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.
The phone rang at work, and when I picked it up I heard this:
“Don’t give me too many details about your life or else we won’t have anything to talk about this weekend—because we’re BORING!”
It was Lulu, doing the Lulu-shriek-talking. She, the Boss, and I are headed out of town for a little weekend getaway we like to call MOTHER’S DAY WITH NO CHILDREN.
Spa-ing, hiking, riding down some kind of crazy slide down the side of a mountain. My only regret is that the zipline where they let you go tethered together with two friends isn’t yet open for the season.
I tried to give Lulu the directions, because she’s meeting the Boss and me there, and she said, “Look, I’m just going to drive north and when I get close, I’m going to pull over and start texting you guys.”
“The weather is supposed to be bad,” I’d remarked in an email exchange earlier.
“That’s OK,” Lulu wrote.
That just means more time for the free entertainment show and earlier drinks. We could spend the whole weekend locked in a car and we’d still have fun—as long as it doesn’t get too hot. PS. I hate typing now since there is no auto correct – can’t they set that up on my computer?
What is this “free entertainment show” she speaks of, you might ask. Is it going to be like in Dirty Dancing, when you go to the resort and they put on a show in the dining hall and then later you “make friends” with one of the dancers and he helps you find your true awesome self and also you pioneer the unfortunate trend of rolled up cut off jean shorts?
No, the “free entertainment show” is merely Lulu’s unceasing colour commentary on life.
“OK!” she said as we were preparing to hang up. “You two–don’t talk about too much in the car! Talk about kids in the car!”
“OMG!” Lulu squealed. “Pink! I love you, but I’ve failed you! I’ll never be a backup dancer for you now.”
Lulu, the Boss, and I were watching Pink’s Grammy performance of Glitter in the Air. She and her dancers are on this ribbony trapeze thing way above the audience. At this moment, Lulu had to give up her dreams of backup dancer stardom.
The setting: a slumber party. Pink drinks were being consumed, because it’s a proven scientific fact that pink drinks enhance Pink. It’s also a proven scientific fact that pink drinks cushion the blow when one sees one’s career ambitions go up in smoke.
“She looks like Mary, Mother of Jesus,” I said. “But with glitter.”
“The three kings,” said the Boss, taking a sip. “They brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I bet they brought glitter, too.”
Maybe they brought glitter and pink drinks. The third item was probably a massage therapist. It’s very likely it just got lost in translation.
“I might as well be injecting meth,” said Lulu, who was smoking an “adult cigarette” in her garage, dressed in her husband’s bathrobe and wearing a shower cap.
If you remember the original Mock Chicken, I should tell you that Lulu is no longer in the city with me. Alas, she moved, and is now about two hours away, in a quaint little town famous for its Mennonite community. Some of them ride around in buggies and wear traditional dress, though most don’t. It’s the “most don’t” contingent that worries Lulu. “They’re everywhere!” she says. “And they want to steal your soul.”
I need to set the record straight here. Lulu is maybe a twice a year smoker of adult cigarettes, which, I hasten to add are PERFECTLY (sort of) legal here in Canada. I cannot join her, because inhaling anything into my lungs besides fresh air and, like, the bus exhaust of my mega-urban street, gives me a panic attack.
So on our last visit/slumber party, Lulu had me all set up. “Have a seat,” she said, ushering me into the garage, where she had set up two camp chairs. A bottle of wine had been uncorked for me.
“I’ll be right back,” she said. “Have a drink.”
We were in the garage because of the aforementioned soul stealers. Lulu felt that the eighth of an inch of daylight between the edge of her blinds and the window well might be playing host to some of her neighbours’ eyeballs, and so she’d planned a retreat to the garage.
I sipped my Chardonnay and she reappeared looking like a cross between the ghost of Christmas Past and a beauty school drop out.
The robe—her husband’s—was so large that it pooled on the floor and covered her hands. Charles Dickens could have stashed not only Ignorance and Want there, but there would also have been room for Overindulgence and Maybe Just One More, But Only If You Insist, Thanks. Between it and the shower cap, only her face was showing. It turns out that although Lulu enjoys the occasional adult cigarette, she doesn’t enjoy the lingering smell.
“I might as well be injecting meth!” she shrieked, taking a puff and looking around as if she expected a horse and buggy bearing an unmerciful neighbour to come charging through.
Well, no. But Lulu is prone to hyperbole and that’s why we love her. How lucky are we to sit back and sip our Chardonnay and bask in her paranoid glory?
The latest from Lily.
I ran in2 this girl I know who used 2 work at 8th street Lab, but now works at Yellow Rat Bastard. She was going 2 get free drinks where her former high school counselor was bartending. Considering she just graduated, I was impressed.
The latest from Lily, whose gift-giving impulse was thwarted by Canadian customs…
I M so bummed! I wanted your address at work becasue I saw an ad on the side of a bus 4 a new floral arrrangement U can send, which is basically flowers arranged with 2 straws 2 look like a giant cocktail in an oversized margarita glass! Dude! But I tried 2 order it, and they R not available in your province! WTF? They offered me a weedy lookng fern or a bunch of roses as an alternative, which I crabbily refused. I M outraged, but at least I’ve finally found a weak spot in that otherwise (seemingly) flawless country. I’m going 2 keep checking, cause I think they R coming out with a martini version –perhaps Canada only permits floral imitations of hard drinks 2 cross their border.