Cold linoleum floors are awful, but I usually jump right in the shower so it’s no big worry. Last week as I took off my robe and glanced in the mirror I felt an extra chill of..insecurity? Anxiety? A feeling of  being unsafe, unguarded. Vulnerable. It was so hard to pin down because I so rarely feel that way. I haven’t felt that way in a long time, since high school.

The night before this I got home late, about 2 AM from a date. A date that hadn’t gone very well, in my opinion. Particularly after we’d gone back to his place where conversation and making out took place. Good kisser, decent conversation, no particular inspiration to see him again. I have this a lot. Perfectly nice guys, smart, funny, I don’t want them. I have a very specific idea of the kind of treatment I want to receive, and the kinds of thought patterns I want to see evidence for. 

As we were kissing I felt his fingers run through my hair and abruptly my head was pulled back and his hand was curled up, pulling my hair and my head. I was so surprised and stunned that I don’t think I even recognized the fear I felt when he kissed me again.

Standing in my shower stall, clumps of my hair falling from the buzzing blades of my clippers. All I could think about was how I never wanted anyone to grab my head that way again.

Later when I stood up to grab my things he rose and kissed me. And shoved me onto his bed. And lay on top of me. All I could think was “Please stop. Please stop or I’ll hurt you.” When he leaned in to kiss me, I planted my palms on his shoulders and pushed up with all the force I could muster and said “I’m going home now.

After I got out of the shower and put on my clothes, I realized how close I had come to dismissing it as a bad date. As a mistmatch, poor chemistry. But the hair swirling down the drain and through the pipes, the warm clippers in their case, my cold ears all tell me that it was more. I was scared. I felt threatened. Boundaries had been crossed, boundaries I didn’t even realize the importance of until I clipped a 5/8ths inch comb onto some metal blades and ran the buzzing machine through my hair.


One Response to “5/8ths”

  1. greg Says:

    I’m really sorry that you were treated that way.

    Fear is so strong.

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