Monday, February 22, 2010

Hen's Teeth Marks part one: First Crush

I’m at the Hair Cuttery. It seems my hair is “too bohemian” for the streets and community service work. Old man Patterson is a ball buster. As Bridget backs my head into the washtub I’m slapped with the knowledge that my hair is going to keep growing and I’m going to have to do this again in the future, then again, then again. Let just say until the end of time, my time at least. I don’t know why she has to wash it because I did shower before I showed up. I guess its standard operating procedure. There’s nothing much more I can do but look up at Bridget as she washes my hair but there’s nothing wrong with that. She has the most gorgeous red hair. It seems red hair has made its way into my life a few times. Actually all my love landmarks, or hen’s teeth marks as I call them, have happened around the follicles of red haired maidens. I grin at Bridget and she’s working for a tip so she smiles back the kind of smile that makes a man dream.
I was in sixth grade just realizing the differences between boys and girls. My realization was aided by the well worn book “The Facts of Love” my mom had on the shelf. Well worn because my older brother must have had the same realizations with this book earlier in his life. The emotional and hormonal feelings were awakened by those graphite drawings of what those other people who played with dolls looked like under their summer clothes. What did I do? To steal a phrase from Hannibal Lecter I began to covet. What did I covet? I coveted what I see every day. I coveted Mary Sullivan. Mary was my first major crush. She had blazing red hair. The kind of hair you’d think you could roast marshmallows over. Yes, she was a year older than I but I felt I was mature for my age. I had seen the drawings in “The Facts of Love” and hadn’t really played with my Castle Greyskull in weeks, I mean really played with it with commitment. I had farted around with it on Tuesday but that didn’t count and that was only to get an idea of what to do with the castle Mary and I would build for ourselves after the wedding. Maybe we might have kids but we would take a little time just to walk around the castle naked for a few years at least. Just in the castle. It would be silly for me to be naked while I was playing defensive end for the Cleveland Browns. I would have my uniform on then. I was an overweight child, which may help in my professional football career but may not help in the wooing of the fair Miss Sullivan. I hatched a plan that would be the envy of any coveter. Step One: Crash diet. Step Two: Walk up and down the street for exercise. This gives me a visual presence plus it spreads my musk chemically telling all other coveters, “Hands off! She’s for the fat kid in the Ocean Pacific shirt.” Step Three: Book Sir Rod, the Rod Stewart cover band, for the wedding. Well the pounds were coming off that summer between seventh and eight grade and some how my musk had drawn Mary out to participate in the walks with me. We’d talk a lot and she probably knows what we were talking about but god knows I didn’t. I was too busy in the back of my mind picking out wallpaper for the drawing room of our castle, but as the summer went on I started to hear her longing for her first year of high school to start. She would talk about all the cute boys that would be there and I realized that I had lost her. Actually I never had her. It was a one year age difference but that’s the longest year when you are in middle school and she’s in high school. I lost my taste for any preditorial coveting that summer. I decided that I would live the rest of my life as if on a sled letting wind and gravity guide my way leaving me with little responsibility for outcomes. The emotional welfare system I guess. I lost a lot of weight that summer but I think the biggest weight I let go was the towering down payment on that castle. That would have killed me with just my part time salary at Movie Time Video. I mean… ”Is this good?,” Bridget said. “David, is this okay?” “You can take a little more off. You know, one time I actually had a mullet,” I replied. She laughed, “I bet you had all the ladies.” “Not a one,” I said grinning, “Not a one.”


  1. you may not have had the ladies, david, but you have my heart

  2. That's all I ever wanted, Jeffrey. That's all I need.