I walk across the purple sky.
I gaze up at the blades of green grass waving down at me from where I stand on this cloudy earth.
we made the most amazing oceanman out of salty waves.
the girls swam in the snow until their skin was as wrinkled as their grandmother's.
my mom is dead.
my mom died.
no matter how much I say any of those sentences, they just don't make sense. they are all unreal.
sometimes I repeat the fact that my mom died over and over in my head, and it makes less sense the more times I say it.
as I said, I don't often talk about hear death, or my sadness, but when I've tried, the conversation has been a flop, so it makes me more and more nervous every time.
I have really short hair, so I have to get it cut often. I can't stand when the hair on the back of my neck gets long--what a mom at school calls "hair boob"--so I need to go in and get my hair boob razored off every 4-6 weeks.
going to the hairdresser is a near-painful experience. it's a half an hour of small talk. I loathe making small talk. plus, i'm awkward and terrible at it.
I went to a hairdresser the morning before my mom was helicoptered to the hospital she died in. months later every time I went the to get my hair boob shaved off, I thought about telling that same hairdresser, because she was always asking about family and plans and so it was always relevant to explain why I was sharing what I was, but the thought of telling her made my palms break out in a panic until they were all sweaty and shaking each of my nervous little fingers. finally, one time--i'd just walked from the sink back to her chair--I said it. "my mom died last march." she didn't comment. so then I didn't know if she hadn't heard me or didn't want to respond. the last thing I wanted was for her to feel uncomfortable or pity me, so I didn't try again.
this school year I started going to a different girl at a salon really close to my house. it's easier to slip away from the kids and husband on a Saturday. I can return before they notice I've gone. this girl is young. really young. I won't even guess on her age because i'm terrible at that, but I realized something. time passes differently for young people than middle-aged people. here's how I made that discovery:
me: I didn't know you guys changed the name of the store.
her: really? it's been periwinkles for forever now.
me: seriously? I drive by this all the time and I only just noticed. wow, I guess I don't pay attention.
her: oh, yeah. it's been since, like, august.
me: uh huh. wow. that has been a while seeing as it's already October...
two months for her was forever. two months for me is blinking my eyes.
so we were approaching holiday season by the next time I visited her. thanksgiving. the anticipation of thanksgiving 2015 was...hell. i'm sure i'll do a blog post on that one. (you do all realize you're my grief counselors, right?) so she makes her usual small talk with me, the customer in the chair. and I decided, since I was feeling really low and particularly angry at the time, to try out my announcement again.
her: so, are you looking forward to thanksgiving?
me: not really. my mom died in march and my dad and I are fighting about where we're going to hold it.
her: oh, yeah. my family is a mess right now, too. my aunt who, like, never shows up for anything just announced she's coming, and my dad can't stand her so he doesn't want to be around, and then my sister,...
me: well, I hope it all works out.
her: I don't care. i'm going to the packer game, so I don't have to be there for any of it.
me: ah. that'll be fun.
her: yeah. so, are you looking forward to Christmas?
so, this is where I learned that hairdressers are not the right choice for letting out my innermost secret emotions. perhaps I should try the local bartender, you say? no, thanks. this is what you guys are for. insert smiley face emoji.
i'll leave you with this:
my mom died last march
she's really gone.