Something shifted in me yesterday. I am happy-go-lucky for the first time in ages.
Throughout this winter and spring (of this year and 20 or so others) I fretted about the long-ago murder of my friend Carolyn, and the former-friend who apparently killed her.
In January, I went back to Seoul — where the diabolical crime took place in 1988 — and devoted a week to reliving the story. Ultimately, my second trip to the Korean Peninsula taught me how to endure being split in two.
Yet I wasn’t really ready to move forward until yesterday.
I was running errands like a banshee — preparing for my dear friends’ baby shower and the chance to celebrate a baby that we ALL wanted to come into the world.
Because I wanted to look fancy for the party, I got my nails done by the Vietnamese shop near Macy’s in the mall. I adore these nail ladies, and think about their countries’ suffering every time I’m getting a manicure. Going to Nail Pro is a reality check and a love fest all rolled into one.
Afterward, I made the split decision to head up to the “threading” salon and get my eyebrows perfected. That’s how important this soon-to-be-born bambino is to me — even my eyebrows had to look good for his/her shower.
Threading? It’s an ancient Indian Subcontinent grooming tradition. (Oh, hey did I mention that Brain in a Jar is debuting on the Subcontinent this month?)
Okay, purveyors of this “treatment” use a piece of thread to quickly pull hair from the body. It’s so efficient, so perfect, so clean, so Zen, so cheap, so very very awesome.
I used to get “threaded” in the subway station near my house in Little India, Singapore. The proprietress, a Hindu-turned-Christian, loved that my son was named for King David. She quoted bible passages as she ripped goat hairs from my chin. I loved every second of it. Little Prince David used to watch in awe.
Anyway, the Nepalese lady at the Burlington threading salon was delighted to see me and went to work on my eyebrows. I asked to her to hit the lip and chin, too. While she was making my face as smooth as a baby’s butt, I overheard an elderly lady from New Jersey waxing poetic, or nostalgic, outside the shop.
(Read what follows in a Jersey accent.)
“What is going on in there? Why is that lady getting that done in sight of everyone? But I like that. Maybe I want that? Seems natural. Easy peasy. How much does it cost? How long does it take? I’ve never seen such a thing. Can you believe it, at my age, I’m interested in this?”
She went on and on. Enthralled with the process. I smiled often listening to her, as did my threader. I couldn’t see the elderly Jersey lady until I finally stood up from my hair-removing session.
She was 90 or so, in a wheelchair, escorted by her son. Her eyebrows were bushier than any I have ever seen. When she saw me, she said, “You look so beautiful! Wow! I want to get threaded too!”
And she did.
That, my dears, is how I came back to life again yesterday after so much death over the years: with the help of some Vietnamese ladies, a Nepalese gal, and a happy old soul from New Jersey — a state shaped exactly like the Korean Peninsula — as well as the promise of brand new baby.
Two babies, actually, as my gorgeous genius daughter-in-law and handsome smart stepson are expecting a baby girl in August! On Saturday, I found the perfect gift for their child. Her first swimsuit, of course!
Life begins again.