Parisianne plays BOLDLY with her new entry!

petticoat dancer

That Hour of Love Forever Lost

by Parisianne Modert

Past the age of being born, the counting of fingers and toes, burped after feeding, changing of diapers, baby baths, crib naps with music, first words, crawling, a stroller, standing and falling came the happiness of sunshine, white and purple clover, green grass, being read to, hugs against my father’s flannel shirts and the beginning of innocence. Wonder flamed the crackling, fireplace embers, freshly unpredictable as first seeing snow fall with a glee of sugar plum fairies dancing in the winter scented air. A new season appeared of digging in a sand box, rain drops. a soft clown marionette and my bunny rabbit. When does a child’s love of life really begin?

My mother called me her beautiful baby, loved my father, was content without worries during most of my first three years of life. Her second pregnancy sickness and birth of my Down Syndrome brother robbed her youthful optimism. Her attention turned to him which I resented and didn’t understand in 1955. My older, first friend, Jennifer became my playful days. My new bedroom became my Egyptian curtains, loneliness, and dreamscapes.

I rolled in the colors of fallen maple leafs in Fall with Jennifer, my next door neighbor, Mary, and our girlfriends. It was an age of wishing on stars that my parents could smile again.

The summer between age four and becoming five was the beginning of asking why others couldn’t see me as the girl I knew I was. One day in summer, three months before age five, I was visiting at Mary’s. Her house shared a grassy, unfenced backyard with mine. The older girls went to the living room to play ignoring me. Mary’s mother, Dorothy, was in the kitchen packing for the neighborhood picnic gathering in our joint backyard.

I wandered into Mary’s bedroom drawn to her open closet of crinoline, party dresses. Wide-eyed in love and imagination over the dresses rather than my slacks and a t-shirt, I fingered my favorite dress before getting caught by Mary and her giggling friends. I didn’t care, fantasizing of having long, curled hair rather than my disgraceful crewcut. In my mind, I had become the prettiest girl ever. I clung to the dress with my joy increasing.

Mary called out to her mother. Dorothy arrived to find me still insisting that I was a girl and wishing I could wear pretty clothes like Mary’s. I cringed in fear of Dorothy’ reaction to my boldness, but she was in a theatrically playful mood. As the girls giggled, Dorothy dressed me in the gown of my heart’s desire, put stockings, Mary’s shoes and make up on me. I was gushing happiness.

Dorothy and Mary paraded me proudly among our neighbors and my parents. They all laughed at me. My outraged mother called me a boy and insisted I go put my own clothes on.

I wept in private, humiliated by my mother’s angry judgements. That hour of love forever lost never was reconciled during my mother’s lifetime.

13 thoughts on “Parisianne plays BOLDLY with her new entry!

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    While I wish to thank the AWWYP staff for publishing my stories & poems over the last three years & my readers & critics; this will be my last submitted publication to AWWYP due to irreconcilable differences. My future path will be to focus on spiritual service & genuine friendships. I am grateful for my encouraged growth as an artist by many of you, but being an artist is no longer my main purpose in life. With these thoughts released from a disappointed mind, but peaceful heart, I would welcome conversations with most of you in a more private setting. I wish each of you blessings & happiness in your lives. Goodbye.

  2. Kyle Katz says:

    This was remarkably one of the most poignant, beautifully authentic pieces of writing I have read in a long time. I hope you continue your passions and bring to us your soul as you always have…unabridged on paper for all to view. Blessings and Happiness Parisianne.

  3. Monica Brinkman says:

    First, may you find peace within as your soul soars with love. I found your story not really a story, but a glimpse into the reality of being born into the wrong body and the pain endured. No one can imagine the emotional roller-coaster of life one rides when sexual identity has been confused from birth. You, Parisanne, shall go forth in spirituality, content that you are who you are, and that is beautiful. The best to you always. But don’t stop writing completely – even if for your own pleasure.

  4. Dolores says:

    Wow! this hits home for me. This was beautifully written from ( I sense ) a shattered heart. It is strength and courage you have demonstrated through your words. Thank you.

  5. Thornton Sully says:

    What a lovely and dignified exit, and a truthful, candid expression of the genesis of the despair that has plagued you in this unforgiving world. Say something irreverent? Juvenile? Moi? Never. Fare thee well, graceful lady.

  6. Laura G says:

    This is a fascinating, heartfelt story and I think this could work well as a prologue for the book you may later write. Your poetry still flowers the lines, but you do have a knack for memoir. The book could be “fictional memoir” if you work hard on the craft and write memoir with a poetic touch and fictional techniques. I think many people want to hear your true story and I hope you write it. Wish you the best!

  7. Grant Laurence says:

    The beauty of this piece of writing is only (no doubt) matched by your unblemished, beautiful soul and heart, Parisianne! The depth of this authentic prose is only matched by my sadness at your departure – selfish of me perhaps, as I valued reading your work and appreciated your constructive feedback.
    Let me wish you well in whatever you do, remembering I am sure that you are love…for without love there would be no emotion, and no art? And you are a true artist, a princess amongst thieves!

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