“better”

After cutting another inch from my hair, I lay back in my bed. The lights are quiet, the night is almost liquid, and every so often I reach my arm out and grab a slice of dried persimmon from a small bowl. Even in the un-light I can see its star.

The hair is shoulder length now, about fourteen inches shorter than it was, and it will probably be even shorter still by the time I am satisfied. Mamasaur always said not to eat in your bed, and I agree, but this was an exception.

A few years ago, I decided I looked best with long hair. I still agree with that, but sometimes looking my best is not the goal. Sometimes I like to cut my hair to remind myself that I have some control over what stays in my life and what doesn’t. My generation would have called that a coping mechanism, and this next generation calls it a trauma response, and Mamasaur would say that it doesn’t hurt nothing.

I have continued to not do well, and it’s honestly beginning to feel like a huge disappointment. I know people are used to me springing back, stretching from crumple to giant expanse like a rainbow sparkle slinky.

But sometimes even slinkies get the resilience bent out of them. Sometimes they come predisposed to crinkles. It’s possible I’m a faulty product, a lemon.

“Does a lemon have a duty to make lemonade of its life?” is not a valid reply to I hope you feel better soon, so instead I say “Thank you, yes, better every day” because that has a fifty percent chance of being absolutely true.

Nothing ever really stays the same, and often that’s a good thing.

I’ve temporarily deactivated Instagram. I’ve run out of prompts, and dried fruit. I miss writing. I miss wanting to write.

I’m okay.

My hair and my mother and my bed are all forgiving.

On TikTok, I see a video of a person making lemons into candy. The next video is a person preserving lemons. The next video uses a whole lemon in a cleaning product.

It doesn’t always have to be lemonade.

15 thoughts on ““better”

  1. I won’t say that I hope you feel better. Rather, I want you to feel better, even if it’s just a little slice of how things once were, some little sparkle of a Ra that felt vibrant. Who you are now is still important, because that is also you, nut a simultaneous existence of now and then, subtracting the pain and multiplying the cheer and contentedness of the magnificence that is the Rarasaur. All my love, dear lady. You are rarely far from my thoughts. If only those could bring some peace, this life might not be so troubling.

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  2. It doesn’t matter how long it takes; things get better in its own time. Maybe they will get worse again too. But that’s what survival is all about, isn’t it? Pushing past, getting through, little steps. And you’re one helluva survivor.

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  3. 1. Slinkies get bent from overuse too.
    2. Once hair is cut it can’t be put back on.
    3. Sorry to hear you have deactivated Instagram. You don’t do much on Facebook and I’m not a Twitterer so I feel being in regular touch slipping away. 🥲
    4. ❤️&🫂s

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    1. 2) Cut hair will always grow back, eventually. It’s not a permanent change, just a decision for the now.

      Ra, you are loved. And everyone here wants good things for you. I know that “I hope you feel better soon” is not worth much, but I hope you feel more like yourself, more like you have vim and verbosity aplenty. It takes however long it takes, but I want good things for you.

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  4. Your writing is just so . . . so . . . ???? I can’t find my own words for your writing BUT you always leave me breathless. This was a little jewel. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  5. Oh, how I relate to everything you’ve written here. I tried getting at some similar ideas (sans lemons) in a post I wrote yesterday; when I read it to Anthony, though, he said he only understood about one-third, it was so esoteric. So I set it aside and I’m glad I did. The extra day to reflect brought me closer to actually understanding–or, with this post in mind, to making something more suitable to me than lemonade … instead of lemonade, simply because lemonade is what I already know how to make.

    On another note:

    You are lovable. You are loved. I love you and will always love you, no matter your state or mood or levels of bounce a given day or decade. You are so much more than all these things, and my heart rejoices for your presence in the world. No matter what. Always.

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  6. “My generation would have called that a coping mechanism, and this next generation calls it a trauma response”
    I said out loud to myself “A little bit of column A, a little bit of column B”. Thank you for writing this!

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