I am Ophelia.
Today, my young friend, Alice, and I were blown by the wind, far away from our familiar home (never mind where) and into a strange and mysterious new land, where everyone and everything was unfamiliar and new.
(I am Krystal. I am an irritable, lately miserable, frumpy housewife, and this afternoon, after the most miserable morning, as the wind nearly blew us off our feet, my daughter declared, "thank goodness we're too heavy for it to blow us away" to which I responded, "maybe we're not. Maybe the wind can pick us up and carry us far off, somewhere where we don't know anything or anyone. We can start brand new. We'll pick new names, and speak in funny accents! What's your new name?"
"Alice," She replied. "What's yours?"
"MOM! You can't be a boy's name. Pick a girl one." Sometimes she has no sense of humor.
"Ophelia," I declared, as I threw my arms to the wind, secretly hoping it could carry me away.)
"Ophelia," she began, in the most charming British accent, "where can we go for some water?" Finding myself parched as well, I decided we'd venture off into this new land, meet the locals, and see if our "home" money could buy us a few refreshments.
We found ourselves nestled inside a cozy little hamlet (Applebees) where most of the locals seemed friendly enough.
"Look at that pretty little baby boy there. What do you think his name is?" I asked Alice. "I'll bet it's Francisco."
"That's not a boy." She insisted. "That's a girl."
"In disguise?" I asked.
"Yes. It's a girl, disguised as a boy. Her name is Sarah. She's a princess." Alice looked worried, as she looked around, suspiciously.
"Are they looking for her?" I whispered.
"I think they are."
(The waiter, Joshua, appears. "What are we up to today, ladies?"
I reply, in character, "my young friend Alice and I are out in search of adventure today." Alice covers her mouth to hide her obvious giggle.
"We're pretending," she whispers, and our waiter doesn't seem as if he entirely gets it, but is friendly enough, and goes along with our silliness.
"Ahhhh! Well, what kind of adventure are we looking for? Where are ya headed today?"
To which Ophelia replies, "where the wind takes us!" Alice erupts into laughter, as we order three desserts "two cherries on this one, please," and two gigantic waters. Joshua disappears.)
"Alice! I've just remembered! It's your twenty fourth birthday!"
Alice looks surprised. She should. She doesn't look a day over six.
"Oh, thank you, Ophelia!"
"We should do something to celebrate. Perhaps a nightclub later. We can dance."
We break into finger-pointy, shoulder wiggly, seated style chair dances. Alice is briefly mortified as Joshua returns with our water.
"I WAS SO THIRSTY!"
"Yeah! Hydrate!" Joshua cheers. People are strange here.
Alice and I pass the time by drawing rainbows on her place mat, and by inventing secret hand signals, in case we soon discover that this land is a hostile one. However, we didn't get much past the signal for "I love you," because attention spans are short when one is six. Er, twenty four.
I remind her again of her birthday, and we realize suddenly that today is my twenty fourth, too.
A waitress arrives with our desserts. A hot fudge sundae, some sort of warm pudding concoction, and a strawberry shortcake. All three piled with whipped cream, and stuffed into over-sized shot glasses. Our eyes widen as we survey our sugary lunch, and thank the messenger profusely in our terrible accents. "Oh, how loveleh!"
Quickly, I notice that there is only one cherry on the sundae. Ah well. Nothing was perfect in our old land, either. That won't spoil our feast. We grab spoons, and dive right in.
Joshua arrives, as Alice and I are both in mid stuff, cheeks full of whipped cream.
"How is it? Did they remember to give you two cherries?"
"They didn't," I said, "but that's alright. Everything looks totally pleasant."
"Well, that just won't do!" He said, and he disappeared again...
"Oh, this was just a lovely idea, Mommy. I mean, Ophelia." Her face was sticky with chocolate and whipped cream and ice cream, and some sort of strange mixture of all three. Her pretty hair still in tangles from the wind that had sailed us over.
Joshua returns, with two shiny cherries, resting on a dainty little plate. "It's not a party unless there are enough cherries!" Alice is beside herself, and immediately snatches one up, and dangles it in front of my mouth.
"Look around at all the people who came to celebrate your twenty fourth birthday." I say.
Sarah, the baby girl in disguise as a boy, is carried by.
"There goes the princess!" I say. "Do you think Joshua is looking for her?"
"I think he is!"
"And he brought us those cherries..."
We both look at the plate with the single cherry. "I'll bet they're poisoned!" I say.
"No they're not!" Alice insists. "I ate one already, and it wasn't poisoned."
"Well, then. You eat it. You eat that one, and tell me if it's poisoned. I don't want it."
Unaffected, she snaps up the remaining cherry, and chews it defiantly.
I feign wooziness, and pretend to faint. She isn't fooled.
Midway thru our third dessert, Alice decides she can't eat anymore.
"Ugh. I can't get thru it, Mom. If I eat anymore, I'll blow up."
"Like a blow-fish?"
"What's a blow-fish?"
"It's a fish. It fills up with air and gets big and round and fat. Like this (puffy cheeks)."
Alice looks unimpressed. "No, not like that."
"Well I don't want to look like that. Who knows what might happen in this weird new world. You'd better help me finish this, so I don't blow up like a blow-fish."
We finish our dessert, and immediately break into more finger-pointing, wiggle dancing, pausing only when Alice thinks someone might be looking. She is briefly mortified once again when Joshua returns, and asks her if she was doing the Karate Kid maneuver. She stares at him, blankly when he remarks on the generation gap.
"Oh, no," I reply. "She's twenty four today!"
(I am Krystal. I am an irritable, lately miserable, frumpy housewife, back at home again, wishing things could be different. Hoping that my little daughter will be able to remember the fun adventures of Alice and Ophelia, and forget the shit that drags on in between. Knowing full well that isn't how it works.
Wherever we were, it was lovely there. I hope she'll ask me back soon.)
I am Ophelia. I was blown here by the wind.