I was born twenty minutes after the eleventh hour of the eighth day of the third month of a long-ago year. I was an average size baby, I’ve reached my developmental goals as was expected of me, and was a pretty normal child. Let’s just say I didn’t do much damage. And I was even sure I’d never leave my city.
Yep, I was a pretty boring child, and I’m sure my mom would agree with me. She’d tell me to be crazier, that it was okay to be silly sometimes. I remember her dancing around in the middle of the grocery store, swirling her skirt, trying to make me see the joy in being silly in public. I was embarrassed by that when I was little, but I also felt jealous. I wanted to be like her, I wanted to dance and not care if someone would see me or what they would think of me. And as years go by, I try as hard as I can to care less about what others think. It’s not always easy, but I try.
My mother is pretty amazing. I also remember her saying lines she had to memorize with her colleague on the streets. I was mortified, because she’d say things like “he shot himself right here” while sticking her finger in her mouth to show were exactly he had shot himself. I knew it was part of a theater play, but others didn’t, so you can imagine the looks they gave us. To be honest, I never even saw anyone looking at us. I was too busy looking at my feet and blushing three shades of red to notice anything else. But in my head I was sure she was drawing attention to us. And drawing attention was something I dreaded more than anything else in the world. It was worse than getting hurt.
The first time I did draw attention to myself, on purpose I mean, not by accident, was when I shaved my head. I was sixteen at the time. I have to say I was pretty happy with the result. I think it was then that I finally realized I was pretty. I was so afraid people would think I was a boy that I started wearing clothes that would show I was a girl. I started wearing make-up, big earrings, skirts, tights, and even showing some cleavage. Not that I had much to show, but whatever, I had some, and some was better than none. When my hair started growing I decided to give it a bit of a red tone. As time went by I started adding more and more red. It was like a drug, it was never enough. Now my hair has to be apple red for me to be happy. I tried to go back to brown, to even go with blond or black hair, but I always ended up going back to red. Red is my color. Red is me.
After that a lot of things have changed. My life changed quite a bit. I almost got married. I no longer live in the same city. Well, I don’t even live in the same country anymore. I moved to a different country, with a different culture and a different language. And although nothing happened as I expected, I’m glad things happened the way they did. I’m happy with the way things are, although they are so different from the plans I once had for my life.
And from times to times I start dancing in the middle of a grocery store. Just because.