My sister and I had a matching set of silk pajamas, one pink and one blue. These silk pajamas made you feel free and limber with an air of regal sophistication and grace. That’s why, while wearing them, we were inspired to create a night of classical theater. We would preform in our pj’s as Strawberry and Blueberry interpretive dance moves to some moving, classical masterpieces. These performances could last five minutes or five hours, whatever the audience’s attention span could take. The audience was always our parents.
One night, someone had the audacity to ask, “How long is this going to take?” Does no one appreciate art when they see it? Do they know how much went into one of these performances? (Nothing.) Do they know what kind of emotional toll it takes on an artist to give this much of themselves to a performance? (We weren’t artists.) We decided that if we weren’t appreciated, we weren’t going to bother staying around this place any longer. We packed up a brown paper bag with two American cheese slices and two boxes of raisins, and hit the road.
But before we hit the road, we had to finish climbing out of our bedroom window, which proved challenging for me. The front door would have been easier, but that’s not what you use when you run away for good. My jacket got hung on a nail and I was dangling above the ground. The drop was not far from a first story window, but I began to yell because my sister kept yanking on my jacket and I was afraid it was going to rip. My parents quickly showed up at the window, lowered me down, and asked what was going on. We explained our plan to leave, and waited for the tears.
They wished us well, and agreed maybe we’d see each other somewhere down the line a few years. I was sure the pain was gonna hit them as soon as the shock wore off.
Since it was so late, we decided to camp out for the night in our backyard and get an early start to that long, lonely road in the morning. And to build up our strength for the day ahead, we broke out those cheese slices and raisins. Nobody was loving our decisions that night more than our dog. She had company outside, and she loved cheese.
It was when my sister went to knock on the back door and ask for a blanket that our adventure came to an end. We finally got yelled at to come in the house and stop getting our stuff dirty outside. I spent the last few minutes of the evening waiting for my turn in the bathtub, and sitting beside my dad at the kitchen table as he was eating grapes and explaining to me why it’s not okay to runaway from home. I didn’t join in on the grapes. I just sat there in a daze, drifting back to my time in the wild, misunderstood world of us runaways.