Tuesday, September 21, 2004


First, a piece of advice: never, ever, dismiss something by saying oh, it's just semantic to a woman with a linguistics degree. Okay? Do we have that out of the way?

Second, I've had a couple of weird moments lately, thinking about how to talk about my father.

Have you noticed how we say about someone, they lost their father? I've been trying that out for myself, and it fits awkwardly in my mouth. I lost my father in April. I tried saying it out loud on my way to my hair stylist this morning, in preparation for the lecture I knew I was in for on the terrible condition of my hair (hasn't been cut or even trimmed once this calendar year, unless you count the night at work a fly strip got stuck in my ponytail and a lighting guy had to cut it out with his Leatherman). I lost my father in April, I've been flying back and forth a lot, I've been in mourning, I haven't had the money for both cut and color, I haven't had the emotional space to do something so self-pleasuring, I wasn't sure if it was religiously appropriate, I couldn't figure out which salon you were at, etcetera.

And the formulation doesn't work. I mean, saying I lost him makes it sound like I misplaced him, and I didn't.

I know exactly where he is.

Saying that you've lost something also suggests that you might find it again, and I'm reasonably sure I'm not going to see my father again, unless we do catch up with everyone after we die. This is the piece that I'm still having a hard time with, and know I will for years: really connecting to the gone-ness of the deceased.

The other weird thing happened yesterday, talking to Mike. I'm trying to get my mother to come visit the weekend of my father's birthday, I told him, and immediately felt like I had one foot in the elevator and one out. What do I call that day now? I asked him. He seemed to understand; Mike's been a member of the deceased dad club a lot longer than I have, and was one of the first people I really felt got what I was going through. His anniversary? suggested Mike. It's still his birthday. I waved my hands around in the air; I was getting a little wound-up. But I figured he was right. We still say Washington's Birthday, Mike added. And he's been dead a lot longer than my father, I responded.

But it's still a little strange.

In answer to the other question, it's darker now, and has a reddish cast. My stylist went fifty-fifty "mocha java" and "red violet". Unfortunately I can't convince him to pull out a chunk of hair in the area that's coming in silver so I would have a streak, so the white hair certain persons found sexy is gone.

For now.

And yes, it looks great. I am going to go out and cause some trouble in this hair.