So, yesterday while I cooked up some homemade garden tomato sauce, made bagels from scratch (one of my favorite things to cook!), and brewed nuoc cham for our dinner with company, my friend and housemate Jasmine first bleached all the color out of my hair (something she’s good at, having lots of experience on her own tresses) and then applied a series of bright, neon-, yellow-, and blue-greens. Now I have, well-ahead of Halloween schedule, bonafide Halloween hair. My family loves it – especially the boys. But I do admit this is one of the very, very few times in my life I wish for a moment I lived in the city; gawks from locals are many and frequent, and can get a bit tiresome.
The act of putting stupid stuff in one’s hair at home is one of my favorite rituals. Doing it with a girlfriend while cooking – and having a few minutes without the kids, who were off gardening with my mom – simply heaven. I can’t actually fix my hair up in any way but I love messing with it: I have put egg, honey, mayo, aloe, henna in my hair – sometimes on the same day. I often had my hair bright, unnatural colors as a twentysomething but since moving here I’d refrained long enough for my hair to have its natural color all along the length (upper-back). Being green my hair feels more “me” now and serves as a safety device when riding my bike on the road.
I now sit in our library while a few feet away a very, very old man flirts with one of the librarians – the slender, fox-faced one who dresses a bit schoolmarmish and wears dark lipsticks. He asks her if he can call her “Laura” (not her name), and goes into a very long story about why he’d be prone to do this, a tale that involves back when he lived on Think-of-me-Hill and had some neighbor with a sister and… “You can call me whatever you want,” the librarian responds in her low, musical voice. Most – but not all – librarians are the nicest people, and Hoquiam’s seem particularly so-designed. I think how wonderful it is for an older gentleman to have a pretty red-headed librarian be so sweet to him for a few moments out of her day.
And I think I like living in Hoquiam, even if the yokels sometimes stare.