Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hair Dressing and Backyard adventures

Today, I went in to get my hair colored. It was a hectic day, since I had my carpets cleaned earlier and I totally cleaned out my closet in the living room and threw out a bunch of stuff.

I am so glad I found this hairstylist, she advertised on craigslist for free haircuts. So I thought “hmm I wonder if it’s a student?” Luckily for me she is a former shop owner who wanted to work from home and is trying to attract clients. So she’s been cutting hair for 17 years and she gave me such a good hair cut that I gave her $8 dollars for it and then came back today for a weave. It is a little bit lighter than I wanted, but it’s not so bad that I hate it. This reminds me of one of my first “professional” hair dye jobs. My mom brought me to a student hair school and I got a real fine job done, about the brightest beach bottle blonde that you can imagine. I had to go to school the next day with it, the mean girls had fun with that one.

Anyway, I have been thinking about what it was like in my backyard as a kid. We had a decent sized back yard for a duplex apartment and my dad liked to grow stuff. He had these large gardens that always seemed to get overgrown. One year, when I was about 15/16 he had gone way overboard on the miracle grow, so the back yard was like a jungle, just the way I liked it.

I can remember how comforting it was to me to know that there were so many thriving plants outside. I would lay in my bed by the window and look up at the bright moon. My room was on the second floor and the garden was right outside my bedroom. There were also these tall trees, back further behind the fence, that would shake in the wind. Especially during a storm, for some reason this sound is comforting to me.

We were also fairly close to the railroad tracks. Not so close that the train clickety clacked right by our house, but close enough that I could hear the lonely whistle blow, right before bed. It seemed to me that the sound of the train whistle was a reminder to slow down a little and think of what was going on in my life.

I am a very reflective creature and I love to have a nice garden to walk in when I want to think. Sometimes when I was troubled I would rise from my bed, with tears threatening, and I would walk out barefoot to the garden. We had stones set along side our house that I would step on each in turn to get out back. I would hold off on crying, and I would take a deep breath, this would calm and soothe me.

I would either find myself in a swing, which I would slowly rock back and forth in, or I would find the wooden bench that my dad had placed in the garden. This was half of a picnic table that folded into a bench. It was by small pink wild roses, their smell is spicy, not at all like the rose that reveals itself from a bud. I would breathe deeply, calmed by the sound of the crickets chirping somewhere in the distance.

If I was really troubled, I would climb through the hole in the fence out into the untamed wild beyond our backyard. This lot was really like a piece of wilderness cut out and preserved all around by fenced back yards.

I knew all of the ways into and out of this lot, as well as my brother. It was our paradise, we called it “the snake pit.” So christened by chance because we had found a plastic pool and upon lifting it discovered some worms. My brother, wanting to scare me, mentioned that there might be snakes in the pit, so the snake pit it was from then on. We were really very imaginative kids, and made much of our lot (actually belonging to the grumpy guy behind us, he played a part in our imaginative lore).

As I said, if I was really troubled I would walk through the hole in the fence (it was a wooden fence with a board missing, that dad never seemed to fix). I would listen to the sound of the trees, rustling, unsettled. The grasses grew tall around me, enclosing me in their world. I would make my way over a large pile of concrete, that was dumped randomly in the middle of the lot. Since it was surrounded by trees it seemed like part of the wilderness. I would go and find a place to lay, among the wildness of the tall grass, there I could cry. There my dad and his angry words could not touch me, I could never speak what I really thought around him. Sometimes I would scream, out into the darkness, muffled by my arm because I really knew that I was surrounded by houses and what would they think. It was so soothing to lay there, my tears would dry and I would feel immensely better. Strange how it is so hard for me to cry now, even when I am really upset. Maybe it is because my wilderness is gone, my freedom.

That is partially why I love to walk near the river. It is the same river trail that ran a couple of blocks from my home when I was growing up, I retreated there with my brother many times. This part of the trail is further down. When I was growing up I never walked up to where the trail is by my house. It was like that part of the trail belonged to the future, and it does. It is strange now to walk all the way down to where I used to haunt the river, that part of the trail belongs to the past.

How I wish I could guess, where the future is headed now. I have been so unsettled, trying to figure out who I am. Because I have felt so lost these long years, eating food that made me feel sick.

It is funny when I come across something that truly resonates with me, I hold on tight to it. Like Strawberry Shortcake, the old fashioned version, the new version does very little for me. I have found that I like deep red, the dark pink, teal green, and a certain shade of blue. I'm not sure if it is because of Strawberry Shortcake or not, but those are some of the colors that the artist uses for her. I wonder if the colors you like reveal anything about you. Maybe they do, I used to only be able to wear blacks and dark grey’s, maybe it was because of my mood. My little sister is entrenched in black and has now colored her hair black, I was never that bad, I am kind of scared for her.

I guess I had better get to bed, I really need the sleep because tomorrow is going to be another busy day.

~Strawberry Girl

No comments: