Yet again the BB is left Thinking “do I really understand” Then again I like Aveeno too.
    See you on Wednesday

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