Hometown Girl

For “her”

My hometown is two women.

Or perhaps she’s just one – with a split personality.

Yes, that’s it: a single body, but two personae. She is a pair of good-hearted girls-next-door whom I think I’ll call "Dora." I so enjoy being with each; indeed, it’s difficult to decide which I like best. I suppose I’m a fickle suitor, but both are intriguing; each has her own charms.

Gaze upon her, won’t you? See her, now, with me. She’s tall – taller than most women, and many men – and slim: her waist is wasp-tiny (though with Dora, there’s no sting!) Her hair is as black as the sky that crowns her by night, and since she’s getting older, it’s dotted with starfire and flashes of Northern Lights. Her eyes are like Lake Michigan’s waters, shading and fading from pale blue, to soft gray, to kelly green, to stormy sapphire. Her skin, in winter, is white as new-fallen snow, and her soft-blushing cheeks bespeak trillium, daffodils, and the promise of apple blossoms; come summer, she tans, without burning, to a golden glow. Her lips are full, red and rich; the voice that passes through them is like the whisper of waves against the shore, the call of gulls, cardinals, and doves. Her breath is like the breeze: scented sometimes, I’ll admit, with dying algae, but other times with the perfume of pines, lilacs, and cedars.

To see her, even once, is to love her…

Both of her:

When I spend time with Dora Winters, there’s a quietness and a cool beauty about her that soothes and seduces me, teases and takes me in. We pass short days going from store to store, doing chores, stocking up and seeking hidden treasures. We pass long nights nestling in our cozy nook, lined with books, stocked with cheese curds and chicken chili, and decorated with paintings depicting warmer times, warmer climes.

Her mood and her manner while we’re together reflect an honesty I’ve experienced with no other and a gravity that stops me short, like an overhead branch’s worth of snow tumbling down the back of my neck.

When I spend time with Dora Summers, she’s a chattering, brassy, sun-kissed siren who strings me along and flies me like a kite. We pass long days in flowery meadows, on breezy beaches, and in shaded woods, tickling and giggling our way through delicious picnics; we pass short nights gazing at galaxies, counting comets, sharing our love under the watchful eye of the waxing moon.

Truth be told, Dora Summers is a flirt. I find myself sharing her with strangers who’ve found their way up to our precious peninsula: tourists from downstate and Illinois, who have no understanding of my lady-love’s other side. They see but a part of her, and thus don’t – can’t – love her as I do. My jealousy is tempered, though, by the knowledge that, come September, they’ll be going home – and she’ll remain with me.

Come to think of it, I do have a preference: it’s Dora Winters! For this lover, this locale, this town I adore – this uniquely tranquil place that others call "Door County" – is at her most serene snuggled in a white blanket of snow and listening to the whispered love poems of her evergreen cedars.


C’mere, you. The late-October leaves are falling, and there’s a nip in the air; let’s throw a log on the fire, Baby, and raise a toast to our time…


Paul McComas will be teaching a course in "Writing Our Lives Through Fact and Fiction" this summer from July 27 through August 1 at Björklunden. He will be reading and signing copies of his novel Planet of the Dates on Saturday, August 2 at 11am at Book World in Sturgeon Bay.