Chapter 5

Each of the women had a different idea regarding what made a good salon.  Myrah, with her straight black hair and oval face wanted a place that understood the complexities that went into sculpting her mid-lengthed bob with the softened ends.  Tara wanted a place that could give her thin brown curls more body.  Jill liked anything that was modern.  Fortunately, Hellcatz on the top level located next to the place that sold novelty underwear gave them everything that they needed.

All three of them sat in barbers chairs as the specialists pulled and snipped at the wettened strands of their scalps.  Jill sat looking through a book of the latest styles as a skinny, dark-skinned man painted strips of coloring down a length of hair near the side of her face.  “I keep telling Thom that he’s turning into a grumpy old man but he acts like he doesn’t hear me.”  She said flipping the page.

Tara raised her eyebrows.  “I can’t believe that you’re doing pink streaks and black tips.”  She scolded.  “Do you know how hard that’s going to be to maintain.”

“He comes home from work and goes upstairs and just watches TV in his office all the time.”

“Are you even sure if that’s going to look good on you?  Did you go to that web site that I showed you and try it out on your face?”

“Yes.”  Jill answered turning another page.  “I want to go out and have fun like we used to.”

Myrah smiled.  “I think that’s the nature of being married honey.”

Electronic music thudded on the sound system above.  The undersides of the counters were backlit making them appear to hover in mid-air.  Everything was red or black.

Tara wouldn’t let the hair issue drop.  “Did you try out your face with different expressions?  You can’t possibly pout and vamp all the time.”

“I did.”  Jill said absently.  “Everyone else’s husbands seem to have hobbies and interest.  Gary’s got his fish and Jack hunts.  Thom?  He just comes home and locks himself away to watch TV all night.  He’s always so grumpy and depressed.”

“That reminds me.”  Myrah said, turning her eyes to look at them both.  “Anyone want to stop by Decoys and Deer’s with me when we leave?  Jacks got some kind of itch.  Says he wants to kill a 12-point buck but he can’t because it’s not season yet.  I think it was the ballet that set him off.  Maybe if I pick him up something camouflage then I won’t have to hear him whine for a little while.”

Tara laughed. 

Jill seemed thoughtful.  “Maybe I could buy Thom a gun?”

Myrah turned her head, causing the stylist that was working on her to sigh in frustration.  “Jesus girl!”  She exclaimed.  “That’s taking things a little far don’t you think?”

“Not to kill himself with.”  Jill defended.  “Maybe he can go hunting with Jack or something.”

“Jack likes hunting alone.  I think he’s shy about other people seeing him dressed like a tree and covered in deer piss.  Besides, didn’t Thom’s daddy go on a shooting spree and murder like twenty people?”

“That doesn’t mean that he’ll do the same thing.”  The redhead said slamming the book of hairstyles shut.  “I’m just trying to find anything to get him out of his shell.  Maybe he could talk to me about killing a 12-point buck and I could go and buy him camouflage and stuff.”

Tara shot the girl a motherly glance.  “Maybe he’s just tired from work?”

“It’s not that.”  Jill argued.  “He works most weekends but he’s still got plenty of energy to hang out in Kinkaid’s garage or go out and play in the backyard with your husbands back hoe.  I’m worried that it’s me.  We used to have fun.”

“He’s old.”  The teacher said shrugging her shoulders.  “You’re young.  The worlds an exciting place for you and he’s just reached an age where complaining about it is like some kind of Olympic sport or something.  I’m not surprised that you don’t relate anymore.  Men are different when they’re dating”

“Myrah’s younger than Jack.”

“I’m ten years younger.”  Myrah quipped.  “You’re twenty years younger that Thom.  Besides, I had my kid at 17.  That’ll make you grow up fast.  You’ve never had kids.”

“I’ve got Thom’s kids.”

“One weekend a month!”  Myrah shot back.  “That’s nothing.  Try living with them everyday.  You’ll sure as hell be able to relate to those nature shows when they tell you about the baby spiders who hatch and eat their mother.”

