Week #26 – Bad haircut

Natural Woman by Susan Gibb

The Bad Haircut by Darryl Price

The Bad Haircut

would not make friends
with any hat.
That goes without
saying. It forced

itself upon
mirrors like splattered
toothpaste you
don’t really notice

until it’s
too late. The damage
to your sense
of decorum

has already
been done.That being
said, it somehow
managed to

grow on you.And
now actually
seems perfect
for your small head.

Angel by Susan Tepper

This girl Loretta comes to the house to clean up Grandma. She washes Grandma and shampoos her hair. Loretta tells me it took three or four shampoos to get all the white crud off Grandma’s scalp. They get that white crud when they get old she says. It makes me cringe and never want to be old. So I start to research death. So many ways to get it if you want it. I like the swallowing types of death where you swallow a pill or maybe a lot of pills, depending. Then you lie down looking normal and go to sleep. What could be more normal than that? I mention this to Loretta who agrees. She says all the real beauties died rather young. Then she rattles off names: Marilyn Monroe and Princess Di are two I remember her mentioning. You should do it Loretta tells me while she’s cutting Grandma’s hair in the kitchen. Sunlight pouring through the window. All the white hair on the floor is snow. When she gets done Grandma like a deranged angel.

Holes by Stephen Hastings-King

Every morning he is awakened by jack hammers. He feels around his head to make sure all the parts are there. Then he says his name to see if it still fits. Over coffee he watches a video loop metallic sky against which reproduction birds bob in the wind. He rehearses the day’s emotions. At roughly the same moment each morning he leans forward to scrutinize a coming irregularity in the loop, a joke inserted by whoever shot the sequence. When it comes he deplores the lack of normal people in the arts. He makes lists of potential experiences. What I Will Encounter. What I Will Explore. What I Will Avoid. He examines critically his haircut. In the shower he sings Verdi. His laughs operatically as he rummages for socks. Over another cup of coffee he watches the video loop metallic sky across which reproduction birds fall like ash. He girds his feet and prepares to encounter the day. He arrives before the door. His hand moves toward the knob. It is possible that the burner is still on. If he goes upstairs he will have to start over. If he doesn’t the house could burn down. He sits on the stairs. Every morning he forgets to make a list of everything that he did that morning. But there is no space for a list of everything because that list would engulf the others. Every morning he sits on the stairs, pinned by the holes in everything.

The New Girl by Fred Osuna

She’s new, with the enthusiasm of a new person. And everyone wants the new girl, at least they do at first.

It takes thirteen even sweeps to clear all the hair from beneath her chair. She’s averaged it. It’s sometimes as few as six. She has a lot of time to figure that out now, but most days there’s very little hair. That hippie dude she gave a buzz cut to? His hair was everywhere. That was a good 27 sweeps.

The hippie dude came back in this week. He asked for Madeleine. The new girl stood alone at her station watching them, and she knew they were talking about her. I mean, at one point they both turned in her direction and the former hippie dude said her name. “The new girl,” he said. She smiled at them and they turned away and kept talking.

She’s gonna get a new job. She’ll be the best at it. She’ll be the only one at the drive-thru that says “please,” “thank you” and “ma’am.” She’ll get promoted to assistant manager, you just wait and see.

Appointment by Shelagh Power-Chopra

He went for his usual appointment with Lin, but she wasn’t there. Gone off her rocker, said her colleague, Suyin, a catty woman who chewed ginger and specialized in perms. Lin had been cutting his hair for months now, found her shop by chance one day when his barber was shut. It was a simple shop–hard pink chairs, no magazines and one potted plant. His hair was limp and a mousy brown but she never made him feel bad. She cut his bangs with such precision it was if she held an imaginary ruler against his forehead. She didn’t talk much, always smiling–once she told him he had good features, you have devil eyes, she said mischievously as she rubbed mousse in his hair. He loved to watch her move–so willowy and ethereal like a living ghost. He often thought of asking her out–they’d go to some little Italian hole in the wall, read Mallarme together and later she’d lie naked on his plaid sofa as she trimmed his moustache. Lin real upset, she run out of here like fire, Suyin said as she clipped away, nicking his neck. He closed his eyes, listened as she sucked the ginger–a waterfall in his ears. Got a phone call, neighbor found her husband hung up in the closet, love of her life, I hear. He stared at the mirror, his hair looked chewed up–severed by a miniature lawnmower. Okay, we done here, Suyin said, holding out her hand for a tip.

A hair raising story by Stella Pierides

He always followed her advice. When she said you should buy this
jacket, it suits you, he bought it; this tie goes with your hair, he
wore it. She chose his shirts and his suits for him. As if he were a
boy and she his mother rather than his wife.

So, when he came home with a totally new haircut, she knew he was
having an affair. She knew!

“This is a bad haircut,” she told him. “It makes you look older. It
makes your face look fatter. This is not you.”

He didn’t respond. He just stood there, looking at her quietly,
steadily, fiddling with his belt. Shifting his weight on the other
leg, he reached for his coat, put it on and walked out the door.

She bit her lip, thinking. Suddenly a smile rippled on her face. She
now had an opponent. Her life would be more interesting from now on.

A Reasonable Match by Martin Brick

She knew I liked long hair. Which convinces me it wasn’t a true breakup cut. She planned to come back, and to make me feel bad, the growing hair a reminder of my gradual forgiveness.

Everyone knew those long chestnut locks. So everyone would ask, “what’s the deal?” if they saw her lying in her casket with that spiky cut. Especially her mother who said it made her look like a lesbian. Her mother who knew we were on the rocks, who had a very bad impression of me, looked at her daughter and said, “You’ve driven her away from men altogether, haven’t you?”

I think she blamed me for the death. The police simply said she had alcohol in her system, never explicitly said it was a “factor.” There was light snow. Maybe, even sober, she would have slipped. Or maybe the drinks slowed her reflexes. Or maybe they made her melancholy enough that a concrete pillar looked inviting. One thing I know for certain is that I was the reason she was drinking.

Another thing I know with certainty is that if you search very hard, with a photograph, you can find a wig that matches reasonably well.

And a last thing I know, is that if you ask the funeral director he will let you keep the wig, and provided you don’t tell her the back story, a woman you hookup with months later will wear it and when you say “forgive me” she’ll grant it.


Back to Wk #25 – Least favorite


One Response to “Week #26 – Bad haircut

  1. Darryl,
    Such a cool poem!

    Love the ‘deranged angel’ line. 🙂

    I love this. I’m not quite sure what it is exactly, but I can picture this melodramic guy just going about the endless loop of his life. There is a art exhibit at the Cleveland museum of a video loop of trees with birds nest in them, that just keeps going on and on. It reminds me of that. 🙂

    I felt sorry for her. Everyone has to learn the ropes sometime.

    Wow, she gave him quite a bit more than a bad haircut!

    Something very perverse about this one. I liked it!

    So tragic and ominous and creepy! Nice one.

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