So I left Las Vegas, drove on crowded roads then nothing. Pulled
into a gas station on a deserted Highway and there were two large women,
with long grey greasy hair, no make-up, baggy T shirts big bra-less
breasts sitting behind a table selling 'baked goods' for the local
community centre. They were probably my age but looked much much older.
They liked my accent. I bought three cookies in a zip-lock bag for
$1.00. The cookies were all sugar. The women left a mark. Accident of
birth. I imagined what it could have been like to be born in Nevada,
to a single mum, never knowing my dad, pregnant at 16, didn't graduate High
School. Still there at 55. I drove away and thought of them for the rest of the day
(and even beyond).
We, you and I, are amazingly lucky. When boys hit on me when I was 18
in the working class discos I was in with my secretary girlfriends, who
didn't go to University, I had to tell them I was studying English as
they wouldn't know what sociology was, and I didn't want to embarrass
them. Those boys remained in my home town, married local girls. Many
of my friends remained as well. It could have been me.
I socialised with and loved those girls who left school at 16, hung out in discos,
drank, got breasts groped and then engaged, didn't go to University.
I had feet in both camps. Term time studying, drinking beers,
not dressing up, jeans and flat shoes, ambitions for careers. Then back
home for holidays (even the high heeled shoes, lipsticks and
white skinny jean attire was kept there as my being in that Midland
town was different to the being amongst University friends). I identified
with both. Imagine what it would have been like if we had been born in Nevada.