01 October 2011


It’s not easy being hair. Well, it is easy. All I really need to do is sit there, grow out where I’m supposed to, don’t grow where I’m not. What isn’t easy is dealing with all of that stuff people want to do with me. I suppose people think of me with reverence. I suppose people associate me with their lifestyle, their personality, their class, their creativity, their inherited genes. Now that I think about it I control a certain part of everyone’s mind every day of the year. I control a certain part of your mind too. I might as well share with you some episodes I’ve observed. Behold my power – the power of hair!

Usually it’s men that are bald. Some of them have complexes about it. From many a woman’s perspective it’s really quite sexy. The simplicity. The raw baring of the face. Nothing to hide. A lot is told about a man’s confidence in the way he accepts the hair he was given, or for what he was not. The same could be said for women who are balding – women! Hair thin enough to see the scalp. …

To be a teenager in the 1980’s meant a lot of time spent on your hair. There has always been a sector of the population that spent a lot of time on their hair. But, in the 80’s the small sector was those who did not adamantly style their hair. The problem with those who did is that instead of recognizing that the styles were bizarre, they became fashionable. This I suppose could be said for the centuries of hair styles. So, if you were a female styling your hair in the 80’s you may remember some of these “fashions.”

The crimp iron. For those unfamiliar, the crimp iron is like a wavy curing iron. Once heated the iron is just squeezes the hair section by section until all of the desired hair is “crimped.” This makes for pronounced rollercoaster waves, obvious that you took 30 minutes frying your hair. Followed with hair spray to hold this effort in place for 10 hours.

Perms were also of utmost fashion. Many born with straight hair envied those with divine curls – like those on a Victorian porcelain baby doll. Perms usually happen at a beauty salon, but are also optional using over the counter perms in boxes. Mainly what you needed to decide is how kinky you wanted the curl. There varieties range from wavy to rolling curls to the distinct spiral curl. The process involves applying warming chemicals to the hair, wrapping in rollers of the desired diameter and covering in aluminum foil. After sitting for an hour, inhaling the toxic aroma, the rollers can be removed and the hair washed. That will be the last washing for a couple of days so that the hair can soak in the fine chemicals designed to fight the hairs’ natural intent. Once styled, hairspray was applied.

The flat iron. For those with curly hair the top desire was to once again do the opposite of the hairs’ natural intent. The flat iron was used to make those with naturally curly hair straight.

One of the most famed fashions was that of the side splash. If a person had a “cow lick” they had an advantage. If not, one used a curling iron to pull up straight on one side of the face. Then, inordinate amounts of hairspray were applied.

The case:
How could the hair have gotten to that place, so private, so inward? It could not have without a specific action. And since this woman had no recollection, drunk as she was, something happened to place it there without her consent. A witness saw him there. The witness saw him, on her limp body. The photo showed that single hair on her cervix. “Beyond a reasonable doubt.” Consequences unknown, it was the deciding factor for his verdict.

We Bethylvanians have started a writing club. This is the first prompt from the last weekend of September. These stories are unfinished. My idea behind this style was to write vignettes so that it would be like opening a door into someone's life, listening in, and then closing the door. It didn't quite turn out like that, but oh well.

Here are some other ideas for vignettes: growing old, body hair, models, dyed:, natural, afro, animals... And I wanted to add an epilogue.

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