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like an arranged marriage...

I cannot say it was love at first sight.


“It’s really beautiful,” I say. Inside I am thinking: but it doesn't feel like me.


Me, a scrappy New York City woman, a red and magenta fiery sky woman, a slow cooked, meat off the bone gal. A calloused heals, tangled hair, and muddy toes woman.


I am not lying, I do like it. “But I am not sure the color is right” I say.


“It’s evocative,” she says with a convincing tone. “Moody and intriguing.”


I had a different idea of what it should look like, feel like. I thought it should feel like how I felt back then. Humid, sticky, hot like a wildfire, windblown, messy. Like the subway—graffitied, noisy, and metallic. Like piss-smelling angst-in-motion.


She grants me some grace. We tweak, we remove, we add, and enlarge. We play with alternative colors. She remains patient, encouraging.


“But I’m still not sure it feels like me.”

I hear her sigh. “It’s not you.”


I tell myself don’t be stubborn-Taurus-Sherry this time. Learn from the experts. Trust the process. So, I surrender, and I commit. Practice loving it, I tell myself, meditate on the things that are right.


Like an arranged marriage.


And I do, for days and days and days and days. Twice each morning and once during nights. I squint my eyes and breathe with the image —I zoom in on the cigarette in the windowsill, the white textured layers of swirling smoke rings trailing out towards the melancholy blue background. The jagged-edged boxy letters in solid black ink. The open window, the scaffolding.


I remember who I was: a fiery red and magenta, full of angst city girl. And who I am now: a cool moody blue mid-life woman who loves hard, and wrote a WHOLE damn book!


And just like that, I see it. It’s all right here. It has been all along.


It is…YOU are…absolutely exquisite.


And just like that, I fall in madly love with my book cover.


~~

A Smoke and a Song: A Daughter’s Memoir of Living in the Layers (She Writes Press) releases August 1st, 2023. Preorder your copy today @ Amazon/Bookshop/Barnes & Noble/Target/or wherever you buy your books. Sign-up for my mailing list @ sherrysidoti.com


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