Monday, October 17, 2011

Your Hair

I found your hair today and smelled it for the first time since you’ve been gone.
It smelled a little like a lemonade stand and made me picture you as a young girl, back before I even knew you were alive.
Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I sniffed and snorted. I buried my nose up to the hilt. I discovered hidden treasures: new aromas—spearmint, basil, patchouli—and almost fainted at one point.
Okay, okay, so I know this next thing was bizarre--almost pervy--but I dangled your ponytail over my skin and traipsed it across my face—brow, nose, cheek, ear--and I said aloud to your hair, to you, “Hey that tickles, but it kind of turns me on.”
As you know, I can be such a dope. In the mirror, I used your hair to make a moustache for myself. But the contrast didn’t work. In fact, I looked ridiculous, you having a butter-colored mane and me this dark thatch similar to a ball-fro.
Afterward, I took your hair to dinner (more creepy behavior, right?). But I got a booth in back and sat so I’d see the waiter coming. Also, I ordered that French thing you always liked, the one that smells like a yeast infection and stews under a silver dome. If anyone came near the table, I’d just throw a metal lid over you.
This restaurant was the site of our first date where you said, “I’d never have taken you for someone so chic,” and I said, “I don’t even know how to spell chic, is it s-h-e-i-k?” and you laughed, so I said “How about s-h-e-e-k then?” and you said, “You’re freakin’ hysterical” which is the first and last time anyone’s ever made that remark.
My weirdest ploy involving your hair might have been taking it to bed with me.
No, no, nothing kinky happened. I’m not a sicko.
But I did lay the braid on your pillow. I pretended you were asleep and I remembered that night when I stared at the back of your head for hours, wondering what you were dreaming.
Around midnight, I sang “Killing Me Softly” to your hair, switching to falsetto for “You Should Be Dancing,” capping off the evening with some Lil Wayne because I know how much you like to get krunk with Weezy.
Now it’s morning and we’ve already had breakfast, so I’m getting busy.
I’ve started a fire right here on the floor in the middle of the loft.
I’ve got your hair hanging on my shoulder like a pirate with a blonde parrot that is headless and eyeless and without talons. (Okay, so maybe the parrot analogy is a bad one, but the point is you’re right next to me, balanced on my shoulder.)
In just a moment I’m going to do what I should have done after you left—I’m going to expunge you from my life for good.
And, hey, I don’t care if it means I have to die doing it, because the truth is, I’ve been a joke of a human being these last two years. Ask anyone.
You know how I used to talk about your hair all the time, how thick and soft it was, what luster it emitted, and then that last day you took a butcher knife to it and said, “Here, go and see if you can’t drive this batshit, too!”? Of course you remember that.
(Sheesh, it’s getting a little smoky in here. My eyes burn.)
Okay, so I’ll admit I adored your hair, but I wasn’t a freak about it, was I? My old friends, when they were still around, they just said, “No, no, it’s cool. You’re cool, Man.” and my two goldfish, Salt and Peter, all they ever did was stare at me all jowly-like, going, “Gloop! Loop! Yoop!” which I took to mean, “Girl! Loves! You!”
Boy, it’s really hazy and hot in here, and now the flames are French-kissing the drapes and the wallpaper is blistering and my shelf with your photos is on fire.
Here it comes, the end of us.
Don’t worry, though, because I’ve changed. I have. Instead of being all reactionary, like you always claimed I was, this time I’m going to be proactive.
Yes, you heard me correctly.
At the count of three, we’re—you and me--leaping into the fire. Sound like a plan? Hello? My eyes sting so bad I can hardly see you. Say something. Or just flop a couple of times.
Never mind then.
Here we go.
Wait. Shit!Shit!Shit! My shirt’s on fire. Ah! MY HAIR’S ON FIRE! AHHHHHHHHHH!


When he wasn’t looking, I jumped off the Idiot’s shoulder and snaked my way to the door. It was a tight fit through the bottom slit, and smoky as all hell, but I escaped.
Of course the Idiot’s place was the only one to burn down.
The dude from 37B who found me is kind of cute. He’s not perfect, though. He’s got a fetish or two. I mean, you should see what he had me doing last night. Oh boy.
But the way I figure it, I’m the one in charge. I’m a lot more than just flaxen locks and protein. I’m a force to be reckoned with. I’ve made men leave their wives, made them go blind, set themselves on fire. So just think what I’m going to do to you.


  1. Len,

    I am SOOOOOOOOOOO excited. My story is now on its way to you. And you, yes, YOU, will do a response story and we'll be in Pure Slush together. YES!

    Time for you to start talking about that. LOL

  2. andrew,
    thanks for thinking of me! i did one version of it and am sending a new one to matt this afternoon. i'll try to do you justice.
    nice job on your piece!