After the Fall

 Anne sprays a mist of Chanel over her shoulders. She glances at her watch. Joe will be here in less than half hour. She runs the brush through her hair. She looks in the mirror and doesn’t recognize the woman there. Her hands and her brush are full of strands of hair gently moving in the breeze. Dark brown threads stick in the fresh perfume drying on her skin. She runs her hands through her hair again. More clumps lift out by the roots. She sees but does not feel them as they pull away from what had been a respectable blunt cut. She thinks why doesn’t it hurt? She thought she would feel something.
            She remembers when she was a child. She fell asleep with Double Bubble gum in her mouth. In the morning the sugary pink bubbles were tangled mats in her hair. Her first haircut happened when her mother chopped off all the gummy hanks. Anne never chewed Double Bubble again. The little pink bricks hardened on her bedside table as she read all the Joe Bazooka comic wrappers.
            Joe likes to stroke her silky hair. He says what he loves most about her is her hair. Sometimes she feels like a pet cat. Her hand itches to slap his hand away. Beside the mirror is a photograph of her mother. Same eyes. Same silky brown hair. Her mother is tossing her head back laughing. Before the cancer.           
Anne opens the cabinet, takes out the nail scissors and begins carefully, methodically to cut off all the hair left at the scalp. Her skull emerges shapely and shorn. The bell rings. Joe. But Anne doesn’t go to the door. Her hair falls like feathers onto her scented skin and fills the basin like autumn leaves. 

by Pamela Herron 


  1. Very powerful! I have a very clear sense of Anne and I'd like to read more about her!

  2. Nicely done! I'm worried about what Joe will think and how Anne will cope.
    --Tricia Tighe


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