Instead of donating, my wife threw the wig in the dumpster. It reminded her of bad times.
We were perched on our little balcony when we saw the wig bouncing by on the head of the trans-gender guy in 8A. Fuck, I said. Look at that.
You have something against him?
Well, let it go.
I just don’t like your wig on him. Its creepy.
Its his now. Get over it.
Later when I walked to the store for milk I saw 8A sobbing at a café table. There was a cut on his cheek, blood mixing with make-up. His real hair was gray, half spiked, half-matted.
Hey, I said. Where’s the wig? He was wearing these big clip-on mirror earrings and I could see my crazy face.
Stolen! His voice was some weird combo of male meets female.
Thats just great. I was shaking. I decided to stop before I had one of my blood pressure swoons. I handed him a napkin.
* * *
I saw its reflection in the cooler door. The woman was tall, gliding past with perfect posture. It could have been her hair, but I sensed its lopsidedness. I dropped the milk and grabbed her arm. Excuse me. Nice try. I snatched her hands to look for blood.
I tried grabbing the wig, but she twisted my arm and brought me down, nails in my neck.
* * *
Where’s the milk? My wife examined my neck. Vampires?
I told the whole story. Once when she was near death I vowed to never lie.
Jesus Christ! Cant you leave people alone? Ill get the milk. She tossed me to the sofa. She was much stronger as a survivor. You dont move from there. Im warning you.
After she left I got my BB gun and went to the balcony. There was an old woman nosing around the trash. I peppered the side of the dumpster, but she ignored the tick-tick-tick. When I was out of ammo, she took off.
That’s right! I yelled.
* * *
You wouldnt believe what I saw. My wife was out of breath, slinging the milk onto the sofa. Someone robbed the donut place. He ran in front of me, wearing that damn wig! Well have to watch the news.
We paced around the house. It seemed like five o’clock took forever, but then it was the first thing on the news. They showed the surveillance video. The guy wore dark clothes and something dark over his face; and the wig. If anyone recognizes this person, the reporter said, they should call the tip-line.
What have I done? my wife said. Ive made the world a dangerous place.
I held her against my shoulder. I stroked her hair, which for some reason had grown in brown this time.
* * *
Later we took some wine to the balcony. Wed taken one sip when we heard the moaning. Is that coming from the dumpster? my wife asked.
I told her to stay put, but there was no stopping her.
It was the BB woman, tilted against the dumpster, the tiniest trickle of blood on her cheek. The wig was so dirty, in just one day, we barely recognized it.
Dont touch her, I said. Well call 911.
My wife snatched the wig. The old woman had grey peach-fuzz. My wife started to shake. Dear God. She looks like an old version of me. This is what I would look like. This is me dying. Do you see that?
Shes not dying. Lets get out of here.
By the time we were back to the balcony, ready to call, we saw the woman struggle to her feet. She swayed a moment, felt her head, and made her way down the alley.
We had some more wine, then torched the wig in our little pit. Because it was part human, it smelled like death.
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