He turned the corner and there she was. Damn! he thought. The sun wasn’t even up yet, and there she stood on the sidewalk next to the stop sign waiting for the bus. She clutched her books close to her little girl chest. And there was her hair. That thick long bulk that hugged her head like some living animal. That hair was going to be her undoing. It made him think of something he’d seen on the Discovery channel. Ivy plants that graciously took root next to tall trees, quietly flourishing in their shade while humbly wrapping around them. Then repaying their host by slowly and finitely strangling the life out of them. He slowly passed her staring at her, looking at her hair and thinking the same thing was going to happen to her, this sweet little girl. It was only a matter of time.
He worked graveyard at the factory and came home at the same time every morning. And each morning she was always there, looking stiff and sentinel like Damien in the movie poster for The Omen. He pressed the gas pedal a tad harder, anything to get home faster, to get away from the hair.
He unceremoniously went in the side door that led into the kitchen. His wife was milling about the kitchen in her sheen bathrobe, her own Mary Tyler Moore hair up in curlers. “How was work?” she asked.
“Work,” he said, setting his metal lunch box down on the counter. He sighed and rubbed his temples. He looked down toward the floor and rested his hands on the counter, placing one foot in front of the other. That hair, he thought. How could loving parents send a daughter to school with such hair, so loud, so thick, so . . .there? He shook his head, and his wife continued to stir the oatmeal on the stove, looking at him and sympath-etically cocking her head. “Ah, you must have had a rough night,” she cooed. “I’m going to bed,” he announced. “No oatmeal? No cup of coffee? I got it brewing already,” his wife said.
He didn’t answer. He went to the bedroom and peeled his clothes off. He’d shower in the afternoon when he awoke. He crawled into bed just as the first rays of sunshine were stabbing the horizon. He closed his eyes and tried to invite slumber, but to no avail. All he could think of was that full, thick, luscious, hair. That silky haired siren. He patted his own bald pate.
He bolted out of bed and threw his robe on. He stepped hurriedly into his cheap Wal-Mart house slippers. Perhaps she would still be there, just maybe if he hurried. He ran into the kitchen and wrested open the utility junk drawer. He bolted through the side door, his stark white hairy legs looking grotesque from the hem of his bathrobe.
“Hank!” his wife called. “Where are you going?” She carried her coffee cup with her to the door and formed her mouth into a crescent moon, blowing on her coffee to cool it. She peeked out, her beady eyes following her husband. She watched him flash down the driveway, and her mouth dropped open when she watched him run down the street toward the bus stop. Where is he going, she wondered. Where is he going with those scissors?