Joanna Lee and Julia Latein-Kimmig

untitled, charcoal & acrylic on canvas
Julia Latein-Kimmig
inspiration piece


Girl’s Daydream in Cross-Section
Joanna Lee


All I wanted was a cat. Something both fluffy and self-reliant. But that needed me. Just a little. With big I-dare-you eyes in blue or green, and an arch to the spine I could emulate when I pranced barefoot in my underwear. I’d name her Sylvia or Lesbia or something else of that sort that’d sound cool and feminine and blur the delicate line between intellectual and geeky. Of course, to go with the cat I would need a cute little apartment with a big bay window to catch the morning sun and possibly a window seat with some worn but welcoming cushions for her to nap on. Something with high ceilings and creaky wood floors and a claw-footed tub; maybe even crown molding. I’d keep Christmas lights up in the kitchen all year round and hang big art on the walls. There’d be a fireplace where we could snuggle down with a good book when it snowed. She wouldn’t mind my singing to sad country songs after a prolonged happy hour, and I’d overlook the scratch marks on my second best overstuffed chair. There’d be a big bed with a canopy–not too frilly–just for the two of us, and lots of antique wooden furniture I’d shine up to look like new. It’d be part of an old stone-fronted home in an artsy district, with crooked brick sidewalks and a little plot of yard where I could tend morning glories in the spring and mums in the fall. She’d watch me from the porch while I putted, those blue-green eyes narrowed in skepticism, occasionally venturing out into the grass to chew on stray dandelions that would consequently make her sick. The place’d be walking distance from everything, and she’d peer through the window as I skipped off to get a coffee or go to yoga class, then settle into a patient ball of fur waiting for my return. Yet she could look after herself when I took those long weekend trips to the Outer Banks or to Paris, retreats to Fuji or southern Mexico when I’d miss her at least a little. She wouldn’t scold me about looking for steady work or complain if I didn’t cook dinner. And on those days when I couldn’t get out of bed or broke down crying for no apparent reason, I wouldn’t have to explain anything. She’d love Cheetos as much as I did, and we’d lounge by the hour feeding our mouths and our minds with junk food to the tune of one of those America’s Next Top Model marathons. When it’d rain, we’d sit together with our ears cocked, listening for the thunder; we wouldn’t be the types to be scared by lightning. I’d buy her a vintage-looking collar to go with my signature boho look. And on Wednesday nights when I’d have the girls over for an impromptu bellydance gig, we’d put new meaning into the word “hip,” and have the downstairs neighbors banging on the ceiling for us to cut out the noise. Watching her bat at a stray ribbon from one of the dancer’s scarves, I’d remember how to giggle. Seeing her languorous stretch beside the grate I might even be tempted to purr. Then, curled up under 600-count sheets with her steady hum beside me, I’d forget the meaning of heartache, and finally stop having dreams about the day my mother died. I’d wake up the next morning to cat-breath, and we’d begin it all again.



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  1. Posted February 26, 2011 at 5:15 pm | #

    I enjoyed both these pieces- they took me away in so many ways!

  2. Posted February 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm | #

    Thanks, Elizabeth! I like to think escapism is a mark of good art–in any form! 🙂

  3. Posted February 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm | #

    Seamless transition from art to art in this pairing. I love it!