Never mind me, I’m just changing my clothes again in a parking lot, going from heels, pantyhose and a silky dress to yoga pants, t-shirt and sneakers. It seems that my poet laureate years, compounded by various book tours, have turned me into a quick change expert of sorts.
Tops are harder than bottoms when it comes to changing in parking lots of libraries, small town grocery stories or mega stores. The main challenge is getting the arms out of one top, while keeping the chest covered, then putting the arms in the other top and pulling it all through. Bottoms are a cinch, especially if a dress is involved. Socks and shoes? Pretty easy. Pantyhose? Not so much, especially since it’s necessary not to get my legs tangled in the shifter sticking out from the steering wheel. So far, so good: no indecent exposure, although I am careful to change when no one is around (as much as I can help it). I suppose I could haul clothes into public bathroom stalls, but to be honest, it’s easier and somehow safer in the car (no fears about flushing a dress away).
When you become a writer, you imagine all the skills you’ll need: fast-typing, handwriting legible enough that you can read it, keeping track of what pages and files are where, and learning the ropes of sending your stuff out for publication (oh, the many envelopes and heavy books listing journals and publishers!). Sometimes, you pick up an unexpected skill. Although that is learning to play the harmonica or do the Charleston, at least I I can turn from public author or private schmo, all in the privacy of a mini van with over 240,000 miles and dozens of costume transformations to its credit. Viva la mini-van!