Saturday, October 10, 2009

My mom's purse was shiny and fuchsia colored.  It was the color of the lipstick she always wore.  It was the color of lipstick every women wore then.  I would always find it hanging off the inside doorknob to her bedroom.  Inside I'd find oversized plastic bracelets, pink ones and turquoise ones.  Bracelets women only wore in the period when the 80's were giving birth to the 90's.  Inside would be a pack of gum, wallet, a checkbook, pens, loose condoms and lots of makeup.  This was at a time when my mother would still stare into the bathroom mirror murmuring "god dammit" every time she found a grey hair, coloring every single one in the a black sharpee marker.  When I was done feeling with my fingers through the dumped contents of her purse on the floor, I'd abandon the mess I made and go sit on the hallway floor next to the bathroom's open door.  My mother was beautiful.  She'd look in the mirror and empty a purple can of hairspray, she'd do this while hot curlers danced loosely in her hair as she erratically jolted around saying "where'd I put my lipstick?"  Pushing past me I'd admire her efficiency with...I'd admire womens' efficiency in this tedious process of all the things to be done before going to kmart or tj-maxx or hills... on a hot date, the bar, church....for days.  I'd hear her yell from her bedroom.  Why did I need to breach the barriers of her private life?  Finger through every object, breath in every smell, rubbing every texture until my fingers were raw.  This was at a time when my mother still wore cheap high heals everyday.  This is when she would still drive an old tan pontiac from 1984 with a coat hanger antenna. This was at a time when my mother still had the energy to still beat the shit out of me for making a mess, for finding her condoms, for loving her, and she did just that.  Her curler rods falling onto the floor.  Sometimes I cried when I watched her back down out of the driveway from the living room window that looked out over the front yard.  But that day I did not cry.  Because she said she was going to the grocery store and than tj-maxx.... I didn't cry because I knew that meant she'd be back as soon as tomorrow and I wouldn't have to wait so long to sit and watch my beautiful mother put on her makeup again.

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