This morning, Grandpa woke me up from the slumber in my bed. He shook my arm and shook my head. He rubbed my nose with the tip of his. He kissed my cheek while lifting curlers in my head.
“What are you doing Grandpa? Why are you looking under curlers in my head?”
Reaching behind, silky hair slipped through the tight roll of a curler. Soft and spongy, it was. Before grandpa’s big eyes of brown, showers of colors fell down, down, down.
“Grandpa, I feel nothing under the curlers in my head! Please, please, won’t you look again?”
Grandpa asked me to get out of bed.
“Get up, climb out,” he said! “Wash your face, wear a dress and comb your hair. I tell you, something is under the curlers in your head!
“We have to go. We must do it now!”
I did what Grandpa said. I washed my face, put on a dress and combed my hair. My curlers of pink lay in the sink. I looked at them and looked again. I did not see anything under the inside of them.
Afterward, Grandpa waited for me in the car. I sat next to him with my black purse atop my lap. His two hands were on the wheel, driving me carefully ahead.
“Where are we going, Grandpa,” I asked looking out the window?
“It’s a surprise, Grandma,” he answered. “Whatever was under the curlers in your head may still be there.”
Together, we drove down dirt roads and chipped cement, past woodlands and trees of green. Soon, we found ourselves within a city of big where buildings so tall raised windows high into the sky. Storefronts stood on sidewalks, opening new doors to me. Grandpa pulled over to the curb. Getting out, he came over to my side, offering his hand to help me out.
“Grandpa, what is this place? What are we doing?”
“Not we, YOU.” Go inside, others are waiting. I will see you very soon.”
Clutching my purse close to my heart, I opened the front door to the nearest arch. A handle of polished brass with twinkling bells played a pretty melody, making my ears sing a tune. Inside were enchanted rooms made for Grandmothers and grand-daughters, alone. Soon my own surrounded me, dressed in party dresses shaded in sherbet. Quickly, they told me this was all part of Grandpa’s surprise.
First, we shared a tea-party on flowered china made in France. A maid wearing a black dress tied with a ruffled apron, poured us tea from a bottomless silver pot. Grand-daughters of of all sizes and shapes rested white napkins atop their laps while eating cucumber sandwiches of the palest green. Next, a very fine Madame polished our fingernails in glowing bright pink before helping us choose a different flowered sticker to grow on the end of every other one.
Near the end of the day, a tall man wearing skinny red pants, washed and cut Grandma’s hair. Afterwards, he added great big C.U.R.L.E.R.S. All of Grandma’s grand-daughters gathered round to watch.
“Is that YOU, Grandma,” the oldest one asked?
“It doesn’t look like Grandma,” whispered another who wore a worried look upon her face.
When Grandma’s hair was dry, the hair dresser began to take out curlers. Two or three fell to the floor. Suddenly all of the others followed, one-by-one. Slowly, they began to roll toward Grandma’s grand-daughters. Clapping their hands in delight, each child picked up round brushes of blue, dropping rainbow dust shaken from the inside.
“Oh, my,” exclaimed the hairdresser’s head atop skinny red pants! “There is something under your curlers!”
“No, there can’t be,” Grandma answered, turning to look at herself in a giant silvered mirror.
By this time all of Grandma’s curlers were out of her hair. She bent her head down nearly to the floor. She shook it back and forth as hard as she could. As much as she would.
Before the young man styled Grandma’s hair with a comb and a brush, he lifted each curl, winding it up and down and all around with his long and thin fingers until Grandma’s hair looked beautiful.
“Don’t worry, what I saw under the curlers in your head wasn’t bad, only good.”
“What was it, what did you see,” Grandma asked? “No one has ever told me.”
“I’ve only seen it once or twice before,” he said. “I believe it to be the dust of magic. You and your grand-daughters have been given a gift.”
“Magic dust? I’ve never heard of such a thing before. Are you sure it’s REAL?”
“Oh, yes,” the young man said with a knowing smile. “But, only to those who truly believe…..like very special grandmothers and grand-daughters.”
“And, to think I never would have known without Grandpa looking under the curlers in my head,” grinned Grandma!!
Copyright Kim Gosselin 2015