There are bookcases in my living room—an upper level of five shelves that go up to the ceiling stacked over a lower level of countertop with shelves underneath. The bottom section has matching latticed doors that I keep shuttered at all times because it’s always incredibly messy in there.
Every so often, I open the doors and clean things up. I sort through photos, jigsaw puzzles, board games, old packs of cards, books that are too big to stack on the upper shelves, old records, etc. I pack things to donate to charity, shove others in trash bags to hit the curb on collection day; I also end up putting things back into the cupboards—things I’m just not ready to part with yet.
I stumbled across my 1966 college yearbook the other day.
I poured a cup of coffee and thumbed through: page after page of young women who looked remarkably alike…page boy hairstyles, knee-high socks, plaid skirts, wool sweaters, Peter Pan collars and the occasional turtleneck.
We weren’t quite “Barbies,” but it was mighty close!
Anyway, as I was looking through the photos, I noticed that the school photographer had taken all our class group photos on stairways—page after page of sequences of young women posed (alphabetically, by surname; we’re of so little importance that we don’t even have first names) on stairways, one after the other, all lined up like little Stepford Wives, hands on the railing.
We are all the same.
The caption reads: D. Gould, W. Gillingham, E. Grant, L. Goldey, D. Gannet, N. Glesmann, K. Gardner, C. Givens.
And there I am, at twenty years old, standing on the bottom step.
I am so young that it makes me ache...