Paprika

That summer was one of the driest scorching dull heats the village had experienced in years the old ones said at the store every time anyone walked by, ’twas the hot topic, giggle. It was just the beginning of summer break I spent everyday in, on, near that tobique river my heart still beats to the flow. That summer many of the girls I was growing up with had began to experiment with the super duper awesome world of self expression via cosmetics. Oh the colours, styles, patterns. The way other girls began to dress and act intrigued me so much. I would watch grown women put on lipstick and stare cause it was so pretty, womanly. I see all things nice and “girly” perfectly wonderful for girls to enjoy. When did feminism become not feminine? My mom did not at that time take care of herself at all, embarrassing really sweat pants and google glasses just given up barely alive miserable worn out look. To see other moms style their hair, place the backs on earrings, the makeup all these lovely things made me giggle inside. I wanted to do it too. I wanted to be just as pretty and as a girl I associated pretty with what made me feel happy. When does that logic stop? So much going on that summer as a young girl explores the waters of womanhood. The breasts that ache all the time as your chest swells, you awkwardly hide these new developments uncertain the whys. The first time shaving my legs, the Knicks and scratches, oh dear had to wear pants most that summer. Boys began to act strange, feelings are developing that are so incredibly foreign.

All things pretty & frilly for me.

I remember walking into Greers store on main street this wee store that held every imaginable thing you could possibly need. The two doors swing in and I remember touching all the ladies garnets as I walked past, I have a need to touch fabrics textures are very important. In the second first isle was a section for ladies products and on the bottom shelf a box popped off the shelf, none else did I see. I held up my first box of hair dye, a beautiful women with this vibrant fiery red hair. The lady on the box was tossing her gorgeous hair back with this warm smile, she was the most beautiful woman. The box red “paprika red” I was in love I could see my face on the box, that woman was who I wanted to be, to look like I connected to the image greatly. I got home before lunch from town with my grams with that box of dye hidden in my bag. I was so excited to get home and instantly become this red bombshell who I personally selected. Liking picking your identity like a random image in a tattoo parlour. I knew mom and dad would not be home from work yet dad was never home and mom was working driving the roller paving our road route 385 the road up river. I mixed up this orange paste and randomly squirted it on. I’m sure I was staind red I had no idea what I was doing, dear girl.

It burnt, stank and itched it felt like forever with red rice crispies on my head. That moment I took the pink towel off my head I saw that brilliant red, that’s all I saw, so incredibly joyous I got dressed, put on some snickers watermelon roll on lipgloss and a smudge of cotton candy perfume. I fluffed, I puffed, I brushed and turned around admiring my first choice towards the image I naturally was drawn towards. Down over the steps the pebbles under foot on my bike and down the road, just like I was flying as I rolled down the big hill towards the pig house. The warm sun on my face, my red hair blowing in my face, catching the sun like fire twinkling in the sun. The air lifts my heart I felt so very beautiful. I really felt some special. Red stains and all I was on cloud nine. I took the wide swing at the bottom and stood to paddle back up. As I crowned the top I could see the truck letting you off in the driveway. That blue & white cooler in hand. You hated working, hated it. I’ve seen you sabotage yourself to hurt yourself in order to be off. From allergies to lupus, imaginary bone pain in a metal joint. It’s always been something so you didn’t have to work. When you did it was horrible! You became the worst tyrant known while you counted the hours till you’d fall into a ditch, twist your ankle if and the I fell over a tree one that got you a year income while you laid in bed. You were miserable all summer. I rode up to the top and as you looked my way I saw your eyes glare me down. You threw that cooler and charged at me, knocking me into the gravel. “You destructing whore! Tramping up and down the road like a painted tramp. Get you fat face inside, you trollip. I ran into the house I could hear my heart pounding… I ran up to my room and fell all apart. You stood at the bottom yelling up the stairs.. I could only hear me trying to gag back my noises as to not instigate you further. I pulled the covers over my head and things go blank……

blank….

Blank……

my young brain going into shutdown mode. I have so many blanks that randomly burst into images. Like this feeling I had. Today as I vainly glanced upon myself this hit me like a brick. I loose my ability to maintain rhythm in breath, my hart stops, catches in flutters that hurt. The sweat pours and tears fill.. I’m transported to this exact moment.

I recently after 20 years of having jet black hair to hide behind. A convenient look of my youth that said leave me alone what I should have said was help me. Never leave me alone, Help. I stepped outside a big security blanket I used to fade my face, blend in, unattractive even at points. I decided all over again like that young girl I sat in a salon while my blanket bleached and giggly picked a colour any colour in a book of white to green I saw only one.. a rust auburn, this perfect color popped off at me. With your voice screaming your ugly fat face… fat face… round fat face.. fuck you!!! I said yes. I’ve been loving my hair each day. It’s long again since you made me cut it off for prom to a pixie cut. My big, fuzzy fluffy hair now red…. eeeeeek!!! Loves it.

Another blank filled in.

Paprika

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