“The Unbearable Lightness of Being Dawn Baer” outfit

How people live without an alter ego I’ll never know. Lately, mine has been Dawn Baer. She wears vintage concert tees without bras. She wears wire-framed 70s dad glasses with thick lenses (so you can’t read her unspoken shade). She wears forest green wool berets hand-beaded with a tropical beach. She cadged her jacket during a stint in the Idaho Fish & Game. She inked her name on the label in all-caps: BAER DAWN.

When I think it’s finally time for Dawn Baer to hang up her beret, a bitter gust comes in. What’s blowing in the wind this time? Better put on your trusty Fish & Game jacket (that I found at the Antique World Mall), Dawn Baer.

Trigger warning: Bambi. I’ve now passed off a memory that involves the Idaho Fish & Game to Dawn Baer. See? It’s good to have an alter ego. Get some distance between you and you.

There I was…I mean…there she was…a dorky doe-eyed information forest ranger in her mid-20s in Stanley, Idaho. A middle-aged man came in to the station and said, “Do I have something to show you.”

Never go with a rural man to a second location, was a rule she did not yet know, so found herself standing in the parking lot beside his jacked-up, too-big truck as he opened the passenger door.

He placed a doe in her hands. Yes, Julie Andrews. A deer. “I found it on the side of the road near a steep cliff. Thought I’d save it.” Then he took off.

When the Fish & Game officer finally called Dawn back, his fury for every act of human stupidity pointed directly at her head. “The mother was probably right there,” he spit out. “I’m going to have to shoot it.”

Her fate and the doe’s fate seemed so inextricably twined. Both powerless in bureaucracy.

Dawn and the doe waited for hours in the head ranger’s office, the one with the spectacular panorama view of the Sawtooths, long after the station closed and the dusk settled in. She cradled the mewling spotted baby deer, looked into its guileless black eyes…while vainly apologizing for everything humanity has ever done and softly cooing about its mama…as it suckled the tears cascading down her cheeks.

vintage-made in USA ACT [Action Clothing Technology] Idaho Fish & Game green jacket – $55, Antique World Mall | Creedence Clearwater Revival In Concert black tee – $12, Antique World Mall | Italian wool yarn NN07 No Nationality knitted rainbow sweater – $75 (down from $400), Nordstrom’s Rack | hand-beaded forest green beret – $14, Antique World Mall | ADAY teal leggings – $120, | studded Frye boots – $75, Bombshell & Blokes Salon fall boots ale

Cheep it with Dawn Baer.