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.
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.