"Taking Care of Things"
The four days following
Kenzie's inadvertent Sun Dance
were terrible and wonderful for him.
The Iron Horses stuck close by his side
all the day that they found him
and the night afterward.
Kenzie slept through most of
the first evening and night, but
he woke up at odd intervals.
It didn't matter. The Iron Horses
took care of him anyhow.
Ron washed Kenzie's hair
a fingerwidth at a time, combed it
and oiled it, then finally wove it into
a sleek braid over his shoulder.
Joseph helped Kenzie shift
from one position to another.
Kenzie had learned the hard way
not to try doing that by himself yet.
Ben came back with the prescriptions,
which helped a lot, and he also changed
the bandages when they needed it.
Blair shooed the men away
and gave Kenzie a sponge bath
to get the blood and dust off of
his skin so he wouldn't itch.
Then she offered him a choice of
lotion. "I can ask Ron for some of his
if you want it to match the hair oil, but
that one has arnica which is astringent
instead of moisturizing," Blair said. "Mine
is clary sage and violet leaf in shea butter."
"Yours is fine," Kenzie said. "Thanks
for taking care of me like this."
"It's no trouble. If we were at home,
I could offer you the blue chamomile and
lavender in jojoba -- I have the whole line --
but I only carry a travel bottle of the lotion
when I'm on the road," said Blair.
"It's okay," Kenzie said. "I've never
tried that kind of lotion anyway."
Blair flipped open the bottle of
sage lotion and started smoothing it
over Kenzie's skin. "They're all good,
really," she said. "Speaking of home,
I talked with my parents. They would
like to meet you, if that appeals."
"Yeah," Kenzie said softly.
"From what you've told me,
they sound like great people.
I wish I had parents that nice,
but mine kind of suck."
"Mine are wonderful, and I'm
happy to share them with you,"
Blair said. "You wouldn't be
the first of my two-spirit friends
to latch onto them, and it's
likely to be mutual."
"That sounds so good,"
Kenzie said wistfully. He
enjoyed the feel of Blair's hands
slowly sweeping over his body.
"Blazing Grass said that we shouldn't
move you too soon," Blair said. "Give
yourself another day or two to heal,
and then we can ride out."
"And go where?" Kenzie said.
"I don't have anyone to stay with."
He had been couchsurfing with friends,
but he didn't have anything lined up right now --
or the energy to make the calls to find it.
"You have us now," Blair said firmly.
"The Iron Horses have kin all over
the plains and up into Canada."
"S'nice," Kenzie mumbled.
He wished his family was like that.
"We could put you up at any one of
our reservations," Blair said, "but my folks
offered first, so unless you hate the idea,
we should head over to Rocky Boy's."
Kenzie wasn't used to having
anyone else taking care of things
for him, but Blair's tender hands
and soft voice were so captivating.
"Mmmhmm," Kenzie said. He was
falling asleep under her gentle touch.
"Get some rest," Blair said.
"We can talk more in the morning."
Kenzie took her advice.
* * *
Washing hair in bed is a useful skill.
Native American hair oil is part of traditional practices. Ron's has sage and arnica.
A sponge bath can replace a regular water bath for someone who shouldn't submerge or in the wilderness where water is scarce. In Kenzie's case, fresh injuries should be kept out of water until securely knitted, to avoid loosening the scabs and reopening the wounds. Learn how to give a sponge bath.
Sage and violet leaf in shea butter is a nourishing body lotion. Sage and arnica is a bit more astringent.
Blue chamomile is helpful for soothing superpowers. Blue chamomile and lavender in jojoba makes a body lotion that is relaxing without being soporific. And yes, it works much the same on psychic abilities if you need something soothing.
Rocky Boy's Reservation in Montana is a federal reservation of the Chippewa Cree tribe.