Our girls day and night out couldn’t be worse. Waking up at eight a.m. for a nine thirty appointment at the spa, is not my idea of a great day, but Jessie and mom and even Grandmother want to go and enjoy this day, and who, in their right mind, wakes up at eight for a manicure and pedicure? It’s simply not right.
Ugh, in my red hoodie, light blue jeans and some tee that I’ve slung on as well my boots, which my mother is dismayed over, but then I reminded her of the slippers you can buy for like, ninety nine cents at the place when you’re there.
I sit in the car, with my gran waiting for me in the drivers seat, because it’s her friends place that we’re going to. I sit near the window, and notice the rain outside, turning the already sludged snow into more sludge with my headphones on and listening to the smooth, morning music that juts raises the question of, why am I awake when I can sleep?
Then I feel the seat in front of me cave into my knees, and I yelp out in frustration, and then take out my headphones for a more demanding question and tone. “What the fuck?”
“Don’t use that language with me, girl,” My gran says and I see her stone cold eyes in the mirror above her head. “Now, at least try not to fuck up this day, it’s important to your mother and sister after all of the shit you’ve put them through – after these past eight months. So leave it.”
This isn’t going to be awkward at all.
Jessie jumps into the car with so much energy, I think she’s going to implode. Again, she doesn’t look like herself or her age – she looks too mature, her big brown eyes outlined in black, and her eyelids all shadowy and dark. She wears a neutral and pretty shade of lipstick, and has just random strands of her hair braided in the pony tail she’s brought her hair into.
She’s only thirteen years old, and she’s dressed in a black top that slits over her shoulders and at the top of her arms, and she’s dressed in a pair of dark gray sweats that cuff at the end. She’s wearing small, opened toe shoes.
“You do realize it’s like… forty below, right?” I ask her, incredulous about it all.
“And yet I’m still rapping,” she says, completely serious as she plugs in her head phones.
“Alright!” Mom said, with full enthusiasm in her voice as she sits in the front seat next to Gran. “Let’s get this party started,” she said, looking like a complete geek – it’s all in her eyes, the fake, naïve optimism she has about everything.
I roll my eyes and turn my attention out the window, to where the slush is forming right before my eyes, and out of desperation to start over somewhat, I replay the song. Wake up everyone. How can you sleep at a time like this? Unless the dreamer is the real you – listen to your voice, the one that tells you to taste past the tip of your tongue. Leap and the net will appear.
I don’t want to wake before the dream is over – I’m going to make it mine – Matt and I are on the bed, I’m laying back, listening to the music that he’s playing all of a sudden, such new music for Matt, because he’s not that hot with music, usually he just likes Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, The Used and other, modern shit like that.
“This is nice,” I tell him, my head resting on the back of my arm as it’s bended behind my head, on the pillow of the bed.
“It is,” he says, leaning back so he lies next to me, his head turned toward me so I can see the depth behind his glasses and in his eyes. His fingers trace the edge of my face as I turn onto my side, and his touch feels nice, and sincere. Then, as I knew he would, he leans in for the kiss and our lips gently touch, once…
“Luce, you okay?” Jess asks me, peering over to me from the other side of the car. “You’re… you’re tearing up,” she tells me – and I can see how awkward she feels about it, about seeing her older sister cry. Well, I don’t want to break before the tour is over. I’m going to make it mine. That’s right, I…I want to own it. I’m going to make it mine… And timing’s everything, and this time there’s plenty I am balancing, careful and steady, and reveling in energy that everyone’s emitting.
The spa is small – on the outside, and when you first enter, it’s simply a desk in the middle of the entry room, and two narrow hallways on both sides of it. Mom talks with the woman on the other side of the counter, and she’s all smiling and happy, something you see very rarely in Jaimie Carlisle. Well, I don’t want to wait no more – oh, I want to celebrate the whole world. I’m going to make it mine. Mom and Grandma follow the girl behind the counter, the girl named Kelly, and Grandma looks stern set happy, like she’s going to have fun no matter what today, and mom’s hand rests on the small of my back, and she smiles so wide and genuine I feel sad for her.
