Written By Michael.
She had curly hair.
The kind everyone loves except those who have it.
Long hair with multiple curls that make some hairdressing interns cry and others charge twice the price. Curls you need to iron for hours to make disappear and then tremble at the thought of a single drop of water, which could undo all that work, falling on it. Curls I used to love with all my heart, despite the fact that straight hair made her seem “more desirable”. I could never explain to her why that wasn’t the case for me.
Then again, it was never about me, was it?
I saw her and it’s been years since she was so close to me. She’s changed a bit; as we all have. But her hair is persistent. It’s still long, and some falls in front of her face, just enough to make her look like a film star, or a clothes line model.
The same hair that would always be in my face as we were sleeping, the same hair I would find even in my underwear, in every corner of my house days after she was gone.
She’d never put her hair in a bun around me, she knew I hated it and it make her look older. A girl that would turn into a housewife; one that was not herself. I could never appreciate how easy it was for her to have it that way, how it just was out of the way.
When we made love her hair was always in the way, but never covering her breasts. It would often cover her face, her blushed cheeks and her brown eyes. It seemed so royal for her to lay down and the hair making a crown around her, an elaborate portrait of Renaissance proportions.
I couldn’t see her when she cried, the hair would always protect her vulnerability and shield her from anything cruel in this world. And yet when I first kissed her, I had to move her hair aside, it was in the way and I have never felt more helpless than when her lips touched mine.
I’ve stopped finding her hair in my things, in my bed, in the corners of my house. I find other strands of hair now, but it’s generic, interchangeable. I can sweep them aside, clean my clothes properly; even the floor is cleaner than ever.
I can’t help but wonder how she is in her everyday life now.
If she still hates her hair, if she straightens it as often, of the person next to her, who either suffers with the curls or loves them. If, while frustrated, she’ll tie her hair into a ponytail and bite her lower lip while thinking what she’ll repair.
If when undressed her hair will get tangled, if she’ll start laughing and try to make an awkward joke to cover her embarrassment, and then jump on her partner to cover the lost ground. And then at the end of the night lay in bed, with her hair covering all the free space it can get, caressing the sheets, the pillows and his face. Making sure he’s still there in the morning, making sure he won’t be gone when she needs him most.
Tonight was her birthday. And I wonder if, as a gift to herself, her hair was straight tonight.
Or if, somewhere in a British town, there is a girl with long, naturally tight curls, dancing and celebrating another year passing in her life and a new one coming along.
Tight curls that won’t let go.
If you’re the one…