My broke ass cheated on my stylist

I love my stylist.  She's brilliant, funny, open, and really, really talented.  I tell everyone I know to go to her (if you're in Austin go to Keith Kristopher Salon and book Deanne -- see? Now I really just told everyone I know).  She's a colorist guru and a whiz with the scissors.

However, after tip, I will have spent nearly $200 on a cut and a color.  Definitely worth every penny, but when you're on a budget as tight as mine there's really no way of reconciling the expense.  -- In fact, it's a testament to her coloring genius that even after 7 months, my new growth color gently fades into the work she did.  People pay mega bucks to get this ombré look she gave me naturally. --  Brilliant or not, I simply can't see her, yet.  She'll be the first thing I do for myself after I get a job. 

The last few weeks my hair has almost reached what I call "stripper hair" length.  I cocktailed in a titty bar for a few months in my early 20s (lawd, the stories I could tell you!) and I noticed that at least half the dancers had Lady Godiva hair.  They used their locks for false modesty while parading around the tables of men and as organic props on stage.  So yeah, anyway, my hair is almost that long.  And it's screaming for some help. 

I look like a washed up stripper on a bad day: ends frayed and splitting; like Yulia Tymoshenko on a good day (she's the Ukrainian prime minister, in case you didn't know): hair up in braids in some fashion to hide the secret stripper lurking beneath the surface.

Today, I did what I've been dreading for weeks now: I cheated on Deanne.  I went to a different stylist.

I was racked with guilt as I sat in the barber's chair and even told the orange-haired stylist as much.  But I simply can't turn down a $27 hair cut.  I can't. 

And so another woman's hands were on my head and her stylistic impressions were made on my hair.   I have no idea if Deanne will look at her work in a few months and know what I did.   I feel so dirty!  So guilty!  So wrong!!

Finding a stylist you trust and can rely on is almost as hard as finding a decent relationship.  He or she holds in their hands the power of esteem and beauty.  One misstep and your superficial life can be ruined (I once passed up free Pearl Jam tickets because I was busy sobbing over a mullet I got when I was 19.  God, that was horrible.).  It's a big fucking deal to form a lasting business/personal relationship with this person.  Maybe I seem silly, but I don't care. 

So, yeah, the split ends are gone, the stripper hair is beaten back, and feel like I'm taking care of myself, but I also feel like sending Deanne a bouquet of "I'm Sorry, Please Forgive Me. It's Just I'm Really, Really Broke" flowers.

At least I refuse to use a box o' color.  I draw the line of frugality there.  I'll grow all my hair out to its natural color before I destroy it with a DIY attitude. 


About a year later

I just realized it's been about a year since I first announced to the world that Rooster and I were splitting up.

And this morning I found my first grey hairs ever.

Coincidence? Mebbe.

I haven't colored my hair in 7 months in order to cut costs, so they've finally had the freedom to blossom among the dark wheat colored strands on my head --the little bastards -- but I'm certain they'd be there regardless.

Honestly, I don't really care. This past year has proven my mettle beyond a shadow of a doubt and I'm proud of myself.

Let me repeat that: I'M PROUD OF MYSELF.

I made the tough decisions, I strove forward, I didn't settle; I did the opposite of all those things when it would've been ridiculously easy to do so. Freakishly easy.

Some might think I gave up on my marriage, but the truth is I reinvested in myself and Hawk. I didn't want to suffer in that relationship for another 40 years and show my baby that misery and malcontent were acceptable in a longterm relationship. That was simply unacceptable to me.

Rooster wasn't happy. I wasn't happy. And though we talked endlessly, burned holes in couches in therapy for a year, cried buckets, and still loved each other, we decided reconfiguring our partnership was the best thing for all of us.

We earned the right to re-write our lives. We were never idle participants.

So wow. A year later. I can't believe it. And I can truly say, "I have the grey hair to prove it."


