I am so tired. I could sit on this couch all day with the kitten pressed against my thigh and do nothing. Fall asleep maybe with my head hanging to the side until my neck aches and I wish I had done better.
I spend most of my days wishing I had done better. Wishing I had picked the right man to marry. Wishing my hair were not so flat, not so soft, higher, lower, fuller, flatter, straighter. One thing I have always done right is I have never wished for curly hair. I will put it in your head to wish for curly hair, he tells me. And I shake my head. No. That is the one thing I will never do. Not even for a man.
The truth is, I have curly hair in my dark and frightening past. I sat in the plastic chair, draped in an ugly black cape and let the chemicals burn my scalp. I was the victim of permanent waves. I wanted a special curl, like the red head who wore the same blue gown to the prom. Spiral curls. But my hair wasn’t long enough for spiral curls.
Now I see even my refusal to ever curl my hair is a lame attempt at control. For I have messed that up, too.
From this day forward, I swear I will never have curly hair.
I will never again marry the wrong man.
I will only fall in love on a Saturday, and then only with a man who is worthy. He doesn’t have to have hair, curly or otherwise.
Where is the poem in this, I wonder? Is it in spending most of my life wishing I had done better? That is something to aspire to. To do better. Spending your days wishing you had done better is wrong. Like sleeping with your feet in someone’s face. Wrong. Pushing on a chin until your lover looks like a defiant child. You can’t make me.
So many 2s in this day. 2nd month. Two thousandth and twelfth year. Today I should do something that makes me a pair. I have always wanted to be a pair. I would be a sock if only the universe would promise I would never lose my mate. Even when I search for a list of all the animals who mate for life I am left with this sad truth: I will never be one of those animals. Never a swan or a gibbon, a black vulture or an albatross.
Maybe the murders of crows and the murmurations of starlings are in fact whole crowds of lonely birds searching for mates. The goose at the head of the V? Not really a leader, but the most gorgeous of the species, the one everyone wants to be with. They are not following that bird to a warmer climate, but home, wherever it may be. So finally, no-one has to be alone.