cutting it close

I have two stories that are totally unrelated save for the fact that both work with the title. The first one’s about a treacherous bus; the second one’s the traumatic, unresolved tale of when some freshman cut out a chunk of my hair, an anecdote I invariably end up recounting at all the parties I attend.

Story #1

I was— Oh, who am I kidding? No one wants to hear this story. Even I just want myself to get to the second one.

Story #2

This happened my freshman year of high school, probably during World Geography.

I barely talked at all in that class; I literally spent the entire year doing homework there. Freshman Nicole considered homework a more valuable use of her time than making friends (at least, she was more willing to admit that to herself then than she is now) or actually doing classwork. Because, come on, does anyone know what you do in World Geography?

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, one day during my freshman year, as we’ve already established, after returning home from the soul-sucking ordeal that is otherwise known as school, I took a shower, thinking nothing was amiss.

It was only after I started blow-drying my hair that I noticed anything different. You know how your hair gets all poofy afterward? I cast a passing glance at my reflection in the mirror and did a double take. Not because I am attractively challenged—not in this case, anyway—but because there was a small patch of short little hairs sticking straight up at the back of my head, like I’d maybe rented the space out to a baby porcupine.

I stared at that neat row of uniformly short hairs and laughed.

Me: Ha. Haha. Hah.

Broken laughter.

The friend I told was incredibly indignant on my behalf and couldn’t figure out for the life of her why I was taking it so well.

Friend: Why am I more upset about this than you are? Don’t you want to find him? Murder him? Carve out his organs and preserve them in jars of ethanol as a statement?

(I never figured out who did it, although I had a pretty good idea, because I sat at the very back of all of my classes except for one, World Geography, where a couple guys sat behind me.)

Me: *not listening* How did someone snip out a chunk of my hair without me even noticing? I am so obtuse—you know what, maybe I deserved it.

Friend: ???!?! What kind of twisted—are you victim blaming yourself?? Go tell somebody or I’ll cut off your bangs, too.

But I didn’t have any proof, so I just parted my hair to cover the spot and got on with my life.

The things normal people get mad at don’t bother me, yet I get irrationally angry at stupid little things, like when teachers slather their hands in spit while passing out papers and when I find my mom has just found my secret jellybean stash and left no survivors.

Anyway, looking at that chunk right now, I’d say the hair has grown about three inches—not even kidding. (Come to think of it, actually, the growth is probably stunted because I unconsciously knead the back of my head when I’m trying to concentrate, but still.)

Moral of the story: please don’t cut other people’s hair. You might think it’s funny for maybe a day, but your victim has to live with your stupid decision for a while. And, more importantly, he or she might not be as forgiving as me and might just shave your eyebrows off in retaliation.


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