I Learned to Surrender On My Way Home

I have a client in my makeup chair.  She has her eyes closed.  My makeup brush gently caresses her eyelid.  The dark pigment slowly turns her pale skin into a smoky shade of midnight.  Her shoulders descend as she releases the stresses of the day.  She takes a deep breath.  It's clear to me that she is going through an internal transformation as I transform her outward appearance from male-to-female.

Her lips part as if to say something.  She pauses. Still with eyes shut.  She inhales and says "so, I had a weird dream the other night." She pauses yet again.  I say "mmmhmm?"  She finds reassurance in my utterance, and is off on her story telling adventure.

I am walking home from work one Autumn evening, she says. Both hands are holding grocery bags.  These aren't any ordinary grocery bags.  If you ask me, I would not be able to describe the physical objects inside the bags; however, I have a knowing of what each item inside the bags represent.  I am carrying my youth, my responsibilities, my expectations, my aspirations, my social status, everything that I have accumulated over the years, THAT which makes me believe I am, and need to continue being, the person that I am.  

It is a long walk home and the bags start to get really heavy.  I begin to talk to myself.  I ask myself why am I doing this?  I tell myself this is ridiculous. Wouldn't it be easier to hail a cab?  This way someone else can help me ease the burden of carrying all these things home with me.  But I keep putting one foot in front of the other, as if I am on autopilot.   Old habits die hard.

That's when I hear a stern voice.  This time the voice doesn't come from within me.  In front of me is a shadowy figure holding a gun to my face.  "This is a stick-up" he says with a desperate tone in his voice. I freeze.  My heart starts to race.  My hands clench the bags even tighter.  I feel as if my world is about to change.

The voice demands that I put my hands up.  I hesitate. I don't want to give up everything I've worked so hard to attain.  How would I ever regain everything which meant so much to me?  

I feel time slow down to a crawl.  I know now that if I don't surrender it may be the end of me.  I gently lower the heavy bags to the ground, and I gracefully raise my hands over my head.  In an instant the shadowy figure is gone, and with it my bags.  

Instantly I feel a great sense of loss.  I beat myself up for not putting up a fight.  I am distraught.  The sadness turns into anger and when my heart reaches a point where it can no longer beat any faster I begin to sob.  

I lower my hands to my side. I draw my gaze to the ground where my bags were once sitting. I look at my feet that are still there and plea them to please take me home.  

I blink and realize that once again one foot is going in front of the other.  I don't know how I find myself still walking home.  This time my hands are empty.  I start to feel lighter.  Although I mourn my loss with every step my feet take I know that the unfortunate event that happened to me is now in the past.  

I reach the twelve steps to my front door.  I climb them one by one.  I stick my key in the lock, turn my wrist, and slowly push the door open.  I am home.  That's when I woke up, feeling grateful for still being alive.

By the time my client is done telling her dream saga I have finished her makeover.  She no longer resembles the burly man who had walked into my studio.  She opens her eyes and stares into the mirror.  She sees a beautiful woman that is very happy to be alive.  She is home. 


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