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The Unbearable Sadness of Untouchable Things

My laptop is a painful time machine, and on some mornings, I wake up hoping I could wish myself gone. What do you do for this sort of pain? There is a hole in my chest where my heart would have been, and it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts—sometimes hurting so bad I wonder how I can go through all this pain and still be breathing. How can pain like this not kill?

Dear Charlie,

I cut my hair three nights ago. It made me sad. I remember cutting yours and Ate Alex’s hair. She always begged me to let her wear her hair short like yours and mine; and you always gloated that you have the same haircut as I.

I saw on Facebook that you now wear your hair differently. It made me cry. I know it’s silly—it’s just hair, after all. Who cries over hair? Who cries over no longer having to cut two more people’s hair? Your life is probably better now that I’m no longer cutting your hair. Mothers give their daughters terrible haircut—I should know; when Mama was alive, I always looked like I’d just walked out of a spaceship. But I miss giving you haircuts. I miss many things I used to be able to do but can’t now.

Do you still draw? Make up a new story as you pretend to read from a book? I heard you skipped a grade. I couldn’t be prouder. Do not ever forget to work on your mind before working on your wardrobe. No matter what the trends are, intelligence is still the sexiest piece of clothing on a girl.

Don’t let anything put out your funny, crazy light, daughter.

With all my love from far away,

Mama