3 Fingers Wide

    Joey was squinting one eye in an attempt to will the hair on the left side of his head to grow faster, to cover up the bald spot created when he allowed his best friend's mom to cut his hair. 
    It was an honest enough mistake - still Joey felt stupid for not stopping the whole scenario as he saw it happening.  Knowing nothing of hair cutting, he felt disinclined to raise objection as Mrs. Thompson removed the large, claw-shaped '3' guard from the electric clippers, washed them off in the sink, then in a moment of transcendental ignorance turned the clippers back on, and returned them to the side of Joey's head.  "Oh my god!"  She yelped in a dramatic decrescendo that would have been musically beautiful if it had not signaled the conclusion of what was supposed to be a very normal haircut. 
    Mrs. Thompson and Joey’s eyes had met in the mirror, a look of honest apology on her face.  Now was not the time to dwell in the past, he had thought – the hair had been cut, there was no use in drawing attention to that very obvious problem.  Better to consider the solutions.  Joey was faced with a difficult decision, with two equally disquieting options – symmetry, or hair. 
    Joey could fit three fingers in the scalpy patch.  He wondered if anyone would notice.  He was kidding himself, he knew – it looked like he had a racing stripe.  As he passed by store windows on the way home he caught glimpses of his new appearance, looking from bad to worse as he was colored by certain shades and shapes of glass. 
    He would have allowed her to shave it all off, he thought, if he was not so prone to sunburn.  This haircut was in fact a safety measure for his approaching trip to Mexico, as cutting his hair very short was one of the best ways of staying cool.  Shaving your head bald, on the other hand, was one of the best ways to contract skin cancer. 
    After all he was not going to Mexico to lay on the beach and enjoy the underage consumption of alcohol like everyone else his age did, no, he was going to build houses for people who didn’t have any, or rather had only a random occurrence of cardboard and plastic bags that, by Mexican government standards, did not qualify as a house.  Hence long hours outdoors, hence haircut, hence bald spot. 
    Joey’s hair looked best, he thought, in the reflection of his neighbor’s tinted car windows.  The dark black matte allowed for, from some angles, a nearly seamless blend of hair-to-scalp, a thing he had once taken for granted.  However, inside Joey’s house there would be only clear, truthful mirrors, and an even more honest and sarcastic family.  Leaving the delightful, lying eyes of his neighbor’s Honda Civic he made his way towards the translucent glass that composed the front of his home.

The End

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