Home Arts & Lit Creative Writing “Brushing”

“Brushing”

Daniel Williams' sensitive and beautiful story allows us to reflect upon a form of bond like no other.

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Her hair runs down her back in a meter of thick, hazel satin. Each morning I’m called over to brush, to share the load. Parting at the middle as we both choose our half, she takes what’s right and I take what’s left, unknotting as we go. At first, I copy her, trying to run the comb through in tandem with her, though I can’t. She repeats the strokes with confidence, knowing the strength of the strands when married together could lift her up off the floor. I myself have less faith. My hand won’t let me move with pace, knowing how easily hair can tear; I have less trust, less trust in the strength of the strands in unity.

Because, her hair wasn’t perfect. Her tips were often a coarse texture of damage. Where neglect had won and left its mark, splitting at the ends. Where one becomes two as the strands separate, permanently turning their back on each other, wanting to escape. Yet she would not fret. These damages could be cut and, at the base of her head were our strong nourishing roots, growing each day with a new strength of life.

As our relationship matured, so did our brushing. My pace began to match hers and our rhythms synchronized. Yet knots would still trouble us as immovable blocks of confusion. At first, we’d confront them alone. I’d give into frustrations, tearing though lumps with tension, pulling roots as I went. But this would cause issues and pain through it all. So, we took it slower, working together, pinning some sides and loosening others. Through this graft knots would be teased undone.

At the end of the process I’d see her off with a kiss on the forehead, knowing that with every day her hair would re-knot, new troubles would arise, but my sense of contentment continues in the knowledge that our strands can bear any weight. Ready for the next time we’ll brush.

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