Yesterday I had to drag myself out of bed for another long, Ricky-less Sunday where he worked a double at the Subhouse. I had promised Lori that I would meet up with her in the mall and walk around, catch up, and people-watch, her favorite thing to do. The spoiled side of me didn’t want to go, given the fact that I didn’t have a dollar to my name and I’m usually not quite fond of getting fooled around with by the temptation of new Bath and Body Works scents and the smell of mall Chinese food.
And, while I started thinking of every excuse not to go, via my normal anti-social habits, I still decided to give Miss Lori a ring and plan to meet at Sbarros in the next hour.
Lori came strolling around the mall corner some 15 minutes late with a warm greeting and smoothie from Auntie Annie’s. I asked her where she would like to go first, and she said she was looking to get her nails done.
She meekly grabbed a pamphlet at the salon and started flipping through. An Asian woman working there yelled out at us that the prices were $2 more than listed on the menu.
“We could get it done together. It’ll be on me”
Like butter to my ears. She flashed that signature smile she ever-so enjoyed flashing so much when she’s conducted an act of kindness. I’ve seen it many differing unique times with many differing unique gifts.
We decided to get pedicures. I was excited to finally get the remnants of Colorstreet sticker off my toe tips and get new color. We went to the polish wall to pick our colors. I went with this gaudy bright yellow orange hue I only regret a little, only because they came out neon. I thought if I’m having a hard time spreading sunshine through my unstable disposition, I might as well try to spread it through my toes when I wear my gladiator sandals.
Lori said she was looking for a specific color of blue. After I suggested 3 or 4 different shades, she went with a pale pink, which almost blended in with her pale skin. told her it looked very 90’s business chic, which made her haunch one loud hearty chuckle, followed by “what makes you say that??”
See, Lori is very special company. Her open, non-judgemental ears have healing energy every time you open up. She’s quietly arrayed and attentive when you spill your guts to her, and prefers to think about the advice or empathy she’s going to give. And, while I always like to focus on healing others, I almost forgot how much lighter my heart feels after my Saturday evenings with Lori when she heals me.
While in the pedicure chairs, I kinda spilled my guts through my cat-patterned mask to her sitting next me. I told her about how I’ve been unstable and manic lately and I’m still adjusting to the social deprivation of not waitressing anymore. Of course she understood, like she always does. She lives on her own, and told me that it takes time adjusting to spending time with yourself, when Ricky isn’t home.
I showed her a picture of the Bipolar Beast painting I did a few days ago when I was manic. She said it looked like a Superwoman with fangs. I really like that interpretation- makes me feel more… worthy. Super. Heroic instead of defeated.
I wiggled my toes into the foam flip flops after the final top coat and hobbled over to the drying station. Lori followed close by after, and I scooted over to give her some room to stick her feet in the black light fan.
“Stephanie, would you like me to pray for you? Right now?” She flashed the most caring, almost maternal eyes as she looked over her glasses into my sight.
“Yes, Lori. Please, pray for me”
She meekly asked if I would mind if she touched my shoulder. In response, I grabbed her hand quickly with a gentle force. A burst of warm pink energy started to spread from her right fingertips to my left palm.
We bowed our heads and she began to speak to the Heavenly Father on my behalf.
And while she asked for blessings in an audible tone, she was sure to touch on nearly every aspect of my life. “Give Ricky strength and will to take care of me when I’m mentally ill. Give Raisin and YellowBelly long-lasting health to help me carry on. Give me the will let my happy jubilant self shine again”
“In Jesus name, Amen.”
I looked at her, with tears in my eyes. She smiled back a soft, caring grin. “Jesus loves and cares about you, even when you feel like no one else does.”
While I admit I am not a Christian woman, I was still greatly moved by the magic she conducted in her own language. Her inspiration never stops making an impact, nearly every Saturday. And I’m just starting to get to know her.
Before we parted ways, I reached out and hugged her for the first time. I left the mall with my aura morphed into a unique mix of pale 90’s business chic pink and gaudy neon yellow orange sunshine.