Monday, June 18, 2012

Under the Hair

As part of her Transition Year Work Portfolio, Helene Peters wrote this piece, which at the Transition Year English evening guest speaker Tom Doorley praised as being worthy of Radio 4 (Helene herself read it powerfully). Click 'Read More' for the full piece if necessary.

I hate them all. The way they move, so self-satisfied. The way they scream and laugh about everything. The way they throw their hair back.

I was always described as 'unusual'. My Primary teacher said so, and after a couple of years, so did my Mum. She was influenced by those cheap hair-throwers.

But what they really mean is that I'm crazy.
It's because I like to wear shorts and sandals to church every Sunday, and because I sing the loudest. It's because I eat dinner at breakfast and give names to my furniture. Ted is my table, Stella my lamp.

I don't do everything in order.

The other day, I bought a laptop only to take it to my front yard and smash it with my hammer. I enjoyed it. Everyone was looking at me, and they were whispering, holding their hands in front of their children's eyes, and in front of their mouths, because of course the children had to laugh. Ha! They should have pointed at me, laughing. Once in a while something actually funny happens and they don’t laugh!

Well, at least I started laughing. Loud, uncontrolled hysteria. I couldn’t stop. I snatched for air, but I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. I laughed at their hair and their perfectly-manicured hands, I laughed at their Sunday suits and their small mini-mes they gave stupid names to, like ‘honey’ and ‘baby’.

I was never called 'baby'. Never.

Well, anyway. Right now I sit in my dark cellar and make a plan. I feel like the bad guy from Star Wars. Is there even a bad guy? I don’t know. I don’t care. I like Star Wars. but back to my original point. I sit here and I make a plan. Isn’t that bizarre? Oh, it is. My plan is mysterious. It isn’t normal. I’m building something. What is it? Well, you’ll see when it’s ready, but let me say this much: it has something to do with engineering. I did it in college. Yes, I am a smart guy! In College I started losing my hair. It fell off after an experiment. So I know the ingredients. No, I’ve said too much now. Well, I can tell just you. I am building a flying machine that is going to throw off a chemical.

No woman ever liked me. I didn’t have hair, they said. But truth is, it wasn’t about that. It was because I’m crazy. They lied. Every single one. So my machine will make them stop lying. The chemical is...

Can you see the smile spreading across my face? My eyes glowing? I will make them lose the stupid hair they always throw back. They are all going to be like me. Bald. ‘Unusual.’

But that is all I can really say. It’s actually a secret that I shared with just you. Because you seem to me just like me. Well, under the hair.

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