I love using something all the way to the very very end.
You know, squeezing that last little ooze of toothpaste. Or putting a bit of shower water into the bottle of shampoo to make sure you’re getting the last bits out. Plucking the last piece of wood from the pile. Staying on my computer until the screen turns black, and there’s an almost audible sigh from the machine, as if it has done all it can do that day to help me.
I actually look forward to getting to that point in time when something is finished. Not done, but finished. Remember that over-enthusiastic, sing-songy “All Gone!” that we did with our young kids? I thought it would make the idea of something great being finished more tolerable, because there was music involved. I did it, let’s be honest, so my son would be distracted and not cry. It worked often.
Like when the cookie was eaten, or the toy was returned to its rightful owner, or the last swirls of warm bath water had sashayed down the drain. We would look up at me with that “say it isn’t so” raised eyebrow and quivering lip. It even worked when the barber in town shaved my head because chemo had taken my hair follicles hostage. My barber, kind old gentleman he, had turned the chair to face away from the mirror, and toward my son and husband.
I watched them watch me. First, a metallic “click” and immediate hummmmm of the clippers, and without a pause, the barber paved a no-turning-back-now one-lane road down the center of my head, and kept widening it with every pass. He had a deliberate and seasoned stroke, moving across the top of my scalp. I appreciated how he didn’t waver in his job. A waterfall of hair fell onto my shoulders and cascaded into my lap. The essence of my femininity was clumped disgracefully all over my lap.
The whole procedure took less than five minutes and cost $8. I walked straight to Anders and Hans without looking in the mirror.
“Where’s Mommy’s hair?” I asked Hans, and I bent my head down right in front of him. His warm little fingers rubbed over my stubble and he giggled, thankfully. “All gone!” I said as lightheartedly as I could at that moment.
Some women actually consider not doing chemo because they can’t imagine life without hair. I can’t imagine life without life, so there you go.
So perhaps it makes total sense that I like to squeeze the tube until nothing else comes out. Because that means, really, that you’re about to get a brand-spanking fat new tube.
And I love that, too.