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Tying the World Together
First stitch of life, one thread at a time my journey was beginning. There were cold, machines moving and rotating. I’m passed through dark crevasses; different hands are handling me. I’m passed into a crate; there are many others in this container that look just like me.
I’m set down and patiently I waited to be picked to begin my adventure. Two fingers picked me up. They stretched my insides. I was stacked with duplicates of myself. A clear plastic bag was placed over us, sealing in our chastity and sealing out the world. Someone placed a bar code on us, labeling us; we became just another number in society. I was placed in a box with other bands. That plastic was noisy, and uncomfortable. I kind of missed being passed through so many hands. Little did I know my journey had just begun...
A bright light pulled me to the surface, panel by panel each flash blared through. There were more faces, and more hands. I felt a hint of fresh cold air, a tease through this plastic cage. The hands took a bunch of us at a time, disappearing package by package. I was finally selected. I craved a new sight. I didn’t want to just be a number in a system, I wanted to see things, I wanted to learn. I closed my eyes and held my breath.
There are people everywhere. I was hanging on some sort of device that held the plastic package as a whole. Right across from me are big sticks with a forest of bristles popping out. The small of nail polish overwhelmed me. Surrounding me are many others that share my same qualities. Many are colorful, some have metal bands, some with beads and some with multiple thread counts. I had no idea there were so many species of me. We were all playing the waiting game; waiting to be picked to start our travel. Many people walk by and many touch, but none actually feel the connection each one of us is pushing out towards them. A hand would come near me and tease me by going for the pink and purple kind. But one hand was different, small and safe. There was no spark but it was more of a lit candle flickering. I knew that was where my route would begin.
My bar code was scanned through the system. I had a feeling of freedom, relief even. I was pulled from the bag right away. I was so thankful, that rigorous plastic had caused me thread problems. I was stiff from lack of movement. Warm guiding hands, oh how I missed their touch. I was expanded and wrapped around the little girls hair. I tried to keep her hair still, but being such a vibrant active child she did not cease to be active. I soon found out that was not my purpose, my purpose was to keep everything tied together.
I was constantly being amplified and pulled through this little girl’s hair.
I would always hear a stern voice say, “Stop fussing Laura!” She didn’t stop and pulled me out for the last time; she just let me go. I watched her last steps. I just lay there, reminiscing and wondering how two connections could just be left behind. I’ve always heard that the first parting is the hardest, and I hope that is the case because this abandonment feeling is strong.
It became just feet that I saw and heard. No more comforting hands or faces. I saw the sun set and rise and I made an impression on the ground when someone finally knelt down to give me a chance. Her fingers were cold and they were not as familiar as before but I told myself I needed to get over them, that it would never be the same.
Her hair was coarse, and slightly gray. She was a smoker; the scent of tar and the feel of her burnt fingers repulsed me whenever she would tie me up. Her smoke surrounded me with every puff. Helene was her name. I found that out when a pair of rugged hands fiercely grabbed at her thin hair, loosening my grip, sometimes I had fallen out because he was so strong with his constraints around her neck. She took me to see the beach a lot. It really was as blue as I had heard whispers about. The smell of the sea was so strong, and the fresh crisp air intertwined within my threads. She would remove me with her tanned finger tips once we had engulfed the salty sea to let the sun soak her; she was nice and didn’t like to crush me when she lied down and placed me on the blanket. Her long strands of hair tickled me when they fell over her shoulder. We both sucked up the rays of the sun until it finally set and light was scarce. I saw her get up for the last time then shake the blanket out, forgetting of my presence. She ended up just letting me go. I just laid their reminiscing and wondering how two connections could just be left behind.
I laid there on the sand. It was cool at night but it flamed during the day. All I heard was laughter, chattering voices, music, life. It was taunting me. I prayed for a connection, a touch, shade, or something. I could feel my strands tearing and shredding; there might have been possible snapping too. Eventually the laughter faded and the salty sea grew stale. Finally a tap that didn’t feel like a hand, it was too stubby for that. It was a foot, but was soon exchanged for a hand. His rough fingers picked me up held me to the blazing sun. I could feel the amount of manual labor his hands have been through.
“Yeah you wish your hair was that long, Damien!” a raspy voice shouted across the murmuring voices.
Damien? I wondered if he’d be my new home.
