Write On!

Pre – Chi

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2011 at 4:20 am

by Jennifer Johnston

Long before daylight she starts her day. An alarm clock blares, rudely interrupting the sweetest of dreams. “Shut up” she mutters, reaching for the snooze. Just five more minutes won’t hurt. What’s the worst that could happen? And she snuggles down beneath the warm covers, anticipating a hasty return to dreamland. But instead of the romance novel already in progress, a new vision plays out on her eyelid screen, and it is not pretty.

“Welcome to the kindergarten classroom, and never mind the children screaming in terror from the hideous frizzy-haired woman cringing in the corner. That’s just Austin’s Mom–she apparently can’t do any better—isn’t it sad?” And with that, Mallory catapults herself out of bed once again to begin the daily rites. It’s a ritual she’s learned to loathe on most days, tolerate on others, but never, EVER skip.

Step one: wash with crazy straight shampoo. Step two: Rinse, repeat, then coat the hair with copious amounts of crazy sleek conditioner. Allow to sit for exactly 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water for the extra silky straightening effect. Step 3: Towel dry, apply detangler, slather on three pricey anti-frizz products in a carefully calculated cocktail, and finally begin to blow dry the curly mess atop her unfortunate head.

Tugging at it, Mallory imagines all the lucky women out there, blissfully unaware of their own good fortune, those sleeping beauties still lost in dreamland all over town at this very moment. They probably showered last night, went to bed with damp locks and will awaken soon, looking like they just stepped off the pages of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. May they all choke on their Lucky Charms.

A few minutes later she emerges from her daydream and frowns. Things are not exactly improving in the mirror.

She assesses the situation and decides maximum damage has been done. It’s time to break out the heavy artillery. Reluctantly, Mallory opens the bathroom drawer and reaches for it– her secret weapon, pitiful as it is. It’s a love-hate relationship, this thing between she and the giant roundbrush. It pulls, it snags, it tangles—truth be told, she’s developing carpel tunnel from wielding the thing, but alas—it is her only hope at self-esteem.

“There,” she thinks. “That’s tolerable,” as she shuts off the blowdryer and applies a final coat of magic weather-proofing tonic. With any luck, that will last a few hours.

While ironing her shirt for the day ahead, she can’t help letting her mind wander. Press. Slide. Watch the wrinkles magically disappear. A random thought creeps in. Sure it’s crazy but what if? What if she could grow her hair long enough to actually lay it on the ironing board?

Press. Slide. True, she probably couldn’t get to the roots, but at least she could get a taste of that illusive jewel that is straightness. Over breakfast, she mentions the wild daydream to her husband, who spits his coffee clear across the dining room table. She is unamused.

Driving through town on autopilot, Mallory’s thoughts return to the land of the silken goddesses, evil wretches that they are. What if there was a way to actually iron hair? Could she actually be mistaken for one of them? And the dirty pleasure of it almost makes her blush.

Her mind is reeling now, whispering the unspeakable possibilities. What if someone invented an iron small enough to rub along each strand of her unruly mane, transforming it into a new substance altogether? Yeah, she’d probably burn her fingers off then, but hey, a woman can dream. Right?

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