365 Days of Women Writers

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Day 48: You Leave Them by Mona Simpson

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I first enjoyed the uncomfortable pleasure of watching fame seeking when watching Star Search (you go Ed McMahon!) though the real winner of this category is clearly American Idol.

You Leave Them is all about the stage mother and her daughter who travel across the country in search of fame and fortune.

“My name is Heather,” I said. While we were driving she told me I could pick a new name for myself in California. It would be my television name.

“Heather, then. You know who I mean.” She sniffed me, “You smell,” she said, and handed me a towel. “Let’s have some scrubbing action. Get undressed and hurry up.”

I washed standing on one leg, the other foot on my knee, swishing the towel around lightly. Other women’s faces sealed the mirror. My mother didn’t notice women leaving the restroom but she saw that I was embarrassed. All of the sudden she saw that. And it must have seemed like a defeat. She’d driven all that way and now we were here and I was ashamed of her.


Written by Chance

November 4, 2010 at 9:51 pm