No air

After two and a half hours of laborious attention to detail there is a heavy silence in the room.  The voices have stilled.

I have just agreed to the final stipulation.

It is a heavy, vibrating space.  My mind blank and rustling in the breeze of the previous emotion; a shivering leaf in the moment before the heavens bear down.

My lawyer looks at me.  "Are you ok?"

"Yes," I answer with stolen breath.

She looks at Rooster.  "Are you ok?"

"Yeah," he says.

"Ok," her mouth moves.  And in a moment that lasts an eternity later I hear:

"It's done."

A giant, silent gavel slams down with thunderous finality sucking the oxygen out of the well-lit and sparsely decorated room.  Like a vacuum on the cavity of my body all breath is whipped from me; snatched like a baby in harm's way.

"It's done" echos through the remains; rattles in the cage of my heart; tells me to fuck off.

I can't breathe.  I fight tears.  Her face is kind, sorrow-filled.  Rooster is calm, enviously still.

I struggle to compose myself, busy myself with papers, a drink of water.  They begin to talk.  My eyes fill with salty tears.  I lose one down my hot cheek. Perhaps two.

I focus on their voices, the timbres, the syllables.  One, two, two, three, pause, etc.  Lilting noise keeps me anchored lest I fly away in a swirl of regret and pain and bullshit.

I can do this: I will not feel.

I will not.





Put me back together again

All the king's horses and all the king's men 
couldn't put Humpty together again.

I don't feel as despondent as ol' Humpty, but I definitely feel as though I'm on a wall and I'm a big, giant, awkwardly shaped fellow about to teeter one way or the other.
  • The job market is dire.  
  • My divorce decree is *this* close to submission.
  • I've been separated from Hawk for almost two weeks straight.
  • I have no money.
  • I am wrecked.  Wrecked, wrecked, wrecked.

It's a lot.  I told my mom that I need to by a Lotto ticket so at least that way it'd be one thing I didn't have to worry about. Her erudite response was, "Why don't you want to work on the other things, too?"

My answer?  "Mom, I can't buy a ticket somewhere that will solve my [job, divorce, broken-heart] problems, but I can buy a ticket that'll fix my money ones."

Still haven't bought that ticket.

I've been stuck in an eddy of self-doubt and reproach the last few weeks, but particularly this last one.  It took my sister calling on Saturday (July 9th) to give me a clue as to why.

"It's Grandma's birthday today.  I just remembered.  And 5 years since Dad died yesterday."

"Holy shit.  I totally forgot."  Though in reality, I don't think I forgot at all.

Our bodies do mysterious things.  We absorb every experience we ever have into our cells, our memories, our very fibers.  Consciously, I've been preoccupied with my here and now and my scary future, but my core... it knewIt remembered.  We can ignore, deny, or even be so little as to not even have the language to understand, but still, experience is housed inside of all of us.

I've felt a lot of relief since identifying this particular rapid.  I can at least navigate it better now, face it head on, whereas before I had no idea how I'd gotten stuck in that eddy.  It's helped me feel stronger, more focused, less out of control and depleted.

But it's still hard.

I'm not going to say it's the hardest thing I've ever gone through, but it's very well tied.  And sometimes I wonder that maybe it's not more painful because I refuse to let myself go there - I really don't know.  Last time I felt this level of grief I was a newlywed, not a mother.  My guard is up.  High. 

After I realized I'd missed Dad's anniversary I called Rooster in tears.  He's still the only person whom I truly trust with my feelings about my father; he was with me every step of the way and helped guide me through the haze of putting myself back together that year. And, true to form, he was there for me again.  Listening and supporting and letting me cry my jagged little cry on the phone making no sense whatsoever.

So maybe I really have fallen off the wall and cracked and now is the time for piecing my shit back together again.  I can only see a new Me right now, not the old.  That woman doesn't exist anymore.  Only the new and improved Humpty is around here.  I guess I better get rolling...