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FUN A DAY 2019 #21: Skye

She didn’t look like or have very much in common with either of her parents or siblings, she had always been her paternal grandmother’s favorite, and had taken after her. Grandma Helja was a civil eng more...

She didn’t look like or have very much in common with either of her parents or siblings, she had always been her paternal grandmother’s favorite, and had taken after her. Grandma Helja was a civil engineer and active community member in their small upstate hometown. A six foot tall blonde with a mischievous sense of humor and little tolerance for irresponsible and careless people, she’d felt comfortable scolding her son and daughter-in-law for their obliviousness toward their children, especially Skye. Skye wasn’t quite as tall or as lithe or as outgoing as her grandmother, and her hair wasn’t quite as blonde, but she’d inherited her dark grey eyes and proclivity for science, and she was proud to be her granddaughter. Helja was a self-described “tough old broad” who’d coped with widowhood and retirement by traveling, reading, and learning how to cast her own silver jewelry, and Skye hoped to grow up to be just like her, or to be even half as adventurous in her late 60s.
Skye’s hair was a dark dirty blonde, the roots visibly, significantly darker than the rest of it, and more than one unfamiliar woman had asked her, “Who’s your colorist?” since she’d moved downstate. Skye thought it looked like her hair couldn’t decide what color to be, which had annoyed her when she was younger, though not enough for her to consider dying it. Her eyebrows, which were the same color as her roots, were thick and full, she’d been asked about them too, by young women in coffee shops and bookstores, who were disappointed to learn that she only ever put clear eye brow gel in them, to keep them from getting disheveled and taking on that slightly deranged look they’d sometimes get. It had been suggested to Skye that these women were coming onto her, but she didn’t see how it could be possible. Balyage and bushy brows were on trend (or so she’d been told), but she thought of herself as plain, pale, and generally uninteresting to look at. She tried to blend in, and she kept her hair slightly longer than she liked it. She wore the oxidized silver crown ring and sword pendant her grandmother had given her as gifts every day (and also had an industrial piercing through the cartilage of her right ear), and these were the most feminine and attractive things about her daily dress. She wore high-waisted slacks, loose-fitting button down dress shirts, and sweater vests, many of which were purchased from the men’s side of the store. Her stylistic choices sometimes drew unwanted attention, especially when she’d trimmed her hair a little too short. She elicited longing glances too though, and wasn’t unaware of how handsome she looked to a lot of women.
She tried not to think about it too much, whether or not she was attractive or interesting enough, of the prospect of attracting or more likely failing to attract a mate; she wasn’t entirely sure that she wanted or should have one, didn’t feel it was really within her control, and chose to focus on her hobbies and work instead. She played video games, went to movies and museums, and read voraciously, and posted reviews on books by new authors to various pertinent websites, even though on many days, she would rather go back to the dog-eared copy of Stone Butch Blues that she’d first read in that LGBT lit undergrad course, or her even more worn copy of Anne of Avonlea.
She did all of these things by herself, having become even more of a loner since moving to New York, for what appeared to be her dream job, without knowing how lonely life in such a large city could be. She was an information engineer, and preoccupied with the collection, verification, and organization of data in both her personal and professional life. She’d gravitated naturally toward computers as a teenager, studied library and data science in Syracuse; for as much as she loved books, periodicals, movies, and looking stuff up, she’d studied engineering after she’d seen what kind of salary it would be possible to make. She’d always known that she would never have a husband, doubted that she would ever have children or live close to her family again, had no expectation of ever having any kind of traditional or even non-traditional support system or safety net. She’d done her best to plan accordingly, to brace for the prospect of living the rest of her life on her own, she knew that loneliness was an inevitable part of being the way she was, of having survived the things she’d survived. She did her best to embrace her life as it was, to look forward to her future, to traveling and taking classes and staying involved in local government just like grandma Helja, to maybe having a dog someday, or even two. She knew that she wasn’t owed even that, that she’d be lucky to make it that far, and so she’d prepared for a solitary life. She now had that life, but it was horrifically lonely, and worse, she had no idea how go about making it less so. She was an information engineer though, so she tried desperately to trust that she would figure something out. ...less

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  • 2 years ago