So the first two weeks or so after Ethyl's exit to the petri dish was just all about keeping me from infecting myself. Liza was continuing to wipe me down like a high chair, milk the bloody goo from my drain and help me attempt to wash my hair while kneeling under the tub tap. The super witty gay positive and professional nurse at the clinic changed my bandages and tidied up the staples by carefully ensuring each them was free of skin or other potential germs, and i just tried to figure out how not move my arm.
My hair however eventually became beyond unmanageable. On a good day i could find a pencil, and perhaps part of my lunch in it. On a bad day i would find that and a cork and perhaps a napkin. My nephew swears he was lost in my pony tail for an hour one afternoon but i think i just made that up in my head.
A head that was matted itchy and need of proper care. Like hair dresser care. Like getting touched by another person care. Ew. At this point i was still my prickly self - " No one touches the Kelly!' but when i can smell my hair… when i cannot run my fingers thru it when it is wet it is time to give in and get in the car.
Which sucks. Imagine a seatbelt over 78 raw staples. Now bounce over a traffic calming bump, get cut off by an idiot texting, stop at 23 red lights and navigate the second of only two seasons in Kingston; winter and construction.
Eventually after what felt like a month in the car - ok truck - we are gay after all - we arrived at Bea's All Hair Alternatives. Thank goodness they mean all hair.
Bea looked at me and simply summoned for help. This was gonna be a team effort. We chatted about just cutting it all off as it was going to hit floor shortly anyway - or in my case longly. But i really wanted to have my hair for as long as i could. I worked hard to grow it. At 40 i had short hair because i got caught up in that only old bags and witches have long hair after 40 beauty myth. Ridiculous. So i started growing it. Curly hair gets taller before it gets longer so i had to endure that awkward stage for a long time… thank goodness for winter and toques.
The gals gently walked me over to the sink station and began to rinse my head. Usually i have a panic attack. I do not like my head back or my hroat exposed. But i felt ok. Relaxed almost. Perhaps it was the drugs, or perhaps it was the touch of genuine kindness - not the this is my job and i have to time this wash perfectly to get back to my colour touch - but genuine care.
Just what i needed. I think it took about an hour. Warm soothing water, an amazing head massage, wonderful smelling products, and more products, and more water as the only way to untangle curly hair is to do it when it is wet with a wide tooth comb.
Afterwards when i pried my open and looked in the mirror, i felt human for the first time since being essentially disfigured. I felt beautiful. Feminine.
And somewhat like a poodle in Best in Show. There was a pink ribbon in my hair.
But i did not fuss, it was a silent acknowledgement of so many things , of so many , too many women, (and men) so i simply smiled, expressed my gratitude, knew i was gonna have to find a place in my heart for pink ribbons.