Friday, February 10, 2006


Things were ok at work today. Lindsey is irritating. I singed some old lady’s hair and she screamed at me. The blow dryer gets too hot too quick. Sometimes hair gets singed, lady. That’s all. Calm down. She looked great when she left but didn’t bother to tip me. She told me to get my eye looked at instead. It’s been a slow month for tips. Gas prices went up again. John is out of work. He’s back with his old friends. It’s been a slow month for tips.
When I got home he was in the recliner asleep. John’s friend Julio was on the love seat asleep. The tv was blaring a court show. Judge somebody. She was a fiery little thing, flailing her arms all over the place and screaming at two gang bangers. How do gang bangers wind up like this? I’ll have to ask Julio when he wakes up. John wouldn’t know.
John got fired from the plant last month, cutbacks he told me. He said he got laid off. Lindsey’s husband works at the plant. She told me and everyone else in the store that John got fired for fighting. Apparently someone named Nick the Forklift Driver was being disrespectful to John and John punched him in the face. They had a fight and they both got fired. I wonder if they were able to find anyone else to run a fork lift? I’m not sure what John did there. I know he started fights, but I don’t know what else. I asked him a few times but he told me to stop.
There’s a gun on the table. It’s silver and it looks heavy. It’s Julio’s gun. John keeps his in his car, in case someone is disrespectful to him in the car. His is black and light. He used to fire it down at the range, but not in a long time. I’d be surprised if it works anymore. Julio’s looks like it works. Heavy with bullets.
I picked up a few things on the way home, just food. Bread and things. I can’t buy junk food anymore, John eats it all day and he’s getting fat. His shirts are getting tight on him, they stick to him. It takes effort for him to get out of the recliner. He’s starting to grunt when he sits up. He’s starting to grunt when he does other things. I’m a hairdresser in a bad part of town and my husband grunts when he gets out of chairs, when he gets into other things. Julio’s gun is on the table, silver and shining.
John is snoring in his chair, Julio might as well be dead. I asked him to stop hanging out with Julio but he got angry and we stopped talking. Julio is trouble. He carries a gun even when he’s just coming to our house. Nothing is going to happen here at our house. Nothing is going to happen but he brings it anyway. He brings it everywhere. John wants to be like Julio I think. Julio steals things from the backs of trucks and sells them to men in garages. He tucks the gun in the waistband of his pants and shakes the hands of other men who have guns in the waistbands of their pants. John keeps his gun in the glove box of his 94 Lincoln. It leaks oil in the garage we share with the old lady upstairs.
John calls her Esther. Her name is Mary. She’s a sweet old woman. Her grand kids come to visit her on the weekend. They play in the hallway and in the stairwell. John hates it, hates kids. I give them suckers I take from the shop. They have bubble gum and baseball cards. They’re precious but mostly they stay upstairs. I spend most weekends listening to them patter above me. Tramping too loud through the hallway and laughing. She’s good about it when John screams, even during the week.
I singed her hair once at the parlor but she didn’t mind. She over tipped. She said she’d tell her daughter to come visit me and she did. I was more careful with the blow dryer. I was careful not to singe her hair. I was very careful, I held it steady and made sure it wouldn’t hurt her. I didn’t want to hurt her, I just wanted to do it right. I wanted to start doing things right. I was careful when I aimed and when I pulled the trigger it was done as quick as I started. He slumped over and was gone.

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