Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Escape from Reality

Today, when the thought of washing, drying, and straightening my hair felt too tiring, I decided to get a haircut after work. I normally cut my own hair and bangs, but today I felt like having someone else do it for me. I looked up a new place that takes walk-ins.

I told my mom my plans, then realized something: it's an almost universal rule that hairdressers talk to you about your life while you're in the chair for a haircut. "Maybe I shouldn't go," I texted my mom. "They always ask you about your life when you sit there." I didn't want to become a sad, sopping, tearful mess or answer questions about myself that would make me get emotional.

So that I wouldn't have to talk about the sad mess that is my life, I joked about making up a life to tell the hairdresser to answer any questions. "A brain surgeon with 6 adopted children" was one of the ideas I texted my mom. Who would be the wiser? I'd never been to this place before...

In the end, I walked into the salon and decided to just be me... but the me from a month ago. In a place I'd never been before, I escaped from my reality.

"Aw, you're married?" the hairdresser asked, noticing my ring.

Yeah. I said it with a smile.

"How many years have you been married?"


"What's your husband's name?"


I imagined that Rick was just waiting at home, impatient for me to get home for the night. Maybe he was making dinner or feeding the cats. He'd probably like my new haircut, even though it's only 2 or 3 inches shorter with trimmed bangs. I'd tell him all about my workday when I got home. Funny stories. Annoyances. He'd tell me about his.

No one in that salon knew my husband was dead. I got to pretend for an hour and a half. I got to escape. I got to be myself again. The old me. Before death shook everything up.

I'm not having unhealthy delusions. I just wanted to escape for a while. Maybe I'll never do it again. Maybe I'll go back to that same salon in a couple of months and keep up the charade in a contained environment. Who knows.

All I know is that I miss my husband and for an hour and a half I felt like I didn't have to miss him.

The fantasy dissolved as I drove home. I arrived at an empty house. The cats were waiting for me to feed them. There was no dinner waiting for me. There was no one to tell about my day. There was only my TV, some pizza, and a pile of mail for a husband who no longer lives here.

I don't have the energy to go through the mail tonight. There's another medical bill in there - I can tell from the envelope - and a few other things that look important. But I used up all my reserves playing pretend at the salon. I'm tired. I'm alone. And I wish this nightmare was over.

In any case, I'm pretty sure Rick would like my hair. 


  1. I think its totally ok to want to escape for a while. You have every right to not want to have difficult conversations.

    You're so strong. You amaze me every day.

    I'm sure the hair looks great. Big hugs! Love you

  2. Angel I dont think there is anything wrong with wanting that, wanting to rewind and to savour that for however short of time. This reality is so dreadful and so difficult and you are under no obligation to share that unless you choose to do so. I am in awe of you sweet friend. xxx


Help me feel less alone.