domenica 13 dicembre 2009


by Shelley Jackson

Her girlfriend left but she found she was not alone in the house. "Let me speak," said the hair. She recognized it as one of her own. She had thought it was gone forever, but forever does not always last very long.

"I am amazed to see a hair stand alone, upright in the air," she said. "So speak."

The hair had a brassy light in its shaft. It stood and shone and swayed, and a wave ran up it and down and the frequency of the wave was such that a clear note was laid upon the air, and so the hair began to sing, and it sang these words: "Many a little makes a mickle, once bitten twice shy, time and tide wait for no man, a penny saved is a penny earned."

She assented to everything the hair said, and felt in her heart that the hair was right, and furthermore he cut a gallant figure, did slim, insinuating Mr Hair. Would she step out with him? Why yes.
At the appointed hour the hair came back and it brought friends. Together they swayed and arched like a wave. Light struck deep into the glassy swells. One hair curled and bounced like spindrift above the rest.

"Trust no man, though he be your brother," sang the hair, "who has hair one color, and a beard another. Loose lips sink ships. Out of sight, out of mind." She held out her hands, and the hair coiled around her wrists once, twice, many times. Then it towed her into the wave.

But when she was alone again, her heart changed, and the sight of her own hair on her shoulders filled her with loathing, and so she took clippers in hand and gave herself a buzz cut. All the hairs rose up upon the kitchen floor and danced around her feet, and then one by one they threaded themselves through the keyhole and were gone.

Now she entered into a time of trial. If she bent over a nosegay in a glass, a hair whipped itself many times around her nose and tweaked it. A hair lay coiled in every soup spoon she brought to her lips. She loathed lawns and would not picnic, because the hairs hidden among the grass blades bent over the cloth and nodded mockingly at her.

Now when she walked down the street the children shouted after her: "Mistress Mary quite contrary how does your garden fare? With silver hairs and golden hairs and hairy hairy hairy hair!"

At the museum she saw the hair in a Hogarth; it was disguised as a line, but she found it out, because she marked how sinuous and solitary it was, and that it was not content to stay coiled in the skirt of a bawd, but slung itself around a drunkard's throat, humped along the back of a cur snarling at a rat, and arched from a lad's trousers to the puddle on the ground. "There's my hair," she said. "I would know it anywhere." And she did: she knew it on the back seat of a car, recumbent between floor boards, on the shoulder of a gentleman's tweed overcoat, in the gutter of a book open to a page on which a careful reader would find the word "lies" written six times over, on a bus, in a restaurant, in a video store, at a lecture, at a political rally.

She took a walk in the park. She mounted a small rise, and the sun struck through the trees at her, and blinded her as she advanced. She shaded her eyes and saw a blazing shield. Between two trees, across the path, hung a spider's web as big as a garden gate. It was almost complete; a shining spider stepped, conjured the silk from its abdomen, stretched the line, dipped, rose, and let it snap into place. But it was not silk, no, the spider was spinning a web of hair. She ran from the horrible thing.

When she got home, she started a letter to her girlfriend. An old fashioned letter, on paper. She signed her name at the bottom. But when she lifted her pen, she pulled her signature straight. Then all her words unraveled. The letters lost their loops and slithered right off the page. She had written a letter to her lover. Oh, what had the letter said?

The hair is a subtle spirit, and noose to our passions. It counsels policy, silence and circumspection, and its songs incite no candid lunge to pen or gun, but the slow asphyxiation of deceit. In its coils the very breath studies cunning. Once broken, the body rises lightly and easily to the lie, and if you ever slip, the hair will knot around your neck, and hoist you up.


Nessun commento:

Posta un commento