A Hair Story
“When you gon’ cut that boy’s hair?” Uncle Morgan asked.
“He can grow it as long as he wants. It’s his hair,” my mother responded.
“You ain’t worried about him lookin’ like a girl?”
My mother paused a bit too long before answering, “Nope.”
I sat between Grandma’s thighs on the house steps, her hands smelling like coco butter and coconut oil, as she braided my hair, which was now down to my shoulders.
“Samson’s strength was in his hair,” Grandma reminded me.
“But do I look like a girl?” I asked.
“You look just like one of God’s children.”
He was from a big city, where people were always on a quest to find the latest and greatest of anything, but she was from a town so small the local DJ, who’d had a stroke and his voice slurred heavily, held down the number one radio show in the county, purely based on the respect afforded him by his longtime listeners.
She knew deep down that they saw the world too differently, but loneliness was a beast that forced her to look past who she was in order to become someone whose main attribute was that she wasn’t lonely.
Searching for Water Where It Never Rains
They fancied themselves the up-and-coming moguls, the ones who would take over the city, the recent graduates who populated the bars, the gentlemen puffing Cohibas, the ladies holding court on the finest of French wines, preparing their pretentious palates for a wealth that awaited them, like seven-figure gated estates, where their neighbors were top draft picks or music producers who were no strangers to the Billboard charts, but amid this atmosphere of affluence, they complained not of the money, but of their lack of significant others, the people for whom they’d left just enough space for their mahogany trophy cases.