“And they say ‘Goldfish have no memory’. I guess their lives are much like mine. And the little, plastic castle is a surprise every time.”
– Ani Difranco
My hair stopped falling out. Just yesterday, or maybe the day before. After falling out in handfulls, it dwindled quickly and then just stopped.
So, that’s the end. That’s the last of you left in me.
I was waiting for so long. Showers spent collecting hair so less would sneak down the drain and clog our already shoddy plumbing. Brushing my hair just to get the excess out. Pulling gobs of hair out of my brush every other day. Now I can wear my hair down and not be covered in long, brown hairs all down my back and arms. We’ll vacuum a couple more times and the spindle will stop getting suck. I’ve been waiting for this. Wanting it to be over, this final, everyday reminder. “I don’t need this reminder”, I would think, “I just want this to be over”.
I was starting to get worried. Seemed like almost 4 full months of hair falling out was a long time. I don’t remember that with Vesta. I had her here to focus on. In my memory, it was just a couple weeks of hair loss, certainly not four months. Just this last week, I thought about googling to see what time frame is normal, maybe something is wrong with my hormones. But now it stopped. I am post post-partum.
And just like everything else, it’s convoluted. I keep waiting for something to be straight-forward again. Not waiting, expecting and every time it is not, I am surprised. Like the goldfish and the castle: “Oh, there it is again. Wow. I didn’t see that coming!” It’s also like this, except just Chapter One, over and over again. I keep expecting I will feel one way and more often than not I feel another or many other ways, all at once.
Everyday with the hair falling out, I would bemoan. This seemingly endless reminder like the days of left over pain from the labor, the dripping boobs for weeks, the swollen ankles and painful arches. Could this just be over? As if there is some kind of “over”.
Before my surgery, people would say to me “well at least your at the end. . . At least of the physical part”, they would add when I didn’t respond appropriately or at all. And I would nod and smile like I am prone to do now when I can’t explain anymore, knowing full well it would not be the end, just different. They want me to have relief and I do, but it wasn’t the end. No more hair falling out, that’s the end. That’s the last of the hormones, the final shift. Now, you are gone, even from me.
Today as I absent mindedly ran my fingers through my hair and they came out bare, my heart sank. Like in the musical Rent. A song ends as three characters sing “It’s over” in succession: two angry at the partner they are breaking up with and the the third, defeated, standing over the partner who has died. I hear the annoyance of the last few months, the desperation at times, the heaviness of each hair, of each clump and then I hear the final, defeated “It’s over”. The one that is significant because not chosen. Because that person would put aside whatever petty shit the others are breaking up over, even if it isn’t petty, to still be able to be with his love. Because that’s the end. The unchosen end.