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/

52 Comments

  1. You inspire me. Those words are heavy and full of so many others, too many going in too many directions to gather them all into sentences. But I want to thank you for that.

    Knock, knock.

    Who’s there?

    Raur

    Raur who?

    Raur, raur, raur your boat gently down the stream.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Ha! GOOD! I was getting all ready to be astonished and baffled at being the first one here, but then I remembered I made the rookie mistake of reading and thinking about it before I responded 🙂

      Dear, dear Sparkly One. I’m so glad you have Dave (because through the vividness and endurance of his spirit, you bring him here, just not as ‘here’ as would be ideal) to help you through this – to draw on past instances where he’s comforted and held you and managed to put some of your world back to rights, or more towards balance than not. I’m so glad he knew exactly what to do to support you and make you laugh. I’m glad he dried your tears, even though he knew there would always be more to spill.

      You have such, SUCH a wonderous heart, which contains so much love, for so many – how can it fail to break and grieve when there is such ferocious loss and awfulness occurring.

      As to waxing – I’d suggest you know what’s best for you by now, and are perfectly within your rights to do that which suits you. I’m glad you’re the kind of person who WILL, and who will live gloriously, beautifully, not anyway, but BECAUSE of it ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. i have been crying too. yesterday i went to the funeral for my cousin’s 22 year old son, who overdosed on heroin. it wasn’t something the people who knew him could have predicted. i didn’t know him as well as i would have liked to, but mother to mother, i could imagine what my cousin was going through.

    when i heard the news about orlando i was furious!! why do people feel they have the right to storm into a bar and start shooting. how can humans lack such empathy for others? why would some asshole put a bomb in a bathroom because the business designated their bathrooms gender neutral? why are 1st and 2nd graders assaulting special needs kids on school buses? why are people hurting each other at every turn, focusing on the things that make us different, instead of reminding themselves of the ways we are the same?? some days the world seems so terrifying that i would like to take my babies and hide under the covers and never come out!

    on a positive note, i think you are an amazingly strong and talented woman. i have no doubt that you will accomplish anything you put your mind to. i hope that spreading unity is among your goals, because i think you have a knack! much love!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Knock, knock.
    Who’s there?
    Olive
    Olive who?
    I’ll love ya.

    Looking forward to hearing about the news. And seeing Ra’s version of a venn diagram.

    But not about waxing. I had my eyebrows done 35 years ago. It still hurts.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. When my niece was three, she told me this knock, knock joke:

    Knock, knock.
    Who’s there?
    Cow.
    Cow who?
    Babies.

    I don’t know what it means either, but babies. Who can argue?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Waxing a werewolf. That would work too, wouldn’t it? I had to go look up the definition of click bait. Now I feel old. Well, that fits, because to be truthful I am old. Old enough to have actually done the “knock knock orange you glad I didn’t say banana” joke for real in real life a million years ago when I was about ten. Or seven. Or something. So anyway. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. You should definitely write a book. Or two. Or more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elyse beat me. Olive you. I love this post. I hate the evil in this world. I used to shave my toe knuckles (tmi i know). I was mortified that hair grew there. Then it stopped. Maybe the evil will too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OK this is a series of a knock knock joke I learned as a child, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face:

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Ether.
    Ether who?
    Ether bunny.

    Knock knock.
    Who’s there?
    Cargo.
    Cargo who?
    Cargo beep beep and run over Ether bunny.

    Knock, Knock.
    Who’s there?
    Boo.
    Boo who?
    Don’t cry–Ether bunny will be back again next year!

    Rawr.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Waxing your face! No! I love your selfies the way the are. Although, I will admit I have to shave my toes. If I don’t the pedicure ladies will pluck them out with tweezers!! AH!
    Knock, Knock.
    Who’s there?
    To.
    To who?
    No, to whom.

    Writer’s joke, get it? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I needed this today, so thank you. And so much thanks to Dave, always. I was filled with lots of big sadnesses today, as were so many. It was hard for me to be here (in CA) when home is in Florida. I am thankful and horrified and outraged and anxious and lost and yet… hopeful.
    Thud ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This golden retriever got waxed in the face regularly for a couple of years, and you wouldn’t believe what happened!
    (I stopped getting waxed, and still have blond hairs all over the place that are referred to as my ‘furry bits’)

    Hugs for you, dear Rara! And … I even cried at the other end of the world …

    Like

  11. Knock Knock…

    Who’s there?

