Having long hair, I tend to shed hairs wherever I go. Hairs that are recognisably mine – long, wavy and golden-brown. Like a little note that says “I was here”. Particularly anywhere I’ve brushed or washed my hair. Or slept.
So even though he’s tried to expunge me entirely from his life, somewhere in his flat there are probably still some stubborn strands. Hiding under the furniture. Woven into his pillowcases (how they weave themselves into fabrics so tightly I simply don’t know – but they do). Between the pages of the borrowed books I returned to him when we split up. On the shoulder of the clothes he wore when he put his arm around me.
And as he cleans his house with the obsessive precision that we once laughed about, he will remove my straying hairs one by one. Clean them from his life. Does it give him a pang to see them and remember the curtain of my hair that fell about him as we kissed? Or does he see them as remnants of my clinging to him, unwholesome reminders which he is glad to throw away? Almost certainly the second, I fear… how much things have changed!
One day there will be no more entanglements, and he will have purged me entirely from his life. But for now foolish hairs still hide themselves in the corners of his life. Like the foolish hopes that hide themselves in the corners of my heart.
There was a fairytale hero – the maiden or the prince? I don’t remember – who walked across a bridge made of a single hair. But the gulf is too wide to be bridged by a few fragile hairs that cling where they do not belong. I can’t see either of us taking that walk across the emptiness between us. Indeed I know in my heart there would be no happily-ever-after, even if one of us tried to reach out again. So I must continue to let go. I must walk tall, my hair blowing in the breeze and swinging with the rhythm of my walking and my dancing.
Most of me is already walking towards my future. But like the scattered strands of hair I left behind, there are a few bits of me that still cling on to what is now our past.
[The second post on this site, breaking the silence, started with a 15 minute writing practice, inspired by red ravine. The idea is to write without stopping for 15 minutes, without going back over what you wrote. This is a shortened version of the second one I wrote – with the topic “hair”!]