A Stitch in Time
Twenty-one sleeps, one haircut, one $6 box of hair dye, and no one’s showed up to get me. I figure it’s time to learn the name of this new town— time to give myself a brand new identity too. Shelly, along with her platinum locks, is gone. Like my “medium ash brown” hair, I blend in now.
This town’s 50s-style diner is as good a place as any to start fresh. I choose a taupe and tan-striped booth in the back of this Pantone-colored eatery so I can see anyone who comes in. Not that I think anyone’s coming to look for me. Twenty-one days of holding my breath.
I think it’s safe to breathe again.
I take a fresh gulp. Fresh. Beautiful.
Breathing makes it easier to finish my monogram. I always sew my new initial onto something easy to stitch, something easy to re-stitch the next go-round.
After all these times, the needle should give me flashbacks. In-out-in-out.
Shed one name. Embroider another over my heart. No pin-on name tag for me, thank you very much.
I prefer a tattoo, just not as permanent—new authentic branding.
I stitch a stitch and smile.
Waitress-Loves-To-Stare-At-Me is back with my coffee. “Here you are, ma’am, and a job application. This is the diner in Mayhew, Miss…”
I hold up the white tee with the unfinished marigold “L.”
“…Well, here you are, Miss Lenora,” she rests a bony hand on her bonier hip. “Say…do you mend clothes, zippers, hems, and the like?”
Shelly starts to say no, but I, Lenora, catch her, “Why, yes, I do.” I can’t just look the part, I’ve got to walk the walk too. Or at least look like it.
“Then have I got some jobs for you! Do better with that than with waitressin’!” She snatches back the application and makes her way to the kitchen, her yellowed, cotton-candy hair bouncing.
Lenora, I think closing the stitch, is a seamstress in Mayhew.
From a storyteller’s perspective: It takes about twenty-one days to establish a brand identity, and even longer to establish brand authenticity. But when it comes down to it, is authenticity more than a story brands choose to tell? Tell the right story with the help of Two Red Crows expert storytellers.
Read more stories from the Two Red Crows writers. Not all of them are about imposter sewists.
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