March 7, 2004


I went to this awesome thing one Monday night, The Moth StorySLAM! I can't go this week, because of my mother fucking copyediting class, but I wrote something anyhow. The theme this week is colors.\

The first time I dyed my hair I wanted to go bleach blond, Courtney Love style—all ratty with lots of dark roots. Lea and I shared the box between us, Clairol Ultimate Blond. We sat on the edge of the tub, with our sticky heads stuffed under plastic bags, and stared at our reflections in the bathroom mirror. Our scalps stung and chafed as the brown was striped out of our hair. I thought that 25 minutes might just change everything.

When our heads were rinsed and dried I was disappointed to find that the dye wasn’t strong enough to turn our hair platinum. Instead it came out a brassy orange-blond color. There hadn’t been quite enough dye for both of us, so we had a few gaps and irregularities where odd splotches of brown showed through.

It was November and we stood out on Lea’s dead front lawn, shivering in our sweatshirts. Her dad came out and stood with us, prying and criticizing and asking too many questions. Why did we want to be blond? Lea just turned her head and shrugged. I was 14 and she was only 12, but she was the toughest girl I knew and I felt like we’d crossed a line with this dye job, even if it hadn’t come out as dramatically as I’d hoped. We’d done it, now we were rebel girls.

Later that year Lea went for hot pink. I helped her do it, and as I painted on the syrupy gunk I felt a twinge of jealousy, because I knew I didn’t have the guts to go pink. For weeks afterward I watched as it seemed people gaped at Lea’s hair. I wished I could make myself a spectacle, elicit even the tiniest bit of shock.

Eventually Lea went for black and I graduated to lollypop red. Manic Panic, Deadly Nightshade. The dye was the cheap wash out kind and it never really set. My pillow turned red, the collar of all my shirts, towels, it was like the midas touch except red. I had to re-touch the dye every two weeks or it would turn a hideous faded brick orange color.

Eventually I decided to try blond again. I got heavy duty bleach. I deliberated over whether it would go with my skin tone and eventually decided to jump in and give it a try. This time the bleach burned far worse than the first time. It felt like I’d poured acid on my scalp, my eyes started to itch and turned red, when I couldn’t stand it for another second I washed it out. When I got out of the shower I was horrified by my reflection. My hair was a repulsive yellow, the color of artificial food products and my complexion looked like death, totally washed out by the paleness of my hair. I burst into tears and called Lea into the bathroom.
“What do I do?” I whimpered.
“Lets dye it back to red.” She said.
Without even waiting for it to dry we poured on the Manic Panic. With the blank palate of my newly yellowed hair the red came out florescent. It was far more dramatic than it had been before, but paired with bright red lipstick the result was sort of fetching.

Posted by on March 7, 2004 7:44 PM

I think you should skip stupid copy-editing class. Who cares about that anyway? You're going to be a famous writer.

Posted by: Frank on March 8, 2004 1:47 PM

Today just before I left work my boss approached me with an eager look in her eye, "have you ever bleached your hair," she asked excitedly. For a moment I was filled with trepidation, had she discovered my blog? That might be my worst nightmare. Still she didn't seem suspicious our pissed off, so I told her yes. It turned out she just wanted to know some factual information for the sake of making one of our books realistic. What a strange coincidence.

Posted by: The Lady on March 8, 2004 10:04 PM
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