I waited as long as I could to shower. And goodness knows I needed a good soaking. I still had layers of camera-ready makeup caked on. And despite half a dozen applications of antiperspirant, the stage lights and my nerves had created the perfect condition for sweat. I was ripe.
Although I looked a mess and it was time to get back to normal, things were moving (or at least I was) in slow motion. It was sort of like the day after prom. Or New Year’s Day. Without the hangover part. Our Listen to Your Mother event was still so fresh in my mind I didn’t want to move. Not even for a shower. I feared the memories along with the makeup and the day old sweat would fade.
I didn’t want to forget the blue bracelet the Lisa so selflessly gave me. It was similar to the blue of Alec’s shirt. Or Bonnie saying something comical during our group shot. And the last minute nod that Alexandra gave, reassuring us we’d be great and really wouldn’t fall apart on stage. Posing in the mirror and nearly peeing in my dress seeing Rachel scrunch up her face. How Lindsay got excited seeing her husband enter the theater lobby. Afterward, Darlin Nikki telling me her father had tears in his eyes after hearing her story. Pamela’s curls. Kathryn explaining why she loved the color red. Seeing Tara’s mother, so youthful herself and so proud of her daughter. Asking Liysa more than a few times when we had to be ready for photos. Rochelle giving me a look that always makes me want to burst out laughing. All the colors of Rebecca’s tattoo. Feeling Amie walk past on stage, knowing she made it through her story as we all cried. Kalia…looking so grown with a smile that was reminiscent of her grandmother’s. Strangers saying what a wonderful job we all did. Friends hugging and congratulating us. The sound of peanuts winding down the chutes at AJ Bombers. The goodbye hugs and promises of future gatherings.
Reluctantly, I made my way to the shower, still foolishly thinking that as the dirt disappeared so too would all of those gestures, words, sights and sounds. Then I heard a familiar cackle in my mind. It was Jennifer’s laugh. That’s when I knew those memories, our stories-our connections weren’t going anywhere. It’s also when I knew I was way overdue for that shower.