Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Black Hair Thing

Ebony, 2015. She used to do her own braids. It was a three-day process. We would go to the hair store on Jamaica Avenue , and buy all these sleeves of hair. Then we’d stop at the liquor store to buy wine (red), and when we got home she would start taking her braids out. We would watch movies, Key & Peele, SNL, whatever... and that would be Day One. Day Two, when she took out all of her braids, she would do some fancy magic black girl thing when she washed her hair, and come out like this. Goddamn, she was beautiful. So that was a day of rest. And more wine and movies, and, you know. Day Three was twisting that shit back up and — with no mirror — braided her hair. Sick braids, too: she was so fucking metal. And I would sit next to her, amazed. I used to tease her and say, about her hair like this, “Is that called ‘The Fern’?” And she would squint at me and say, “It’s not called THE FERN! It’s natural! I will fucking kill you and so will every black woman in America!” While she would be doing her hair, I would occasionally touch her ankle or caress her leg and she would say, “Baby, not now. This shit ain’t going to take of itself.” And I would pour her a glass of wine and we would watch more movies. And it was one of my favorite times because it was so intimate and special, for her to share that with me. I had ten years of that and it will never be enough. I have shared this with other black women and they were shocked: “She did her own braids?” Yup. She was a fucking badass. I miss her so terribly. I love you, baby. #ebonyandmarktla