A Walk in the Woods

I was hiking with Matt the other day.  I wasn’t supposed to be free that day.  I was going to a baby shower and Matt was planning to hike on his own.  Then, a few days before the shower, my friend went into labor and the shower has been postponed, indefinitely.  With one extra guest.  So I went hiking instead.

We were walking up a trail and I was thinking about my friend and her new baby girl, who hadn’t yet been named.  Matt made the comment that the terrain we were hiking through looked like the area where the show Deadwood was shot. I agreed, and that make me think about the character Trixie.  Because I was already thinking about names, I started to think that I’ve never known anyone named Trixie, and I wondered if there were ever serious women named Trixie before the name got reserved for the hooker with the heart of gold living in a western town archetype.  I would think that would have been maddening, to be a socialite or philanthropist with the name Beatrix “Trixie” LaRue and everyone sniggering behind your back, no matter how many tasteful paintings by starving artists that you bought.  That thought made me want someone to do a social experiment where they name a kid a ruined hooker name like Brandy or Cinnamon and then send her out in the world to see if she can get a PhD, because I bet she can’t. That is when I decided Cokie Roberts was probably born “Cookie” Roberts, but then one day, she realized she was going to write books and argue with distinguished men on TV so she changed her name. Then, every time someone accidently called her a name synonymous with little dismissive discs of sugar and frosting, she would yell, “It’s Cokie! Like ‘cocaine.’ Got it? “And then she would throw a hairbrush at their head.  Smart lady.

This has been a tour inside my head and thought processes. Thank you for taking it with me.

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and stepmom. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. My essay "The Red Rock Chronicles" was published in Contemporary West magazine. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my family and our Goldendoodle. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: rachelclewis.com @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

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