She walked across the grocery store parking lot with a smile and a purpose.
She said to me, “I love your hair.
Could you please
tell me how you
to make it
My head said quietly, “I hate my hair. Thanks for reminding me of it. Please go away.”
My mouth said out loud, “Thank you! Actually this is the post chemo hair I was gifted with.
I am trying really hard to be grateful
She said to me, “Oh, wow. It looks great. I was wondering how you got those parts to look blue?”
My head said quietly, “Desperation.”
My mouth said out loud, “I put a little bit of temporary dye in there. It’s super cheap and easy to do. It distracts me when I look
She was naturally joyful and kind. She smiled big, with all of her teeth showing.
She said to me, “Well that is just fantastic. My mother is looking for a new look and this might be perfect for her. I’m so glad I saw you. My mother just moved and has been a bit depressed. I told her a new look might help her feel better.”
My naturally curmudgeonly head said quietly, “Please go away. I hate my hair. Everything sucks.
My mouth said out loud, “Well, I usually feel like an 80 year old woman when I look in the mirror. The blue dye has made me feel a
She shook her head in a knowing, sympathetic way, side to side and then up and down.
She said to me, “It’s sooooo fun-neeeeee you mentioned that!! My mother just turned 80 and recently stopped dyeing her hair. That and her recent move into a retirement home has her feeling quite old. I told her her she just needed to add a little bit of bright color to her hair,
My head said quietly, “See, Melissa. It’s proof, you really are an 80 year old woman. You will never be the same again. That elderly lady is your peer now!
for 46 year old self.”
My mouth said out loud, “Oh yes, this will help your mother a lot! It will perk her right up! You can get it at the beauty supply store. Just a warning though, it takes really well on grey hair and will last much longer than the 8 days
says it will.
I got in my car.
I put the key in the ignition.
I sort of started to laugh.
And then I sort of started to cry.
I tried to empty my stupid head.
But somewhere from the black hole
of my head
way far in
“She needs you.
That 80 year old lady needs you. She needs that funky blue dye to feel young again in that nursing home. She needs to be noticed. She needs something to keep her alive, even more than you do.
You served a purpose.”
The rest of my head screamed back, “No, no, no, this all sucks. There’s nothing good about it. I’m a mess. There’s no way I could help anyone.’
And a whisper answered
I started the car, the radio blared alternative 90’s rock,
all the voices
For this moment, radio blaring, I wasn’t 80.