I want to be hot, I wailed, when what I really meant was I want to turn back the clock to a time when I was quite beautiful and didn't know it, before my heart was swollen and exploded, before the weight of the world had truly come, before I knew the meaning of existential angst. A time when play ruled and work lay dormant, and I didn't quite appreciate it because I was all fizzy and suspended and the future beamed. When what looked like a tan from multiple holidays actually came from twice weekly post-Eastenders trips to the sunbed, before my upper arms started to sag, and my stomach knew it's next roll down like a trustworthy next door neighbour. Before life happened.
I'll go blonde, get thin, scale down my cycling calves to fit those jeans, carve out the tense curve between my ears and shoulders that could be lovingly deemed 'desk job neck'. How many sit ups did I used to do each night? But the fact is, you can't revisit an old heat. You can't re-light a fire once the embers have turned to ash. You can't copy spent formulas, though you can try out the methods and mindset that got those results, and see what you get now. A pack of cards shuffled will never read the same, but there are tendencies (if you trust in the tarot).
I spent the last few days spotting street cuts, for some reason there is a heavy link with the hair. I stared at a bleach blonde, saw her cheap dye job go yellow at the back, the bit they don't let her see with the mirror, the bit her boyfriend is too grossed out by to tell her about. A long blonde with locks but strands that looked dead compared to these soft lengths. A bob walked past the train window, all sweaty city lank, it wasn't right either, I pictured it working on sunny plains with bags and boots and true but temporary friends. No-one looked like the new me, of course.
I got excited by the least amount of effort being transformational. I was walking to the bank and I thought, yes, imagine, you do the smallest move and it makes the biggest impact. Simplicity. You don't enter into a peroxide contract, all that effort stretched out in front of you, forever chasing an ideal which crumbles the minute you walk of out the salon, because y'know what, hair grows. It's an expensive moment. My hair is costing the least it ever did. Am I being as honest as I hope? Or does her Chinese proverb ring true: 'There are no ugly women, just lazy ones'?