hapticbackup: (knows itself)
I was essentially cockblocked by my mom this weekend. First, I went to a soccer tournament at which, I am realizing in retrospect with the aid of facebook photos, my hair looked like a clown wig. In a crowded, sweltering bar the night before I received two separate compliments on my hair, which perhaps went to my head.

There is a scene in Gosford Park in which homely Mabel confronts her husband over the affair he is having--she finds a check he extorted out of his rich lover because he has squandered her family fortune--and they have a vicious fight. At the end, just as he is leaving, he snaps at the maid who has seen all this, as she was in the room to help Mabel dress for dinner, "Do try to make her look presentable." Mabel flinches and weeps as he slams the door, but with some solace from the maid, and realizing that she cannot miss dinner without everyone realizing something is wrong, eventually says bravely but sadly, "I suppose there's no harm in trying." There is a complex of emotions contained in her delivery of that sentence. She tells her lifetime of resignation to the disappointing fact of her appearance against the arbitrary rubrics of beauty, the finality of her suppression of her true emotions to satisfy her misguided determination to always present her best face, and her willingness to subjugate herself to the social system that tortures her because she is so far into it that the way out seems nothing less than a terrifying betrayal of her entire morality. This is not how I feel about my hair, but it is what I think about when I am standing in front of the mirror hoping that it has finally become the magic sex mop--telling elegant drape--rich tabard--pixie riot I want and not the hairy rebellious toadstool of the five minutes before I must leave to meet my friends.

The day after I went to the bar, I played soccer all day and then went to a barbecue. My hair did this too, with intentionally minimal intervention on my part. At the barbecue, I met a cusp Aquarian who threw grapes that I caught in my mouth. The tranquil hedgehog on top of his head amused the dyspeptic starfish on mine--we went to meet friends of mine in Wallingford, then we had nowhere else to go. I thought about how it is to have something with valuable benefits that mean nothing to you for years, like, say, a room of one's own, and then when you need it, you find yourself at the exact center of the only two months of living with your mom you will experience for the rest of your life. At one point while he was in the bathroom, I received a not entirely facetious suggestion to take him to a nearby park. Eventually we left to check the schedule for his bus, found we had 20 minutes to wait. We went to the park.

Once there, we swung, and as our momentum gradually drew us out of sync, he periodically paused to realign our arcs. He told me the names of trees. When I remembered to, I looked him in the eye--it is allowed. We saw poorly remembered parts of constellations, and he missed the next two buses.

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April 2016

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