“Hi, Pretty,” Dorothy Allison says to me in a southern lilt that could melt three-feet of snow in Philadelphia in February.
I have my book opened to the title page of her memoir and hand it to her to sign.
“You’re another tall one,” she says. Her eyes sparkle.
Allison has just headlined the “Literary Adventures at Sea” program on our Olivia cruise to Alaska where she talked about feminism and lesbian literature and liking the tall butches because they’re fun to climb.
“It’s an honor to meet you,” I say. “I’m a writer, too.” I try to play it cool–Dorothy Allison … no biggie–as butches often do.
When I catch up with W back in our room, she asks how the signing went.
“It’s a good day when Dorothy Allison flirts with you,” I say.
Later, I can’t stop thinking about the word “pretty.” Allison hadn’t used it as an adjective but as a noun.
“Hi, Pretty,” she had said.
I’ve never liked being described as pretty. It always carries with it a feminine connotation.
pretty: “pleasing by delicacy or grace,” the Merriam-Webster definition reads.
I like the concept of pretty as a person or object, especially when the word glides from the lips of Dorothy Allison.
A tree-covered mountaintop.
An eagle soaring in the ice blue Alaskan sky.
A butch still trying to come to terms with her appearance in this pink/blue world of ours.