pastel dinner mints, it seems, are the way to get through a small-town midwestern religious wedding when you look like a freak.

i worked the guest table, i handed out four different kinds of cake, i was a member of the bride’s family, and i still got some strange looks.  my tattoo and nine earrings were prominently on display, since i had put my bright-orange hair up in two buns on either side of my head, so i suppose it should have come as no surprise that none of the indianans really wanted to talk to me.  the gold glitter on my eyelids probably didn’t help either, nor did my gauzy orange-and-purple dress.

there was no alcohol served at the wedding, so dinner mints it would have to be.  since i was helping out in the kitchen, i knew where the plastic jar was.  and there it sat, in a grocery bag right next to the mixed-nut can.  i grabbed one handful and munched on them as i wandered through the halls of the small community church.  i ate them in spectral order: first the white, then yellow, then green, then pink (i had to jump from green to pink because there was no blue or purple).  the mutant mints i saved for last, breaking in half the ones that were stuck together.  finished with that handful, and not knowing what else to do, i went for another.  and another and another and another until finally, i was oozing sugar and peppermint from my every pore, breathing mixed shades of pink and green.

after the wedding, i helped serve the wedding cake and the three other cakes.  my aunt cut pieces from the three cakes in the kitchen, for me to deliver to the hall to my mother, who was cutting the wedding cake and trying to keep the same amount of each flavor out on the table at any given time.  as i would scurry out of the kitchen carrying various slices, she would yell flavors at me.  “alison, carrot!” she would shout, as i brandished slices of yellow.  “alison, chocolate!” as i carried the carrot.  meanwhile i ate yellow mints, pink mints, green mints.

i suppose the moral here is that i didn’t throw up, but nobody talked to me, either, despite my minty-freshness.


today it’s been storm and sun off and on, and it smells like it’s been raining milk, because every time the sun comes out and hits the gathered puddles in the street, there’s a horrible rancid odor, which i thought at first smelled like the insides of a dead cow, but i’m sure now that the smell is actually spoiled cow secretions and not cow internal organs.

that was one sentence.


the southmore house got evicted from the southmore house, and tonight we went to see their new place, which consists of an apartment building, an adjacent house, and a former body shop called “now it’s fixed.”  veronica, dave, rob, ellen, erica and i made the five-block trip from old southmore to new, where we opened the garage doors and explored “now it’s fixed”.  it’s a typical body shop, with grimy brick walls, a greasy toilet, and an office and closet encrusted with gook.  dave and rob and ellen walked down the street to fiesta to get beer, and twenty minutes later we were drinking shiner, munching doritos, and watching dave pressure-wash the dirt from the walls.  we each took a turn with the hose, spraying the white-painted cinderblocks, watching ancient filth flow down to the concrete floor.  on one of the walls, a poster of alan jackson endorsing body paint was annihilated.

i feel like me again.