Strange what a lock of hair comes to represent. I have ashes, I have clothes, I have footprints in shoes, but the lock of hair that I took from the body in the funeral home is the hardest thing to contemplate because it is the only thing which remains of the living being. Every other cell of His body is burned. I look at it (very occasionally) and remember running my fingers through it when it was part of a full head of hair.
I had an unsettling and slightly comedic thought last night (drink-fuelled and missing Him dreadfully) – what if I’d had Him stuffed? Like one of those glassy-eyed badgers you see in display cabinets, where the teeth are always not quite right. How wonderful would it be, I thought, to have Him sitting on the sofa in His usual spot, with every mole and blemish in place. Conversation wouldn’t be great, granted, but at least if I had Him posed with His hand reaching over to mine He would be there, instead of a pile of ash in my wardrobe. It would be like the old days – drinking in moderation whilst laughing at that Arts Correspondent on Channel 4 News.
Tales of the Unexpected plotlines aside, I just miss Him so much I swear given the option now I might just go for it. I have come to the realisation that He is in my head constantly on one level or another. Like tinnitus. Sometimes He’s loud, other times He’s just background noise, but He’s there nonetheless.
So, having forfeited the opportunity for taxidermy, the lock of hair is all I have left. What would Roald Dahl have made of that?