We were dancing, Lulu, the Boss, and I. Because that’s what you do when you’re hanging out with your girlfriends and you have a get of jail/parenting card. The Boss said something about her bald head. It was semi-self-deprecating.
“Do you know what you look like to me? Lulu asked the Boss. “You look like a goddess.”
I had to agree.
A couple weeks later, the Boss and I went to the Keg (If you’re in the US, know that the Keg=semi-cheesy Canadian steak franchise. But expensive enough that you feel kind of classy). We took a picture which I can’t post because I don’t generally post identifying pictures here, but also because in front of me you can see 1) a “Keg-sized” glass of wine, and 2) a giant vat of butter for me to dip my crab into. (“Dip my crab into” should be a metaphor for something untoward, but I assure you it is not. I was literally dipping my crab.) There are only so many receptacles of yellow liquid a lady can countenance being photographed with.
The Boss had a hot flash. Who knew that was a side effect of chemo? Five to ten years of fake menopause, which ends just in time for the real thing!
“I’m going to have to take off my head scarf,” she said. “Is that OK with you?”
I sort of loved that she asked my permission. I was like, “Hells, yes! Take it off! Take it all off!”
This was the same lady who a few months ago was all, “I am not OK with being a person with cancer.” And yet, tonight, she was smoking. The makeup, the outfit–she had it going on. She just didn’t have any hair. It made her even hotter, in a “I am ripping up a picture of the Pope in front of you motherfuckers” sort of way.
The funny thing is, the Boss has this killer wig. It is to die for. I tried it on once, and I’m telling you, I have never looked so good. I’ve seen that wig a whole bunch of times, but never on the Boss’s head out in the world. I think this is telling. I think the Boss is braver than she thinks she is.
Wigs are hot and uncomfortable. So, apparently, are head scarves when you’re having a hot flash.
So she pulled it off. We were sitting at the bar. Then we went to a show (more on this later!). The Boss stayed bald the whole damn time. As we were walking from the restaurant to the show, she said, “Watch, watch how people stare at me.”
It was true.
I defended them. “Of course they’re looking at you. Who wouldn’t look at you? Think about it: you’re walking down the street, you’re on your way home, and all of a sudden this beautiful bald lady is in front of you. How can you not stare?”
My defense was heartfelt, but man, did they stare. Worst was the 30-to-40-something men. They seemed to be riveted to their phones, but then they’d look–just for a second–and then they were back to their phones. But the look–the look was killer.
“Do you know what you look like to me? Lulu asked the Boss, back when we were just dancing in our hotel room. “You look like a goddess.”
Yes, I thought. This is EXACTLY what a goddess looks like. Everyone is staring at her because how can they not? But also, SHE is staring at them. She is saying, “I’m hot, and I don’t want to wear my wig or my headscarf, and if you want to stare at me as a result, knock yourself out and BEHOLD ME.”
I might as well have been walking down the street with Kali. I learned about her in yoga teacher training. She’s the goddess of war and destruction, dark and violent and fierce. But also of life and creation, because you can’t have one without the other, can you? There are 108 ways to say her name! It takes a long time to go through them. Here we see her standing on top of Shiva, who is usually considered the Main Destruction Dude. (Because, you know, boys write history. And mythology But I digress.) Also, she is blue, so you would probably stare at her if you saw her sitting at the bar at the Keg.
“You look like a goddess to me!” Exactly. I just hope we can all remember, later, when everyone is healthy and distracted, what it’s like to be a goddess. Or what it’s like to walk down the street with one.