Tuesday, May 13, 2008

when I try, I only get it wrong

You cannot really ask for much when you are not in touch with what you want. Of course, the advantage is that, since you weren't even sure what it was you wanted, you're bound to be content with what you get. I had walked into the salon armed with this attitude. All I adequately expressed was that my hair was too long, too thick for the heat that is soon to besiege the land. The next thing I knew, the stylist had let a six inch chunk of my hair fall to the ground. It's going to be that kind of a time, I concluded.

Sometimes I think I have it together, sometimes I think I am in complete shambles. At times, it is clear what I want, and that I have it, and that all is right. At other times, I feel the need to chop off all of my hair and laugh, nervously, at how little has changed since the last time the shears had their way with me. The reasons are different, but the instability is just about the same.

The constant was W in this particular bit of my history. Last time, when I told him on the phone, his voice had taken a tone of dread, of oh you are so going to regret this by tomorrow. But when I saw him, he was nothing but complimentary. This time, I did not even bother telling him. Out of the car I emerged without explanation. Once again, he said it framed my face properly, was all smiles. There was a difference but it wasn't him. The last time, I had watched his face carefully. I wanted him to tell me it was okay, that it was not a mistake, that it was all going to be okay. This time, truly, I did not care.

It was not that his opinion did not matter to me anymore, because it still does. It's just that I either do not believe in mistakes anymore or I believe in them too much. I'm either convinced there are no mistakes in life or that pretty much everything I do is another form of a mistake. So I can't get too worked up about it. Perhaps that's why I cheerfully announced to W that I am a mess. Because what else is new? Because, if this is all a mistake, how would I tell it apart from anything else I have done with my life?

Really the only things I can be certain were not mistakes are what I've let go. Contrary to popular belief, contrary to how it may sometime seem, I do not let go of things so easily. If I do, it's because I never held it very dear in the first place. There are things I've let go of that nearly had to be pried from my grasp. And the urge still strikes me sometimes to grab hold of them, but if I take a breath and think, I can see it was no mistake, letting such things go.

Maybe I am okay with letting go of six-plus inches of hair. Maybe I am okay with making blunder after blunder. Maybe I do not know what I am talking about. Maybe I'm a lost cause.

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