Of Buns and Left Hands

“Would you say your soul resides in your hair?”

“Would you say your soul resides in your hair?”

She looks at me from the side of her eye. Raises an eyebrow.

“May I touch it?” I ask

“I am not tame.” She says looking away.

“What do you mean…not tame?”

“Tame. To establish ties. To me you are nothing more than a boy, with funky hair. You are like a hundred thousand other boys with funky hair as I am like a hundred thousand other girls with long puffy hair. I have no need of you as you have no need of me.”

I look at her. I can hardly see her face because she stands in line with the setting sun. Her hair wildly leaps from the sides of her head, slightly curves and converges under her nape. I imagine it is a sweaty place, that convergent point. That she feels it with every step she takes – the cool sensation as cloth rubs on skin. That she sometimes smiles to herself, maybe pats her own back and whispers under her breath: “To natural air cons…so economical!”

I squint my eyes and raise my face to where hers should be.

“Would you liked to be tamed?” I ask, also raising an eyebrow.

“Maybe by the sun.” She answers.

I can’t quite tell where her eyes are looking. She is essentially a puffy-haired silhouette in front of me. The wind is blowing her scent almost straight into my nostrils. A nice-smelling puffy haired silhouette. Today’s purple-pink haze of the setting sun is falling on my face – she can see every emotion written on it while I can’t possibly see hers. I do and don’t like this. I feel exposed. Sometimes though, exposure is good.

“Am I not, in this very moment, an embodiment of the sun, what with my face radiant and all?” I ask, smiling coyly.

“Uhhhmm…embodiment?” she mumbles.

“You know…embodiment – representation in a physical body. Like the sun is me and I am the sun.” I say smugly, feeling all up to par with her pedantry on ‘tame’ not just being a word.

“Haha…you caught on quite fast!” she half-screeches, grabbing my left arm, a wide smile over her gentle face.

Over the course of our acquaintance, she seemed not to get enough of it. Touching my left arm that is. Ha-ha. She would slowly pass her fingers over my fingertips. Sometimes close her eyes. Sometimes she would close her eyes and bite her lip, slowly and gently. I guess she had a thing for calloused hands. Or perhaps the callouses conjured up sounds in her mind. Chords slowly being strummed, progressive chord changes. Music. She would sing in the shower, hum a tune just before bed and maybe whistle as she cooked an egg.

She never liked my right hand. The fingers on it had long nails. Long misshapen nails. I never really cared to cut nor file them. They were functional. As long as they could pick the strings on my guitar I was happy. How could she not see that the music wasn’t just a consequence of my calloused hand traveling over the fret-board? That without the nails and my right arm entirely, there would be no rhythm for her to sing along to in the shower, or hum to just before bed or whistle along with as she cooked an egg?

“We should cut those nails.” She would say after taking notice of them.

“How about we cut your mane as well?” I would retort. Sometimes even waving a pair of scissors in front of her.

She would recoil.

I loved her hair as much as she loved my music. Most days she would oil it then proceed to tie it into a bun. I would creep up behind her just to press my nose against it. It smelt of …insipid nothingness. Just as her breath tasted of nothing. I liked this. How I could not pin a specific smell nor a specific taste on things I liked about her most.

One still Friday night, while laying on our backs at a balcony, hands entwined, disturbing the air of silence that hang between us I’d said:

“An uncle of mine once traveled to space.”

“Oh really?” She’d replied after a long while. It would seem she was half there and half elsewhere.

“Yes. From space, he’d told me, the glow of every earthly city can be seen.”

“The roads, what do they look like?” she’d asked almost immediately, her mind wondering back to the present moment.

“The roads look like jeweled collars, studded with rubies and diamonds.”

“What about the houses?” she continued, her voice faintly trembling in awe.

“The houses are like sequined evening shawls draped over the suburbs.”

“What about us…people?” her voice now filled with awe.

“We are like ants. Ants hidden in blades of grass. The blades of grass being blown by the wind.”

“So we are holding on to our dear lives is what you’re saying?”

“We shouldn’t imagine we can be seen from the heavens is what I’m saying.”

We got into our car, opened the windows wide and let the wind blow the cobwebs away. We sang and laughed and told outrageous stories. That night back at our duplex, it was hard to find a place where either darkness or silence was allowed to reign.

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