Monday, July 24, 2006

She Wore Lemon














I picked four lemons from Macey's two for one table.
"Why do I shop for produce here?" I asked myself, as I do everytime I find myself fighting for cart space with cellphoned students. The produce looks disappointed.
I decided to make CW's sour cream lemon pie for Sunday's dessert.
I pick through the lemons until I find four that I could take home and love.

Later that day Chup goes to work. Lucy calls to say that she is bored. Around here, I seem to be the cure for boredom. Mostly because I talk incessantly about my latest obsessions.
Last week: Space.
This week: Living a life without hope.

Lucy is complaining that her legs are white. Will I go tanning with her?
Walking in to Wia-Mia Tanning Salon reminds me of a rushed tan before my high school Homecoming Dance. I burned my skin and vowed never to come back. What am I doing?
"The Spray On Tan is your best option." The bleached blonde is saying to us as we sign our epidermis history away on old clipboards.

The Spray On Tan booth is located in the back of the salon. You take your belongings off in a small room where there are salty papers meant for scrubbing dead skin off your body. I go first. I am horrible at following directions. Specially when I am nervous. This is making me nervous.
I put my hair in what appears to be a puffy surgeons cap and strap on the tiny goggles. I feel ridiculous. Lucy is chanting positives from beyond the door. I enter in to the Spray On Tan room which has a peculiar feeling of a gas chamber. I press the green button. The chamber rumbles and makes a noise like an old airplane trying to take off. I get sprayed in the face. I can't breath. I am claustrophobic. Heart beating. I turn around and get my back side. The tan sprays the goggles and I can't see anything. Too much noise, not enough vision.
I hate this.
Finally it's over.
I open the door and steam races out. I feel like a mad scientist leaving his lab where some unfortunate experiment just blew off his clothes. Brown stuff sweats off me as I dry with a warm towel.

"Don't shower for 4 to 6 hours mmmmkay?" Bleachy reminds us as we leave.

On the way to the car I collapse.
"I've had it. I've got to stop spending time, energy and money on hope. I can't go back there every 5 days hoping that Spray On Tan will make me look more attractive. I can't keep bleaching my hair hoping that I'll be considered a bombshell. I can't spend more energy denying myself food hoping that it will make me thinner..."
Five minutes later Lucy and I are trying to match my natural hair color from the back of a L'oreal box.
"I think you are ash brown."
Lucy promises she's done this before, I am surprisingly trusting her.
I text Azucar, giving her ample warning.

When Chup gets home from work I am a brunette.
Lucy is flipping through the channels, reclining on the leather couch, thoroughly pleased with her ability to read directions and wash hair with plastic gloves. I am staring at the new me in the mirror.
"Ooooh!" Chup moans. "I like it. It's different."
I go back to staring. Trying not to hope that I will change my mind about not wanting to be blonde. I miss it already.

Sitting at Bishop's Council on Sunday I look across the room at my friend Alex. He mouths "I like it!" and pretends to bounce chin-lengthened hair with his up-turned wrists.
He is the first person to notice.
"Thanks!" I mouth back.
A discussion follows surrounding the suspicions that I dyed my hair for Girls Camp this week. I assure all that I don't take Girls Camp that seriously.

The young women at church want to know why.
"I am trying to be me for awhile. However I am. If I can't be me, my weight, my hair color, my blue eyes, then I've got real problems." They are understanding.
One of them exclaims,
"I like it! It goes with your tan!"

Azucar texts me back, assuring that I probably look fine. My mother is positive. My dad unabashedly admits he likes his daughter blonde. I catch myself hoping that brown makes me look thinner in the face. Hoping that someone will say something a long those lines. Hoping that I will be blonde when I am resurrected.

In the hot afternoon I am grating lemons for the pie.
I pick up a particular round fruit.
I don't remember it being so circular.
But Macey's produce is unpredictable.
When I cut into it I see.


It was an orange trying to be a lemon.