Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Friend Dolores

I once had a dear friend named Dolores.  She is no longer with us, and I often fondly think back to the many good times we shared together.  I admired Dolores for many reasons, but mainly for the obstacles she overcame in her short life, including, but not limited to the fact that she had no body.  That's right, she had no body.  Dolores was just a head.  A head that had been my mom's when she attended barber school and that I rescued from a life of obscurity in our basement.

Jessie, Gretchen, Caryn, Dolores, Dana, and Jody
Dolores first entered into my circle of friends by attending sleep-overs and joining us for photo ops like the one pictured above.  She was shy and wasn't that great at conversation, so we often left her at home when we ventured out of the house.  But on another trip to my basement, I discovered something that would help Dolores overcome the handicap of a missing body and, subsequently, launch her into the social world she had been missing out on.  That something was a clamp.  Clamped to a level surface, Dolores could now join us for lunch at 1000 Franklin (our favorite restaurant in town) or for a relaxing soak in Dana's hot tub.  People were sometimes rude and would shamelessly stare at Dolores, but we tried to reassure her that her lack of limbs, or even a torso, could never interfere with our love for her. 

Like so many others before her, Dolores went through a stage of rebellion brought on by teen angst (or a mid-life crisis...I never was quite sure of her age).  It all started when she got her nose pierced.  One day I found her with a gold stud on her right nostril.  Then she changed her make-up.  While she was known for her tasteful powder blue eyeshadow and coral lipstick, I soon found her with dramatic green lids and unnaturally dark lips.  It was clear she was hanging out with the wrong crowd when I wasn't around, namely my younger sister and brother.  But, despite her new fashion choices, I still loved Dolores.

It soon became clear that Dolores was not well.  Her skin was turning a dingy gray and her once lovely hair began falling out in clumps.  She spent more and more time alone in the basement as she just didn't seem up to joining us on any outings.  One fateful day, I was informed that Dolores was no longer with us.  I would like to be able to say that Dolores left this world in a beautiful way, but I imagine it was in a trash bag.  

As the cliche says, some people come into our lives for a short time, but leave lasting impressions--the impression that when it comes to having fun, having a body is inconsequential.

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