If I asked you to get a fast car, so we could just go anywhere… anywhere where the letter-c can’t go, would you? That’s what I had for fifteen years until twenty six days ago. Two days of just my immediate family knowing before I shared with my close friends and began blogging my way through my feelings. The temptation to simply flee is strong but it won’t make the letter-c go away. It was so much easier as a child… running and climbing trees with reckless abandon without responsibility looming.
I remember thinking that when I was a grown-up I would do anything I want when I want. No more curfews for me, no more doing chores and especially no more drunk adults screaming like banshees. Curfews and drunk banshees are gone. Chores I actually don’t mind. The hardest part of my childhood desire has been doing anything I wanted. I’ve explored different outlets, found joy in the majority of them and sadness in others. What I didn’t understand as a child, timing is everything. If only… I had that young dreamers energy again.
I said yesterday that Cisneros’ House on Mango Street influenced to try a vignette like hers about hair. Well, here it is:
Turning the Pages Vignette 1
My father’s hair was blacker than a nighttime sky without a star, yet sometimes it shone like it had its own galaxy hidden, especially when a blue hue appeared within his curls. My mother’s auburn hair was sprayed stiff and sticky with a daily coating of shellac. It was always stiff and scratched my face, so I avoided any close contact with it. The toxic smell kept us at a distance well before social distancing became a norm.
My father’s insistence that his daughter’s hair was long and his son’s hair short determined our appearances in our family. My sister Lori’s dark thick hair waved like the ocean curling across the sand in the night. Her hair bounced lively, showing the golden streaks the sun teased out of the darkness when she walked. My brother Rick’s sandy straight hair always stood up in the back like a submarine periscope. To his dismay, our mother fussed about the way it refused to collapse and would yell at the barber. My poor brother was humiliated every time she took him. He used to beg to go inside alone. My sister Lisa’s thin blonde hair hung down her back like streams of sunshine coming through a window. My mother would always brag to her friends how angelic she looked with her golden glow. Her ego became as inflated as a hot air balloon with all of our mother’s attention. My sister, Shirley’s hair, was almost as dark as my father’s and as thick as Lori’s but never had a strand out of place. Her hair never seemed to rebel regardless of the weather. She flaunted her perfect hair like a beauty pageant queen, but it was never enough to get our mother’s attention. My brother, Randy’s hair, was golden ringlets always made me think of butterscotch lifesavers the way they appeared to be lighter than darker on the edges. Those ringlets became his badge as he slid into his lifestyle. At the time, I envied each of my sibling’s hair because it had personality, whereas mine hung like a limp dishrag on a towel bar. My long red hair didn’t shine or even wave. Why did I end up with a mass of red hair that lacked fiery inspiration? In a moment of frustration or maybe teenage resistance, I cut it off right at the elastic where it was reined in at the top of my head in a ponytail. I felt joy losing the stringy strands. My rash act was the beginning of my rebellion to be me. Who knew that bold act of courage would open the door to years of exploring different hairstyles and experiencing heartbreaking times with no hair from chemo I learned my hair doesn’t define what’s inside me, it occasionally compliments it.
Amusingly, after chemo, my hair grew back wavy and is just as unruly as my brother Rick’s. Yay, of all them he’s the one I’m glad we look alike. ©
I chose Fast Car by Tracy Chapman today. My appointment for the MRI is today at 4:00 pm. Part of me still has the urge to flee and the other part just wants to get there and back so it’s done. It has loomed over me long enough. I understand needing all the diagnostic information to determine the course of action…but it feels like we’re moving at a tortoise pace. That impatient child in me isn’t really gone, she just tires quicker than she wants to admit.
“You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Anyplace is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose” ~ Tracy Chapman