Category: Fiction

The Alchemy of Escapism

Back to writing fiction!

Marisa Tries Fiction

“Buzzzz” the clippers hummed closer to my scalp.  Juno hovered them by my ear, and then… silence.  She pressed the power switch. “You are sure you want this?” she asked, looking so deep into my eyes she was fishing through the brown for glints of hazel.    “Yes,” I replied, “I’m so tired of being scared.  I’m done.  It’s hair.  It’ll grow back, and when it does, I won’t have any regrets.”    My innards quaked.  I did have doubts, but I caged them all in shut eyes and clenched shoulders as I braced myself for the nearing vibration of the clippers.  My head began to feel cooler and lighter with every fallen piece.   My eyelids locked until silence reentered the room.   Juno tapped my shoulders and said, “It’s done if you’d like to take a look”.  She unraveled the towel from my neck.  Maverick hairs fell to the floor.   I couldn’t look down just yet.  Seeing my hair carpeting Juno’s parlor rather than my head would make it real.  I made the choice but I procrastinated the consequences.  “I think I’ll shower first, if that’s ok,” I muttered, feet darting across the oak floor.

As I rotated the faucet, the water poured onto my head.  Not drizzling into my scalp, but rather, the translucent beads were touching, rolling, and covering my entire head.   I never felt more vulnerable.   I froze against the porcelain tile, body paralyzed while my mind ran wild with the epiphany that I had erased a physical barrier to myself.   The hair protected me from the cold, couched my face between its fibers in embarrassing moments I wasn’t brave enough to confront them.  My hair told my sexuality through the eyes of someone else.   It was long because I thought men liked it long.  I styled it because the girls I interacted with preferred it as a sculpture rather than the unruly mess it was.  I shaved it off because I was exhausted, drained, searching for a rebirth I wasn’t sure was possible. Hair is one part of ourselves we can guillotine and still live.  There’s power in serving the dead parts.  Listening to the pulsations of the shower, leaning against the wall, the gravity of my choice imprinted my thoughts.  It wasn’t about hair, but about me, this internal craving to define myself by a language I created instead of the tired rhetoric and frames that had been imposed upon me.   My fingers journeyed up the base of my neck, and finally reach my scalp, my completely bare scalp.  I touched it.  After the initial shock, I felt naked, more naked than without clothes.  I felt the exposure of my own self, and I didn’t hate it.