Two days ago, my bangs had reached the point of no return and needed to be trimmed/ burned to the ground. I haven’t cut my own bangs for a year or so, having found a delightful little Logan Square stylist who smells of root beer floats and always asks how my day is and brings me a bit of tea to sip on even if I don’t ask for it.
I forgot how to do this task for body management (it’s not so much a beauty ritual as it is maintenance and upkeep of a relatively uncontrollable variable—a body, my body, my hair growing out of my body). Nonetheless, I, chin-up, strode to the bathroom mirror, grabbed a chunk of hair and, with the confidence of an award-winning surgeon, performed a thorough snip straight across the bottom, right above my eyebrows.
I realized my mistake as soon as I let the pieces go free and they stacked like unruly sticks on my forehead. I looked like a young German boy off to fetch mushrooms for mutter dearest from the Black Forest at dawn.
“That’s not how you do it,” a voice snorted in my head. “Cool, hey, so nice of you to show up!” I replied.
Life in lockdown has reminded me a of things like this, things I’ve forgotten. Like that bangs are best cut in small vertical snips, not one long horizontal gash. Other remembrances of late:
- I live in a city because I like to see things for myself.
- Intimacy is a gift; adaption is a given.
- My body is a vulnerable vessel.
- I still own the red mini skirt from Express that I bought at 80% off five years ago. (Hello, week six’s Project Closet Purge.)
- In a lab test in 1978, two scientists fed rabbits high cholesterol diets to see if they got heart disease. One group of rabbits totally fucking did. The other group didn’t. Why? The lab assistant who fed the group that didn’t get sick talked to the rabbits, stroked their fat little cheekies, and cuddled them while she fed them. (AKA: Family dinner can be sacred.)
Twenty-four hours and two YouTube-tutorials-by-teens-named-Ava after my “haircut,” I fixed my bangs. They look pretty good, actually, all fringed and perfectly layered, and I’ve been thinking about how much, before coronavirus, I paid for things that I could do myself just as well. More of that’s coming, I’m sure—a global scaling back in favor of doing it ourselves (by way of virtual spiritual guides named Ava, of course.)
I feel shocked that these shifts that are already happening to us individually. This experience, potential life-threatening illness notwithstanding, hasn’t been a full two months in progress and we’ve already changed, adapted, rethought, reimagined, reframed.
Why am I so surprised that I can continue to be surprised?
When will I remember that there’s always something to forget?