“Thom’s kids don’t like me.”  She said sadly.  “I was so excited to meet his girls.  I figured that we’d be able to get along and have things to talk about but they don’t trust me.  We play video games together and they say that I cheat.”

“Do you?”

“You can’t cheat at them.”  The woman said rubbing her palm over the book.  “The computer keeps you from doing anything that you’re not supposed to do.” 

“You really should tell him to stop doing that before it’s too late.”  Tara clucked as she directed her pupils towards the man who was working on the girl’s hair.  “I don’t think that hairstyle is going to look like you think it is.”

“It will.”  Jill said.  Without warning she slapped the cover of the book in frustration.  “Jesus guys!  I’m not kidding around!  I feel like I’m living with a stranger.”

“Gary’s obsessed with the asteroid.”  Tara replied. 

“I thought he was obsessed with fish.”

“Them too, but right now it’s the asteroid.”

Myrah sighed.  “Are you guys coming over for the asteroid party?  Please don’t leave me alone in a house full of a bunch of drunk men.”

“Of course.”  Tara smiled.  “I’ll need to be there to hold Gary’s hand when they show it on your gigantic television.  It’ll probably make him wet his pants.”

Jill reopened the book.  “Sure.”  She said.  “Maybe Thom’s obsessed with the asteroid too?  Maybe that’s why he spends so much time watching the news?”

“Gary’s scared as hell about it.”  Tara laughed.  “He’ll spend forever talking about it if you let him.  He cornered some poor guy in the grocery store last night.  He was wearing a NASA badge and Gary kept asking him questions.  I swear that man didn’t know what to make of him.”

“Thom hates NASA.”

Myrah laughed.  “Thom generally just hates everything.”

“I’ve never heard him talk about the asteroid.  Maybe it’s a secret obsession.”

“Are either of you coming to Decoys and Deer with me?”  Myrah asked.  “I hate going into that place alone.  It’s like walking into some kind of hunting lodge where men kill everything that the see all day and fart while they eat.”

“I’m going to pick up Gage.”

“I’ll go.”  Jill said.  “I wonder if they could tell me what type of guy I should buy?”

Tara knitted her brows.  “Wait a second.  Thom doesn’t own a gun?  I thought he made ammunition for a living?”

“He makes boxes for ammunition.”

“Whatever.  He doesn’t own a gun?”

“No.”  Jill answered.  “He doesn’t even allow them because of what happened with his father.”

“Well then a guns a lousy thing to buy for him.”

“I just need something.”  The woman said as she flipped another page.  “Maybe I could use it to go hunting myself.  Maybe he would find that kind of thing sexy or something.”

“I’m not sure if men consider that sexy.”

Tara snorted.  “I think they do.  They can’t get enough of movies with people bleeding and shooting at one another’s heads in them.  I think that it’s sexual.”

Myrah smiled.  “I wish Clara were here.  She would know.” 

Jill sighed.  “I bet she that would be able to tell me exactly what I should get for Thom.  Maybe I should text her.”

“She won’t answer.  She never does when she’s working.”

“How can you tell if she’s working or if she’s just shopping?”  The redhead asked.  “She’s so important that I can’t tell half the time.”

“She writes on what she buys if she’s working.”  Myrah answered.  “She keeps a Sharpie marker in her purse just for drawing arrows on the front of the packages.  One time, she showed me how no one in the pictures on dog food cans were ever looking at the food.”

“What were they looking at?”

“Their pets.”

Tara raised her eyebrows again.  “This is such a deep and mysterious world.  You never think of such things.”

“That’s why she’s so fun.”

“And important.”  Jill added.

“Maybe you could buy Thom a fishing pole.”  Myrah suggested.  “I think Kinkaid’s riding my husband pretty hard about going back and forth on this boat decision of his.  I fully expect to come home one day and find one sitting in my driveway.”

Tara laughed again.  “Kinkaid!”

“He’s got hot rods and beer.”  Myrah said.  “He’s like the Pied Piper.”

“I don’t know what I should get Thom to make him interesting again.”  Jill said as she looked at her reflection in the mirror.  “I hope this haircut isn’t a mistake.”

The End

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