Saturday, August 21, 2010

Notes on a new life: I look like shit

In the past 11 days, I’ve driven to Virginia, found a place to live, moved in, sold four pieces of Brandon’s furniture, helped move some of Brandon’s things, helped Brandon pack some of his things, met Brandon’s fiancé, visited campus, signed up for classes, called half a dozen yoga studios looking for a new place to practice, and lined up two interviews for part-time work to supplement my modest teaching stipend.

And I did it all while sleeping on Brandon’s couch. Which means, in short, I look like shit.

I’m so sleepy, I almost got into a car accident with a cop last night. For whatever reason, he took pity on me and let me go with a warning. But today I feel like I’m plowing through all my good karma with stupid traffic violations and I won’t have any left when the adorable French guy – mid 40s, divorced, grown kids – sits next to me in my non-fiction class. (I know this is going to happen because I’ve been meditating on it at yoga.)

I don't want to whine about being tired because, frankly, I'm living my dream -- and a lot of other people's dreams if what you tell me is true. Plus, as a western woman, I try to remember I don’t have a lot to complain about. Not really. Not when I have access to hot water, a toilet, a working automobile, and enough food to keep my rear end in its Kardashian-like glory. I think it’s vulgar to complain about little things when our sisters in the Congo are being systematically gang-raped as part of political maneuvering. I’m sure those girls would take a look at me in this luxury condo two blocks from the metro and say “Oh, poor thing. You tired on that couch? Well, I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night in the refugee camp, either, Bitch.”

But today I have to be more than grateful. I have to look halfway decent. And that's going to be a challenge. I have an interview for a part-time job. I don’t want to tell you all that much about it because I’m superstitious about these things. (I know you find this surprising – a gal who drops everything to write in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, who is addicted to yoga, who believes whole-heartedly in karma, and is trying to will a French lover into her life through meditation -- is also superstitious. I’m not even going to tell you how I feel about the dark.)

And since I don’t know where my hair dryer is, and my current look is starting to edge toward – how shall I say? Rastafarian? I booked an appointment for a shampoo and blow-out at a nearby salon.

I was put in the capable hands of Veronica, a tee-tiny little Romanian thing with big blue eyes and arms that would make Madonna seethe with jealousy. She asked me how I wanted my hair. I don’t like it when stylists ask this. I have no idea. Make me look like that Russian spy. That would be nice.

“Not like this," I told her. "Extra points if you make me look like a girl again.”

First, Veronica shampooed me, and I fell asleep in the sink. She woke me up to me in the chair at her station, where I promptly fell asleep again. That blow-dryer made the most delicious white noise and the cape was so warm. When I came too, Veronica's itty bitty self had wrestled my hair into shiny submission. I couldn’t believe it.

“Wow,” I said. “I can’t believe it.”

I left her a huge tip. She gave me her card.

“When you get settled in your new place, make a wish,” she said. “In Romania, that’s what we do. When you move into some place new, make a wish.”

“Did you make a wish,” I asked her.


“Did it come true?” I asked.

“Well, it’s sort of a long time thing.”

“I hear ya sister,” I said.

When I left, I felt my hair bouncing in my wake. It felt good to have something in my life in order. I was grateful for that.

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