    Interrupting cow!

    Interruping cow w–?
    —-
    MOOOOOOO!

    (see, because the cow interrupts the last line…M discovered that one in elementary school and we still will do it randomly today)

    Waxing makes me break out. Plucking is tedious but at least I know what to expect.

    I only just learned of the shooting, the good and the bad of breaking up (mostly) with Facebook, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I miss his infinite wisdom on these topics too. I’m half expecting a Tuesday night post full of fury & yet calm reassurance.

    Let opportunity in. We’ll sort out the ready. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “A horse walks into a bar.” Now I feel like I should cry. Not because of your loss, but because of your heart, your resilience, temperament and beauty. Celebrate the life, not the loss, this is your cross to bare, and you bare it well. The bartender says “Why the long face?” One more? Knock, knock! Who’s-? AN INTERRUPTING COW!!!! Oh snap, I CAN’T STOP. What do ya’ call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho-cheese!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. We need to tell werewolf stories … I was going to a wonderful woman who specializes in electrolysis, who did wonders for my hairs (whiskers? fur?? another tale for another time, since this is your post), but financially … you know the deal. We anxiously await the book — the one you write, not the one you live, because we love that one and want the other one (signed, please!) to hold in our hot little hands as often as possible. I love the banana joke, as well as the it’s the plumber, I’ve come to fix the sink from PBS (https://youtu.be/pIZGHvUR-bw). However, when your world changes and the person responsible for playing the plumber to your parrot has Left, the joke loses a bit of its gloss. But, since jokes are good at doing what they do, we laugh again. Even if we play both parts … ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I just finished reading an article called “18 Things You (Secretly) Love About Click Bait.” Number 9, I am assured, would have surprised you.

    I am really looking forward to reading your book. You’re writing (and your signboards) effect the way I think, love is.

    As for knock knock jokes, I love those, too. As more than one person has told me, I’m really eight years old — for the 46th time.

    Owen

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You have evolved as people tend to do. I miss your old blog probably as much as you, but your talent for stringing words together, for creating wonderous things, is still very viable. ::hugs:: And thank you for blogging about Orlando in such a unique way, such a relatable way.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I didn’t mean to post this under another comment.. probably should re-post but what the heck.

    “I wonder how many people I will disappoint with this one.”
    I wonder who you think you’ve disappointed in the past that made you write this sentence. It surely wasn’t Dave, or your family, or the many friends you have IRL and in the blogosphere.

    So many times your writing has made me tear up and shake my head. Why do I shake my head – I’m not sure to be perfectly honest. To clear it? To try and understand your words better. I know why the tears come (I think). Your writing always illicits an emotional response from me. Why? It’s not because I’m too sensitive (wait, is that it?) No – it’s because as an amazing writer (that’s YOU) you (through your writing) make me have a physical/emotional response. That is amazing – that is a miracle… however you want to define miracles. There are “smaller” ones too – but it’s still miraculous in my eyes. (not really though – a miracle is a miracle – it’s defined somewhere – but I like my definition more.)

    The way you described how Dave would have taken care of you in response to the Orlando shootings? I am so happy that you had that for as long as you did – some people never get that. There’s the miracle – true LOVE.. partners who know instinctively how to take care of each other, who bring their love and caring EVERY SINGLE DAY – even when it’s hard. And I witnessed it through your writing. Thank you.
    When can I pre-order?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thud (which is like a knock but different.)
    Also, you know me, right?
    So then, knock, knock.
    (And now you’re not allowed to say “who’s there?” or they will all yell, “But, you said you KNOW me!” and erupt in fits of laughter. At least that’s how it goes at my house… )

    Liked by 1 person

  19. ❤ ❤ I'll tell you a secret – I shave my chin! But usually don't bother with my legs or my underarms etc unless I'm going barelegged, because I've accepted I'm a werewolf-ape hybrid. I tried waxing once and my lesson was never again.

    I've been trying to make sense of all this pain, and have finally written something about it. The world does need people who have this kind of empathy – we need more of it. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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