For the first Story Story Night of our flagship season, MY OWN PRiVATE iDAHO: Stories of Wild States, I wanted to find the equivalent of the dress Adele wore on Saturday Night Live, which summed up a haute-couture, native-style Thanksgiving, in my leather-fringed mind.
Turns out, I was no Adele. Though I did find myself screaming, Hello, can you hear me? at the Shriners, who, to my nail-biting terror, could not get their sound system to work until five minutes before our show was slated to start. Both my head and my heart nearly exploded. Which seems at least Adele adjacent.
When we were younger and free.
In my own private Idaho, I am in kindergarten, peeing on a tree made of masking tape in the middle of the classroom.
I’d forgotten how it felt before the world fell at our feet.
In my own private Idaho, I am at the summit of Thompson Peak in the Sawtooths under a raincloud clad sky. My hair ominously rises up to meet the atmosphere. As I run my hand through the thick, electric-charged air, sparks go off between each finger. As if I am magic. Then the storm blows over. Leaving me awe-struck, instead.
There’s such a difference between us, and a million miles.
In my own private Idaho, we’re lying on the grass outside my apartment on the last night you’re in town. We’re coming down from mushrooms, gazing at the starry sky. Checking off two of our three main pastimes. You are a terrible idea. A knife to my dignity. If not to my heart or my soul, as those had been previously, thoroughly decimated. The only thing inside me at the time was wasteland, and you. In many ways you saved me too. And one of the last things I said to you was, “This is our own private Idaho.”
Hello from the other side.
It’s a wild ride. This life. In epic fashion, we crash and we burn and—if only we can just make it to the other side—we rise again. To our native state. And somehow we are forged. And the images of ourselves we end up with are not perfect, or exactly flattering. But they are human. They are made of wild, stupid magic.
Vintage racoon-toned sparkle dress (no tag), loaned (but never returned, oops) by a fan to Story Story Night | Carlisle black leather vest, $3.88 at Restyle | Frye “Paige” riding boots, $120 at LUX Fashion Lounge (MSRP: $388) | Hand-forged brass bracelet, $40 from a Navajo street vendor in Albuquerque’s Old Town