gabe tomlin

I think repression is tricking yourself into believing that you could ever really hide from you...
— G. Tomlin

When the comb comes up missing, look to the tender-headed child for answers. My mother learned this quicker than my scalp would have preferred. She would tug and pull at the roughage of my hair, and every strand would cling to one another like they had been drafted for war. Tears would well up in my eyes, and I would always be two tears away before I had to call it crying. Later, when my mom prepared dinner, I would listen to loud gangster rap to redeem myself—from what, I am not exactly sure. I am 21 now. My scalp is still tender, but tenderness is not the same to me. In these 21 years, I have learned that some days you will have to be, both, the hand that pulls and the scalp that screams. Somedays, I still decide to hide the comb. Though, I think repression is tricking yourself into believing that you could ever really hide from you—like a gangster rapper screaming they are afraid of no one and whispering they are afraid to be alone. I now find myself seeking these tender moments and the truths that they have to offer because, sometimes, pain, truth and love are teeth on the same comb.

 
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