Little Piece of Heaven

empressMy son, Clay, was young, a teenage boy, when we headed to one of Seattle’s finest hair salons. I’d agreed to give the owner tarot readings in exchange for appointments but regretted the decision almost immediately.  I hadn’t realized what it meant to be privy to the inner workings of a salon filled with drama, love affairs and a stress driven owner. I was on the verge of calling it off when I took my son in.

A young stylist wearing a short skirt and broad smile took Clay to the shampoo basin, where she caressed his head into a lather of suds, then rinsed and toweled him off.

This was not treatment he was used to, having been given cuts by yours truly, until I got distracted one day and clipped his ear.  After which, he burst from the house, declaring our hair cutting relationship complete and final forever! There was no going back and no forgiveness. It was over.

His young stylist squared his shoulders to the mirror pulling strands of hair skyward, while lifting and stroking fringe near the base of his neck.  Clay purred beneath the attention, not knowing that his delights had only begun. The stylist then pulled him back against her enormous breasts where he released a long low sigh, as if resting on great celestial cushions. And the more she cut, the more he relaxed, his smile spreading slow and sweet, like honey on toast.  And when she finished, she brushed little piles of his blonde hair from the shelf of her breasts.  “There you go sweetie, you’re all done.”

He was a boy feeling handsome and cared for as we made our way to the car, his attitude erasing any resentment I’d felt.

“Mom, I really liked that haircut.  I’m pretty sure I’d like to come back.”

I smiled, a mama’s insightful smile.  “I thought you might.”

Waiting for Mr. Right

autumn-roadWe ate lazily, a sun warmed strawberry bursting with flavor for me, a sip of ginger tea for Kim.

Here he is again, she said, placing the chariot card in the center of my tarot reading.

He is still coming, getting closer.

Kim doesn’t read cards for anyone but me, believing she can’t really do it, but Kim can’t read tarot cards the way Michelangelo can’t paint the Sistine Chapel. Her readings have always been spot-on.

I listened getting a little angry. This guy’s been showing up for the past two years. Whoever he is, he’s taking his good sweet time. I wiped strawberry juice from the corner of my mouth, staining my napkin red. Don’t you think it’s odd he’s been showing up in the cards and not showing up in my life…at all?

She didn’t look up, busy placing a second card against golden patterns of grain on the coffee table. Patience is not your strong point Karen, he’s on his way or the cards wouldn’t be so consistent. You know that, you were my teacher!

The two of pentacles was the next card down, followed by the king, then the lovers. 

Seconds ticked, quiet moments as the cards lit in her eyes, revealed themselves and invited us forward. A gaping stretch of unhurried time.

He holds your dreams, she continued. He’s a traveler, well-educated, confident but weary. Looks like there is an entanglement he needs to free himself from first, perhaps another marriage but the two of pentacles, the change card, means he is close now, very close.

There it was, the image of the snake wearing a golden crown, making a figure eight by holding his tail against a purple and blue background. The word change printed boldly at the bottom.

Do you think he’s only a business man and not a partner? I asked, afraid of the answer.

She didn’t hesitate. No, not just a businessman. He is your husband, this will be good for you. Life changing. 

She drained the last drops of tea from her Staffordshire cup, the one I save just for her, wiped crumbs of chocolate from her lap, rose and carried her dishes to the sink.

My shift at the hosptial starts at 5 tonight, she said gathering her ample purse and notepad. I still have to get Dylan from school, so I’d better be off. 

She flung her arms around my waist, gathering me into her feminine presence, the same loving warmth offered to the babies on the lactation unit more than sixty hours a week.

My readings for Kim have been about working fewer hours, resting and the need to integrate her gifts as a singer and harpist into the fabric of her life. You must do more than work, I lecture through the medium of the cards.

Her readings for me have been about patience and good things coming in career and romance. Success is coming, believe it!

Kim and I have both made strides. I’ve had my man tucked into my life for five years now. He makes me crazy, but we’re well-suited. What does that say about me? I’ve given up my ideas of how marriage should be and have learned to embrace how it is.

 Kim is weaving a tapestry with voice and harp these days, as she becomes a medical music-thanatologist. That means she sings and plays for dying patients and their loved ones. Kim is a saint among us. She consistently turns toward the face of suffering and not away, as she opens her big compassionate heart to all of us lucky enough to know her.