"Are you a woman?" Oops, that was direct. "Um, yeah, that's me." "My mum will have hair again soon," my daughter replies, casually sitting on the monkey bars. Actually, I just wanted to get her a sun hat. But I think I'd better set it up myself.
The little boy who wanted to know what gender I belong to has long since disappeared. I put the hat on my daughter and ask her to come into the water with me. The pool is overcrowded. It's 34 degrees and that's why I don't wear a hat. And that, dear ones, doesn't just irritate the little boy from just now. Again and again I notice that the gazes of the bathers stay on me. For a millisecond.
But today I have a good day. Let them guess why I'm bald. I put the Rayban on my face and withstand the looks. But my appearance doesn't really leave much room for conjecture. No more. I finished chemotherapy a few days ago. Now my pale body, bloated by cortisone, is adorned with radiant markings. The crosshairs, unpretentiously drawn on with permanent marker, are hidden under a T-shirt. I don't want to shock those around me with all my might. But even without this clue, anyone who is halfway attentive can solve the riddle of my appearance: bald head, no eyebrows, swollen face. The woman has cancer.
Are you a woman? Does it reverberate in me? Is that me? I dont know. I don't even know who or what I am right now. But I've been in this identity crisis for a few months now and no little boy in the world could ask me questions that I haven't asked myself a hundred times in the past few weeks. None of the people in this pool could give me looks that I haven't already given myself in the mirror. So I take my sunblock spray, press the spray head and let the cream mist trickle onto my bare scalp like it's hairspray. I said today is a good day - if I had taken off my sunglasses beforehand, it would have been even better...
But there were bad days too. countless. The day I picked a wig was damn bad. The day I shaved my hair down to 2mm was pretty damn bad. The day when the stubble fell onto my shoulders with every movement was damn bad. The day my daughter said I wasn't pretty without hair was devastatingly bad. And the day I just felt like crawling away because I didn't recognize myself anymore, God, that was bad.
And today? Almost a year later, I know exactly who I am. And if I meet that boy again, I'll tell him I'm fucking Superwoman. And that's exactly what every one of you who is going through a difficult time should say to yourself. Because what you do, someone should first copy you. With this in mind: fall down, straighten your turban, move on!
And hair? I have plenty again today. My niece still sometimes says I look like a daddy, but last night my little one told me I was beautiful. And I frame this sentence in my memories and hang it over all the bad pictures from the past year. Happy New Year, dear ones!