I’m going to make it mine, because I’m following your joy.
This place is weird, every other person who works here is either Asian, American or Hispanic, so many different languages being spoken that it’s as if a new one has been created. I call it Asmanic, wait – no, Satanic is more like it. Jessie squeals with giggles as other people touch her toes and talks lovely with the Asian woman who she can’t even understand, because her accent is so thick. Hopefully we don’t get Chinese after this, my head will explode.
There is no sanity left in the world.
Mom has specific instructions, per usual, of what she wants and it’s tough and interesting to watch, the two are very stubborn, and strong women, and the other is not speaking English the entire time. Grandma asks the girl to do something that she thinks will look nice and painless, and keeps on calling mom “sweetie” to calm her down. Jessie won’t stop changing her mind over and over again, so I just pick one color and stick with it, and try to be nonchalant, which isn’t hard and the woman doesn’t try to talk to me and I don’t try to talk to her – all’s good.
Then I see J.J’s mom and aunt, Stephanie, her mother and Ginny, who isn’t really her aunt but Stephanie’s best friend from when she was a student in Italy for a semester her junior year. Her mom, Stephanie, as always, looks beautiful in that mature and motherly way even though she is older, and she isn’t skinny as a stick or as skinny as my own medium sized mother, but now she looks very comfortable, but kind of beaten down with her hair unwashed and not brushed and back in a pony tail. She’s dressed kind of weird, but then I remember it’s Stephanie, and black is one of her favorite colors.
Sometimes I wish I had her mother, but it’s obvious Ginny isn’t the same way. Stephanie has dark blond hair, and Ginny has strawberry blond hairs on her head with white blond streaks in it, her eyes are dark blue and kind of big. She’s wearing a light but very green tank top that is very fashionable over a light brown v-neck long sleeved sweater and a pair of light blue jeans. They look like they are from completely, utterly different worlds.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Stephanie, but I remember a lot about her. She’s very sweet and kind of quiet, I know she suffered from a stutter when she was a kid, but then she started taking gymnastic and dancing classes, and it helped a little bit, and she’s a good singer. She’s a lot of fun, and it’s not awkward hanging out with her, as a mom, the silence gets kind of awkward for Chloe, but for me, it’s just like home.
I don’t want to ignore her, I just don’t want to talk to her right now, so I duck my head and hope that she doesn’t see me or anything. I love her like an older sister, kind of mother, but it still burns, all of this – it’s like split personalities trying to get along.
After pedicures and manicures, Jessie, in a scarily happily manner drags me along with her to get my eyebrows waxed. Now, I wanted to tell her, sweetie, I did tricks for a living, I’ve had them, they aren’t that bad compared to fucking bikini waxes and leg waxes and all of that other shit. Not to mention some Cuban did it, but I go in with her and behave like a good older sister, or in my definition, a fake, and I hold her hand as she squeals and rubbed her palm with my thumb for her to relax, and at the end of it, I think I’ve deserved an A +.
Probably the best grade I’ll ever get and I gave it to myself.
I had to get away, if only for a little while. It was about six thirty or so, it was sometime close to seven, close to the end of the day, and dinner time was on. Mom and Jessie were all giggly and flirtatious, though only with each other, and they were pushing the bitch who I call Gran to hit on with some man about her age who was bartending there.
After some lame and mumbled excuse that no one really cared about or even heard, I left and found my way to the bathroom, where another girl was, with dyed copper hair and a shaggy hair style who had eyes that often changed shade, like from amber to dark brown to blue to green, and who worked there. I had small talk with her earlier, and she seemed really cool. Her name was Rose.
A name I would like to have.
As well as her hair.
