Her lips, kind of chapped, moved a little more slowly than usual. But the mixture of swearing and profanity tangoing with declarations of Gods grace, her signature conversation, were easier to discern. The decay in a prominent upper tooth was a focal point that stole your stare away from her eyes. (How dare she have those insanely gorgeous lashes that seemed longer than her almost Halle Berrie hairdo anyway?)
Each of us fumbled for a tube of lip balm in the depths of backpacks and leanly organized cosmetic purses. We each chattered about how we have a ton of them that we’ve picked up at fairs and promotions. “Has anyone actually bought one?” Such was our conversation. I came up first, popped the cap and mused aloud that there was a smear of lipstick on the surface of the petroleum cylinder. The torrid red was from some recent and rare foray into me getting all dolled up and lip balm was the last touch.
She was going home after a couple of weeks away and boldly asked each of us to cook something and take it to her. We couldn’t write down her address fast enough. Well, that was after fumbling in the depths of the same backpacks for a pen and paper. And then we fumbled with thoughts on dishes to take and dates to take them on.
“Ok, I gotta run,“I said, “’spose to be home ten minutes ago… um, you can keep that chapstick, B, it’s got your cooties now!”
“No, bitch. Lean over here and give me a kiss! Right here on the lips and tell me if this shit works.” Her eyes were wonderfully devilish.
And I kissed her – twice. “It works. Those rough lips are nice and smooth now.” Everyone howled and the laughter was … good.
None of us cooked or delivered any food. She was in a coma three days later. Hospice care is with her now. The nasty rat poison chemotherapy that was meant to stop the spread of her breast cancer wasn’t successful. I’m not sure when I’ll see her again but I think the lip balm might be my last touch.