Knowing Her

They knew her in many different ways, but many of them—many more of than we would have imagined, I’m sure—many of them knew her in some sense beyond the Biblical. They knew her as something more than a stripper, something more than the fun aunt who was maybe too much fun, or the sister who’d dress you down for even the slightest slight, or the cousin who told it like she saw it and didn’t care if that meant she wouldn’t see you again because of that. Some of these guys wandering between the room with her casket and the room with the slideshow, they knew her better than we ever could. Maybe knowing her body was a way to know her soul. That sounds fucking stupid, but maybe it’s true.

I remember the Christmas after she’d started losing all the weight. She stole the electric razor Mom & Dad bought me for college, took it into the bathroom along with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, and came out an hour later with a blonde mohawk, the sides of her head buzzed, her eyebrows gone, all the hair left on her head reaching for the sky like the fingers on each hand that she saluted me with on her way out the door, when I’d stared too long and too hard.

My razor was in the sink, batteries drained, resting in a shallow pool of water and discarded brown hair. I’d never been able to understand how someone could do that.

Maybe one of these assholes could.

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