The Women

Parental Alienation

I remember Sylvia’s lipstick and hair the most.  She was the woman my dad went insane over.  The first serious girlfriend after my mom.  Her lips were thin, but not in the backwoods way.

In the south, there are two types of accents: The ones you hear in movies like Gone with the Wind and the Blue Ridge-mountains type.  Blue Ridge girls don’t have to live in the hollows.  They can simply live ‘out in the county’.  Their voices are like mangy cats dehydrated from the sun.  Their thin lips purse for something more quenching.

Sylvia didn’t need anything.  Her parents lived in a fancy development where you had to know someone to be considered worthy of dropping big money.  Once, when I was fourteen, I went over to her parents’ house for dinner.  The sofas were pinstriped red and blue.  There was a lot of wood mixed with old oil paintings…

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