i waxed my face, and you’ll never believe what happened next.

If we were having coffee, I’d click bait you.  Click bait has been making me laugh lately, the way running-gag-knock-knock jokes do.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock knock.

Love to you, if you read this despite the ridiculous title.  Love to you, if you comment in click bait speak, or tell a knock knock joke.  Love to you, even if you never intend to read this at all.

Just love.
It’s all love today, even though I’ve been crying in bursts.

Not about face waxing. I did that weeks ago. Hours before my friend’s memorial, I went in to get my nails done and the lady painting them was horrified by all the hair on my face. She wasn’t swayed by my argument that I am a mammal, or the argument that I’m generally against pain. She promised it wouldn’t hurt and though I didn’t believe her, I went ahead with it.

That day, though it’s probably not the most mentally sound thing to say, a little pain felt reassuring. It was my body’s chance to vocalize that it was still there, in a safe and non-harmful way.

The poor lady had never skinned a werewolf before, so she tutted along, regretting her decision to do this for free, I am sure.

The wax was warm and the strips being peeled away were barely more than a sting, but tears rolled down my face and she had to stop to dab them constantly. “It’s not hurting,” she scolded me– concerned as much as annoyed.

“No,” I told her, “I think life is just hurting.” She nodded as if that made all the sense in the world and kept going. My face was sticky and pink before the funeral, and days later, I broke out everywhere. My face is currently in worse shape than it’s been since I was a teenager, and the hair has mostly grown back. My arched eyebrows didn’t even last a week. My pictures didn’t look any better in the two days between the peeling and the pimpling, so it’s not something I’d do again…

I’m still not clear on why I did it to begin with, or why I am talking about it now. It’s about grief, somehow, though I can’t put my finger on the why or the who.

Who’s there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock knock.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that very big things are happening. Things that involve venn diagrams and charts. I’d tell you how it’s all good things, but how those good things crawl up on me in my sleep– and they make me feel like I’m filling up the blank space where Dave was.

“I’m not a writer, but my husband is.”
“I’m not a writer, but my husband was.”
“I wrote a book.”

Banana.
Banana who?

I’d tell you about all the crying lately.  I’d tell you about the Uber driver who told me that I should write a book, even though we didn’t talk about Dave or prison or any of my Big Stories in the entire one hour drive. I told him little stories, about how I grew up, and the things I think, because he was having a bad day. I think I gave him a verbal version of the old Rarasaur blog, and the nostalgia brought me to tears.

I had forgotten until that moment that people have been telling me to write a book since I was a child.

I wonder how many people I will disappoint with this one. It’s a poetry book, and it’s ugly… but it’s part of something bigger. Bigger, and more frightfully wondrous.

It’s a foundation to opportunity.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Orange.
Orange who?

Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?

The joke makes me smile, even today, when thoughts of oranges remind me of all the colors and life that my home shares with Florida. It makes me smile even as I grieve in world-pain, and personal ache. In Florida today, if you didn’t know– 50 people were killed. 50 people who were probably someone’s family member, someone’s best friend.

I had a best friend, once. He was a writer, and he thought I was one too. If he were here today, he would have run a bath for me. He would have brought me hot tea, and kneeled by the tub to tell me a true story. The hard, painful kind that you need to hear.

“There was a shooting,” he’d say and I would listen with a stoic face until he said everything. He would tell me about the helpers– people lining the streets to give blood companies taking portions of their proceeds to help families in pain. He would tell me about the violence, the statistics, the theories– and I would listen. He would summarize what our friends said on Facebook and in their blogs. He would list the people who were nearby and whether or not they were okay.

And then he’d sit down with his coffee as I cried. He wouldn’t ever point out that I am incredibly fragile about these things, especially considering how strong I am in other ways. He wouldn’t say anything about how I didn’t know the ones who died, or how distorted my face looks when I wail. He wouldn’t cry, so I would cry for us both, and I’d fill up the tub with my tears.

Then he’d say “You ready?”

And I’d say, “Ready for what?” because I’d feel lost. But Dave– Dave could hold onto hope even when it was absolutely ridiculous to do so. Even when it was heavy and slippery and invisible to everyone else.

sick8

“You’re not the only one who lost today.” he’d say with an eyebrow raised. “Get dressed and make the world smile a little. Or… don’t get dressed, and make the world smile a lot.”

And I’d throw my towel at him, and laugh at the very idea. Meanwhile, the tub drains, and tears dry, and all the peace we created between us would fill me up and I would breathe it out.

Today, that door is closed to me– all its little stories and jokes preserved and locked away forever. Big things are happening now– stuff you’d need a venn diagram to understand.

I’m sipping this coffee from a venn diagram, the space where grief, and stupid laughter, and pain meet. That peace is in my past, and the door is shut, but the door in front is knocking, knocking, knocking.

Knock knock.
Who’s there?

Opportunity.
You ready?

Of course not.
You could never possibly guess what happens next.

___________________

Also, this post, in case it helps: https://rarasaur.com/2015/10/02/when-there-is-hurt/