I wanted to call my friend @jennarusso in the middle of the night to ask her to take down the photos of me she took at the Channel 7 “spring fling” at The Empire Hotel. At first, all I could see was my tangled, natural hair looking like the white fluff on top of a dandelion.
You see, I was sitting next to a giant Beyoncé fan to stay cool for most of the night. Even though I don’t wear makeup, I was melting. After an hour, I decided to mingle. I stood directly in front of the fan. It hit me from behind, lifting my hair until I resembled a troll doll. I wasn’t sure how bad it was until a male coworker told me and used his hand to try and flatten it. As I slinked away a giant plant on the rooftop got stuck in my hair creating a new lump on the left side; this combined with the humidity led to a puffy mess.
Still, I talked and laughed while everyone assured me my hair looked fine. I really didn’t know what it looked like until I got got home. And, getting there was an ordeal because I hadn’t taken my evening medication or eaten a full meal. I don’t usually bring my nighttime pills out of the house to force myself to leave gatherings at a respectable time. I also don’t want any adverse reactions in public.
Everything hurt as I inched down the subway stairs with my friend Sixto at 10:40 p.m. By the time I got home at 11:30 I was in crisis. My hips, back, neck, head and feet hurt. So I drugged myself and tried to sleep. 3:20, 4:20, 5:35, I was jarred awake by nausea and pain. At 7:15 a.m., I reached for my phone to silence the alarm and saw those pictures again. This time I noticed my smile; the joy that had being social, carefree, and unconcerned about my chronic illness for a few hours. I also saw the friends who saw past the mess and saw my inner beauty. Afterwards, I decided to share them myself.
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