“Oh yeah man, like I'm going to use one that’s been laying in the sand.” with that last word he stretched my back, my cords screamed, and then flung me into the salty blue ocean. The water was cool but all I could focus on was what he said. He won't use me because I was laying around. I asked myself if this was it. Was I unusable? I just floated along the waves which pulled me back and forth. I had no concept of time anymore. The days faded to nights which turned into mornings. The water wasn’t too bad but I could feel the water molecules drenching my insides. I saw many boats; some big, some small, and fast and slow. The closest one to me was a decent size speed boat. It obtained many technical devices and the people wore some sort of tight body suit with a big tank on the back. I was so enticed by their weird ways I didn’t even feel the water that vibrated beneath me. A huge wave pushed me forward and pulled me face to face with a black suited goggled diver. Her eyelashes fluttered behind the clear plastic. She turned and began swimming away. Then the rumbles began and I went under and realized one of my threads was hooked onto some tube coming out of her back. Water molecules and bubbles filled my vision.
I was laid out on a hot deck. The sun beaded down on me again, I could feel the color fading away from shreds. I wasn't there too long before a pair of delicate fingertips picked me up and shouted “Never mind, I think I found mine from yesterday!” She then proceeded to stretch me and wrapped me in her wet hair. It was cold and I had no sense of place or any idea where I was. She kept me in her hair a long time; I believe it was the next morning until she placed me on her wrist again. We went out on the dock and all I saw was poles, lines, and sails. We had reached the harbor; even though all of this looked familiar I still had no idea of where I was.
Suddenly I was up in the air and the girls arms were flailing in the sky, frantically waving and excitedly yelling, “Cora! Cora! Over here!” and then she began running, the wind piercing my ribbons. Next thing I knew I was embracing another body; her hair tickled. I heard words like waves and dangerous, eventually everything just slurred together and next thing I knew I was being passed through water stroked fingers and then onto sun streaked blond hair. This was not the cold wet hair I had grown oddly comfortable with. There was another embrace and I caught a smell of the suited up girls salty-sea hair for the last time.
Cora wasn’t so bad. She didn’t use me that often she just kind of wore me on her wrist like a bracelet; there were even others just like me, waiting, waiting for their chance to be used. I didn’t mind because I got to see a lot more down near her hands. I liked it when she talked with her hands, it reminded me of how Laura used to fuss, and how the wind whipped the smoker ladies hair back and forth between my grip. But then there were times she would just shut me into a drawer and my vision became all distorted behind the thick plastic. I was sitting in that plastic drawer still when a new set of hands opened and clasped her tiny fingers over my shreds.
“Is this one okay?” a voice said, it was high, almost like singing.
“Yeah, sure. It’s a little worn but I think it’ll work.” Cora laughed.
The stretching began and my threads were prepared, but awfully surprised as the tiny hands had such force. Her hair was thick and fell straight. I struggled to hold on to her hair but my grip was slipping, falling, blacked out.
I guessed night turned into day and day into night because the next thing I knew is it’s just before dawn and we’re headed down what seems to be some street with fast passing cars. My view is somewhat good because the girl’s fingers are playing with me right next to the window. The girl hugs a lady that has a coat made of fur; I expect a passing between fingers but nope. I stay put. We pass by big machines that scan you and many people in blue uniforms, I fear I might be taken away and lost again. I hear a voice but it’s not from anyone around us, its magnified like a loudspeaker.
“Good morning ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belts as we prepare for lift off to Chicago, Illinois.” The lady is gentle with her words but the speaker is fierce. I feel a great force as we ascend into the air. Pressure and more pressure is almost making my threads pop. I imagine myself floating on the water again. Laying, lifelessly floating with the sun. It must have amused me for a bit because now Victoria, which I found out was her name because every entrance we went through there was a person in a blue uniform that said it, is chatting with the frazzled lady next to her. She talks about her experiences with flights and nightmares she’s had about them. Victoria offered words of comfort it seemed because her hair didn’t bounce that much when she talked, and her voice was almost soothing. She takes me out of her hair and stretches her arm out to the lady.
“Why thank you.” a wondrous smile crept up on the ladies face.
She tied me loosely in her hair, at her shoulder more than her scalp. I just laid there until the descent took place. I braced myself for the worst gripping onto to her thinly died brown hair for support. Her whole body jerked once we landed and I’m pretty sure I slid down a couple inches. Commotion arises with people standing, grabbing, and reaching. We just sit there and watch all the passengers walk by, wondering what their story is.
“Well thanks for keeping me company. I hope your schooling all goes well.” the elderly lady doted.
“Oh of course,” Victoria shouts excitedly, “I hope everything is all good with your family.”
Her weathered hands are gentle. We glided down a long corridor and were greeted by embracing arms and out stretched lips.
“Oh mom it’s good to see you. How was your flight?” a frail, tall woman asked.
“It was okay, kind of bumpy.” Her body shivered a bit. “You look completely frazzled dear. Your hair is everywhere, here.”
She forces me onto the frail woman’s head of hair. I don’t fight her, this is what I do. I cycle through.
“Oh, mom,” She swats her bony hands, “That is totally unnecessary.” She fights.
“Oh, Laura. You always were a fusser.” the elderly lady scoffs.