Strawberry Chin

May 11, 2009

A few weeks back, when Linen went down for a nap, I felt like I needed a rebirth of sorts. I felt the high tide of grief receding again and needed to aid its retreat, at least in my mind. It had been a few weeks since my last low point and a trip through the town in which we used to live brought the waters upon me so I did my usual order of tears, yelling and questioning things. By Tuesday, I was sick of it. I’m not comfortable with something controlling me or being the victim so I wrestle this thing often.

So when Linen collapsed for a nap, I decided to clean up a bit. I went into the bathroom thinking I’d do a quick hair and goatee trim and I walked out looking like a basic trainee. I can’t remember the last time I shaved my head and had a completely clean face. In fact, even when I shaved my “in-Fidel” beard, I kept a few whisks.

When I heard Linen waking, I went in there to pick her and she noticed immediately that I looked different. We sat on the chair, as she continued to ease into being awake as we usually do and I rub her back and tell her I love her. Only this time, she wouldn’t ever look at me. When she would, she would quickly and casually glance up to see this strange man with Daddy’s voice. I kept telling her that Daddy’s goatee went bye bye, but I think she thought it was as permanent as my ears. Even after 30 minutes, when she was picking through her lunch, she barely would look at me. I even made sure to do the Curious George song and dance (very advanced choreography that always ends up with me on the floor on my back and hands in the air). Still, this wasn’t enough to convince her that this guy was her daddy.

I remember as a child thinking a few times that some people or another life form had taken my parents away and replaced them, and they were trying to act just like them. They had been studying us from a distance and I was analyzing any break in routine to uncover their experiments. ‘When were they coming to get me and replace me?’ I don’t know if they ever gave Ben and Sarah back, but that’s just a hunch…I’m still analyzing that.

Linen still hasn’t cracked a smile at me and occasionally just whispers something under her breath while she cuts her eyes at me, like she’s trying to test my hearing; but, my allergies had caused me to be deaf in my right ear since Saturday. I won’t go into a detailed description about the séance I had in my bathroom with a candle in my ear and a 2 inch flame or describe what came out of my ear. So, I was superimposing my childhood paranoia onto Linen or either she inherited this eccentric mind.

Finally, after much in the face talking and explaining the shaving process to her, she felt my chin and said, “Where’s daddy’s go-tee?” She followed that up with, “Daddy has a strawberry.” I guess 2 hours after shaving; my chin feels like the small seeds that pepper the skin of a strawberry. I love her associations, and I now have another story to tell her when she is old enough to laugh at our days weathering the storm together. I think I am going to keep the strawberry for a while. It makes me look about 10 years younger and I don’t want Linen to think that body snatchers are continually performing experiments and testing her cognitive ability.

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One Response to “Strawberry Chin”

  1. Fran said

    I wish I could have seen the Curious George dance. Will you please do this for us next time! Great story!

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