I am utterly bewildered at the plethora of gray that fills the space between my scalp and that colored hair that I masquerade as my own.
I don't know what I loathe more, the fact that I ever started faking it in the first place or the reality that if I hadn't, I would be nearly 100% gray now.
I grew up watching my mom color her hair. She claims that she never had a gray hair until she had me. I think that statement is deceiving because at the time that she had me, she was also the mother to four other kids, ages 10-17. And I was an easy baby. No, the gray hair had nothing to do with me, lady.
I can see her now, standing at the half-bath sink, hands covered in clear plastic gloves, tipping the plastic bottle of color on to her head. The color in the bottle never matched the color of the lady's hair on the box that teetered on the sink's edge. It tended more towards the yucky side of the color wheel...when all of the colors get spun around too fast and then spill awkwardly into each other. Thankfully, when the timer went off and the allotted amount of minutes had passed, my mom's hair looked pretty normal. Natural, even.
I grew up watching this and, every time, I whispered silently to myself, "I will never do that."
And so here I stand, in front of the mirror, thirty some odd years later, playing that tape over in my head. Despite my childhood vows, I have grown into the kind of woman that colors her hair.
That skunkish ribbon of white that runs from my forehead to my crown, the silvery whisps that frame my temples and ears...I'm just not ready to own them. Yet. Those gray hairs even feel different than the satiny locks of my youth. They are coarse and wiry, with a mind completely of their own. And they don't match my insides.
Will I ever feel like they match my insides?
Lord, I hope not.
But I have a feeling that there will come a day when to continue the charade will be the joke, not the number of grays. And I will slowly, over time, let the gray take its rightful place.
For now, I will simply stare at the space between, relax my face, and smile.
"dance mehitabel dance
til your old bones fly apart
i ain't got any regrets
for i gave my life to my art"
from "mehitabel dances with boreas"
by Don Marquis
Linking up with L.L. Barkat