I went home to visit my parents this weekend. In the process of unpacking and emptying my numerous bags of dirty clothes, my hairbrush evidently made its way from the safety of my handbag. This morning, I woke up late and upon examining my hair in the mirror, I decided it was acceptable to forgo a shower. After throwing on my least wrinkled clothes, I looked for a hairbrush to drag through my hair, which is long and straight and fine, but is seldom sleek or kempt. I then realised that I had left my trusty hairbrush at home and cursed for a few minutes, before resorting to using my fingers and praying that everyone just thought I had been, like, surfing that morning hence my tangled, messy hair.
On the bus, I wrote a reminder on my hand: “Buy hairbrush”. For the rest of the day, I frequented the bathroom regularly to frantically fix my hair. On one occasion, a lady walked in on me and I assumed the disposition of someone whose hair was exactly as it was supposed to be and was simply admiring it.
After work, I marched into Penneys - which is a very cheap clothes shop, specialising in poor-quality clothes that you will donate to charity within eighteen months - and headed straight for the accessories section. There, I saw a selection of garbage hairbrushes that were ridiculously cheap and thus within my budget. I began to queue until I got paranoid about what the cashier would think. “What kind of loser comes in here and buys just a hairbrush? This girl clearly cannot look after herself. Maybe it’s time we called someone to check on her living situation, because I bet her bathroom is a mess,” I imagined her thinking. (I cleaned my bathroom last night, so in your face, lady in my imagination.) At that point, I decided that I needed to buy something else to distract from the hairbrush purchase. (Read: I have the same mentality when it comes to buying cigarettes/alcohol. I invariably supplement these purchases with, like, chewing gum or bottled water.)
“Do I need stripey socks? Patterned leggings? A gross David Bowie t-shirt? Wait, why is David Bowie licensing his image to Penneys? Who is looking out for David Bowie? Does he need a friend?” I pondered.
Eventually I decided on an inexpensive gold necklace (0.0000 carat). As I clutched my two items in the queue, I glanced at the face of the cashier. Weary and sunburned, I realised that she didn’t care about what I was buying. I watched as she put through a series of comically large bras, ironic Sesame Street t-shirts and the most ugly pyjamas I have ever seen without so much as blinking an eyelid. And so, I surreptitiously abandoned the gold necklace. “You don’t need me,” it said. “Thanks, Goldie!” I replied. “Who are you talking to?” said the little girl behind me.
As she put through my solitary hairbrush, the cashier asked, “Do you need a bag?” I replied that I didn’t and as soon as I left the shop, I began to brush my hair furiously. Outside, I heard the faint strains of James Brown’s “I Feel Good”. And I did. I felt good.
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