August 19, 2011

Auburn Blood

  I keep sleeping on my blood-stained pillowcase. Even the pillow inside I have not tossed away – even that I have kept because the blood is from the worst injury I have had in years (knock on something), and it was to my head. I have slept on the historical pillowcase for 47 nights.
  Just before I turn the light off I look again at the stains and smears, drops, and suggestive smudges on the pale green pillowcase. Secretly, I am glad that the pillowcase my head rested on that first night is pale green.
  I looked this morning at the pillowcase. The place on my head still hurts a little and there is a bump, but the last bit of blood leaked out over three weeks ago from where the scab had clung, even as tiny hairs tried to grow through it.
  This morning it is time again to dye my hair. It was due about the time I fell on the asphalt.
    Miss Linda, I gotcha, I’m not gonna
    leave, Miss Linda,”
said a stranger named Sonny,
    who held my hand until the ambulance came.
    I could hear my friend behind me say to 911
    "There is so much blood,
    there’s blood all over.”
    Sonny said, “Don’t worry, Miss Linda,
    I ain’t goin’ nowhere, I gotcha.”
  As the gurney rose into the air, I looked at the asphalt. There’s blood all over, so much blood.
  My head was cauterized and glued after hair was cut off. Now it is healed and the glue has come out and the scabs have come off, and my hair was cut last week. I'll dye it redbrown -- one auburn or another – whatever is on sale.
  With the color mixed I squirt it on my hair. At first it is deep purply red, like blood from your liver or some other dark innard which hides blood. It drips on my face, my neck, one drip rolls down my chest and stops at a nipple. With plastic gloves, I hold a hand mirror, and see a niagara of purply red pouring down my neck.
  I wipe that off, and even as I do the color begins to turn auburn. Auburn more and more like blood.
  Now I am redheaded again, and I will be more careful. Tonight I will sleep once more on the bloodstained pillowcase; a little dye might rub off.

1 comment:

Lisa Diane McCall said...

Love this! Love it because it is about edgy messiness and what most people would not feel comfortable with. It's not floral and lovely, and yet, it makes me feel the messy loveliness of life and I smile…;)