Unsupervised kids can do anything. We cut our own hair and each others.

I once took scissors and went straight up the back of my sister’s young head, all the time telling her to trust me. The result looked like a hillside stripped wide for power lines. She didn’t speak to me for awhile.

I  used to bleach my hair with hydrogen peroxide until it turned corn silk white. When I did it again, it got brittle and turned the yellow you’d associate with bad dental care.

My sister, Kristen, (whom I named my daughter after, because I loved her so much – and because she still loved me after her hair cut)…and I used to spend money on hair dyes. Probably money lifted from the folds of my father’s pocket during his afternoon nap. We bought a dye called, Coffee, which was a drastic disappointment, since we both pictured coffee with cream and sugar. Turned out the manufacturer took his straight up black.

She and I were friends and life-lines. I had her stand on my bureau once so she could gaze down at my chest. She swore I was not developing, but I insisted that if she could only look down, the way I could, well, she’d see the budding promise of breasts so apparent to me. She saw nothing, at any height. Oh well, a pair of well placed socks would do the job until the real thing arrived.

We used to daydream, she and I, about our grown up lives. Would we still live close to each other? Still sleep together when we came to visit? Still draw an imaginary line down the center of the bed to divide her side from mine…cross over and die? What would we name our children? That’s when I promised to name my first born after her. (She didn’t keep her end of the deal.) We knew we’d have to stay in really close touch, especially if we were going to get married and do-you-know-what with a man. Gross!

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