"Pick up your shoes," Mother said, "don't you care about your appearance?" The house was clapboard, the town runny in spring. Elyse entered America in 1956 and half of Honeysuckledale, Pennsylvania didn't have a radio. To visit a friend's, it was faster to walk across a field than to drive. Prom dresses came from Sears & Roebuck. By the grace of a too clever mind in between the two braids that ran down her head and over her ears, Elyse was granted the privilege of college.
Elyse returned to Muhlenberg College her senior year newly anointed with peace, love, music, and mud on all her favorite flares. She asked her grandma to teach her how to crochet and macramé and made herself an autumn-colored wardrobe. She ironed her hair. She met Michael. And then Anna, Raquel, Georges, Sacha, Professor DeLeo ("Call me Tim"), and the magic mushroom.
At 56, Elyse still lunches with Anna, she's still married to Michael, she heard some poor girl finally pressed charges against Professor DeLeo, she's taught someone to macramé, and has landed in a cabin in California to hide out until the Republicans go away. She's not done taking on the world, but prefers to take it one small chunk at a time.
I welcome you to respond to this prompt in the comments, your own journal, or the privacy of your imagination.
*Prompt source: Uni English prof. Photo credit here