Hammocked in your curls. Little dead humans, embalmed with nothing but shampoo, linseed oil conditioner. Even their teeth are cleaned with scalp-curing properties. When you draw it all back into a knot, the little bodies fall sloppily to your shoulder. You wear them well, like you wear a messy bun well. The way their limbs recline on your collar bones, an invite to authentic conversation at the coffee shop.
The barista even asks about your resolutions before handing you one of those drinks with an ephemeral leaf milked across the top.
“Never let scissors touch my hair again.” And you leave.
In the shower before the party, you theorize. Combing the little bodies out of your hair with your fingers. They fall limp against your shoulders, bounce off your hips, clog the drain.
Gently, at first, you stomp them to pieces, heeling their limbs from their bodies. Nothing but more hair inside. Look close and you’ll see there’s even little dead humans woven through their hair as well. Hair and bodies, all the way down the drain. You theorize.
Theorize that these are all characters from a game you used to play in the basement with your neighbors. All you did was kill off characters. An infinite body count, only cut off by your never playing games with them again. And now, by some fuckery, they’re materializing in what grows from your follicles—the only thing that’s ever really made you feel hot.
But, deep down, you know these bodies. They’re the ones you never slept with. The ones your youth group warned about, the ones at all the parties. The things you maybe would have done—but probably not–if you hadn’t listened. If you’d been a bad person instead.
Towel-wrapped, you decide not to go out tonight. The faces on the screen have wonderful teeth, perfect dead cells swooped across the flesh of their heads. The ball’s about to drop anyway–joining all the limbs and heads and teeth and guilt and hair down the drain, wrapping around the New Year’s lights, making a grisly tinseled planet of the whole. You could join them down there. A place more beautiful than you think.
You’re more beautiful than you think.
The way you wear the corpses in your hair.