She was applying this lipstick, the same light pink of earlier today and was still in the same white v-neck top and jeans, but now she were in this really cool blue and sparkly heels. She looked really pretty, and very casual, but ready to go on some date with probably a lower life form. I’m pretty sure no guy deserves her. But then again, I doubt the date is with a guy, so hopefully the girl isn’t a tramp.
It was quiet in there at that moment, and bright, and it was just us two, because I had looked through all of the stalls and found them empty before entering one to pee. When I got out and was washing my hands, though, the door opened with a loud bang, and another girl came in. Around the same age as me and Rose, and the same height as me, it seemed, with dark brown wavy hair, and she was pissed.
It wasn’t hard to tell – it was like a cherry bomb had went off.
“Fuck!” She screamed and then kicked at the door. “Fuck this shit!” She screamed and turned around, and started to bang on the bathroom stall doors and kick at them, finding hatred for one in particular. I looked over at Rose, who just looked as confused as I did, but when I looked at my reflection in the mirror, I saw that I was scared. What was there to be scared of? Just some pissed off chick.
“Everything okay?” I asked, because now she seemed still, just pulling at her hair and leaning against one, practically in the stall.
“No, I gotta fucking kicked out of my fucking class!” She yelled, covering her face so that it was mumbled over again.
“Why?” Rose asked, she had a look on her face, of pure amusement and shock. Apparently she wasn’t planning on spending this much time with her lipstick in the bathroom.
“Ugh,” the girl moaned and stood up and then leaned against the solid part of the bathroom, the part in between that I’m sure there’s a name for. “They kicked me out for fucking cheating – it’s like, the fucking teacher can’t grade the tests themselves, but yet, he doesn’t trust us and all – so why the fucking hell doesn’t he get off his lazy, fat ass to just do it himself?”
“Because he is a lazy, fat ass,” Rose said, and looked over at the girl, and so did, and then she started to laugh, so that we all were. Rose then grabbed her bag and let it hang over her shoulder and just stood there, looking at the girl. “Who are you?” She asked incredulously, as if the question didn’t have an answer, or as if she was going to answer the Virgin Mary or Jesus or something. I would have taken Joan Jett, or David Bowie, though.
The girl sniffed through her nose as she pulled back her hair, stretching her neck in the process and I could see she was looking at her own reflection, at the tired, maddening look on her face, and then she looked down at the ground, sniffed again and then looked up, but talked to her mirrored reflection.
“Maureen,” she said, and then shoved her hands into her pocket, and out came a little baggy of something I recognized.
“Shit,” Rose and I said at the same time and then our eyes met and we were both smiling, and it only took a few minutes to get high, and then we were all stumbling out of the bathroom, laughing and our eyes probably red, and by the time I got to our table, they were long gone.
Either way, we all crashed in the narrow hallway, with my head on Maureen’s crotch and Rose who slept on top of us both.
On the ride home, I’m tired and coming off a high and all jumpy and shit, my hands tapping nervously on the window, and I can see my sisters stares, and how confused she is, and she looks kind of pissed, like she knows I fucked up. All I know is to avoid eye contact with Gran, because then she’ll know, but doesn’t she know by me avoiding her?
Twisting my head to stretch I accidently met her gaze, and her look – of pure disappointment, I looked down and then out the window, not paying attention to anyone else the entire ride. When we got home, I didn’t even grab my bag.
“Mom?” Jessie asked, as if waiting and wishing for a disciplinary, something to watch with Connor while eating popcorn.
“Just leave it,” mom said, and without feeling, I walked inside, made a cup of coffee, and then up the stairs to go take a shower, not washing my hair, shaving my legs, just standing under the shower head as the cold water washes over me until it warms up, and after a few seconds of warm water, I turn the shower head off and walk out, stepping into a towel and then rub my palm against the foggy mirror to clean it.
At first glance, I jump back as I see Matt’s reflection in the mirror, not mine. I see his dark curly hair and his small horn rimmed glasses, and his face over mine.
What the hell was that?
Did I get high off coke… or acid?