Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Tomorrow is my last hair appointment with my current hairdresser.

I met her shortly before Alan passed away.
Can't remember what she knew about his illness,
just remember returning to her shortly after, and he was

My mom came along, I was afraid to be alone,
afraid to be in a place where talk abounds -
the spinning chair like therapy or the back seat of a car for a child,
faces in the mirror but meditative, thoughtful conversation.
It's a strange ritual, words to the sound of scissors whittling,
paring things down artfully as part of us is shed.

That morning I can't remember much.
The anticipation of being in public,
the anxiety that consumes
when you feel as though your face says it all.
He's gone, my partner died,
he is dead.
People will see my face.  They will know.
They will wonder.
And the fear that if my mouth opened
there could be no words -
but a waterfall
of sobs poised at the top of my throat, ready to
cascade beneath the discards
as they floated to the ground.

She came to greet us, we were on a padded bench,
not sure what we said,
but know what must have been said.
It was quiet that day.
Sad silence but she made it ok.

Since then she has been through the anticipation and birth
of my girl.
She has done my hair regularly,
I breast fed under her wraps,
she has trimmed Lily's bangs, given her an 8 year old streak,
I have sent dear friends to her,
I have met her husband.
I know of her family, her musical and literary loves,
her food obsessions, her fasts, her yoga pursuits.
She has been a striking force of positivity
and has been with me through my parenting endeavors,
my travels, my milestones.
She has met Adam,
she has been
A removed fixture yet reliably present, I have never seen her outside of our appointments.
But she still has been the old friend you resume conversations with,
despite the lapse between visits.

She is off to a new, tropical home,
where I know the warm winds will envelop her with comfort and right-ness.
She will be well, her man will be fine,
and I will send her off with a Patti Smith book
so that she may bring an account of New York's most raw, most lyrical ruminations with her.
Those words can always be a comfort on the crests of waves,
amid the stillness of heavily fragrant air.

And I will move on, close this book,
and be grateful for what we shared, in our own, subtle way.

It is strange to say goodbye to people who
Knew You When
and Know You Now,
she's been a touchstone in my recovery.
And now off she goes on a new journey,
leaving behind a well tended garden.