(read by Tom Bedwin)
I don’t like blond. I like brown. I like black and I love blue.
So, when she said she spent yesterday bleaching her hair, I rightly panicked.
“What do you mean ‘bleached’?” hoping she meant highlights and streaks. She didn’t. She meant bleached, her whole beautiful, whimsical blue head of hair bleached.
“Is it too late to get a refund on your airline ticket?” I asked.
She ignored me. I wish she hadn’t. It means she knows I like more about her than her hair, than her devious blue locks, that I like her. But I don’t, not that I’ll admit to at least, not in public and certainly not to her, because if she knew she might know that I’m wrapped and warped and spun and I am, because despite her offenses, her petty offenses punishable by surgical removal of her in my life, I linger and I long.
It started with her irreverence, playful, pointed irreverence, never taking herself too seriously, and it morphed into me laughing…at myself. I need to do more of that. I take myself too seriously. This I know. So, laughing with her or alone is good, it’s good for my soul. But why would I want to be around her without her blue hair? Without it, there’s work, there’s embracing and accepting and overlooking and allowing…myself to be bent and shaped and stretched to accommodate someone who’s different. I did this before. I witnessed it. I would watch her without wanting to fix her. And I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t needle and I wouldn’t prick with my pins of judgment and dislike. Instead, I’d sit back. I’d relax. I’d listen. I’d listen to her be who she was, respecting her space and her journey and I wouldn’t interfere. I’d let her meet me later on the path, not my path or our path but everyone’s path. The path that we all seem to be on. Eventually, I let go. I let her go. I let her give her love to another, to that other who did for her what I could not do. I let her leave. I don’t want to lose another, at least not yet, not til I’m ready.
As much as I don’t like being pulled into larger, longer, more resilient and less resistant pieces, I know this process is good for me. It’s good for me the way laughter and laughing at myself is good for me. So, though I may not like it, though I may not want it, it is and I will allow it (as though she actually needed my permission…now that’s laughable!).
“Tomorrow, I’m going to bleach it again…” she said stabbing me a little more, a little deeper, making me grow a little darker.
She continued “…so that it can hold a better blue.” A deeper blue, a darker blue, a slightly-less-green blue.
“A blue that will be there for our trip to Beijing?” I hoped, while I thought: “on our adventure of hiking and sleeping and-maybe-another-bucket-list-item-that’s-better-left-unsaid on the Great Wall?”
“Of course” she said. “The blue will be there for Beijing.”
“Ahhhh” I breathed. “Forget about that refund. I no longer want it.”
“I know” she smiled. “Now I’m going to bed. Goodnight” she whisked whimsically away.
I love her being blue.