you and me – POSTCARD #20
#20. Yep. That’s 1/5 of the way there! This card was sent in by Michael Webb of New Jersey which is fast becoming a place in which I believe very awesome people reside. For some reason this card reminded me of an old poem of mine that suddenly wanted to become a story.
I hung over the balcony yesterday. My stomach balanced on the rail and my toes hovered close to the ground like baby birds. I swung back and forth teasing the vertigo until I paused, tilted towards the wrong side.
My hair escaped from careful pins and two thick plaits curled to the ground. One hit a man on the head tossing a baseball.
He gave the end a sharp tug and I wobbled but held on.
What are you doing up there? He shouted as he recognized me.
I wasn’t sure how to answer so I smiled.
What the hell are you smiling about?
I didn’t know why he was so upset. I remember him once telling me that my smile was quite something.
Come down and play.
I shook my head without thinking and one of my braids whipped him in the face. I jerked forwards as he grabbed the plait and wound it around his wrist bracing one leg against the wall. He lifted his other leg and my stomach crushed into the rail. I think I cried out something like help but I may not have made a sound.
As he climbed I thought about all the tugs I’d had on my hair. He was more than halfway now, grunting a little as he tore at my scalp.
I opened the scissors in my hand. Of course they’d always been there. The sound was lean as they sliced through the plait and the dead weight fell to the ground. I sliced the other one quick, grinning as he thudded back to earth. It’s true I heard the sound.
It went thud.
I tried not to smile as he yelled and tore at my useless hair, but my smile, someone once told me, is really quite something.