My dad’s hair smelled. Not bad. Also, not good. Just distinct. He always wore a hat. Mostly a rolled up stocking cap. So maybe it was the smell of the hat and his sweat trapped in the hat and then dried on his head plus cigarette smoke and sawdust from work and the smell of outside mixed with smell of his truck, in which he stored everything – his tools, books, clothes, etc. Sometimes I’ll smell the inside of one of the stocking caps that I used to wear all the time and I swear it smells a little bit like him.
When I was young, maybe 6 or 7 or 8, Dad used to let me and my sister Katherine comb his hair. He’d sit on the side of one of our beds and take off his stocking cap and and Kath and I would stand or kneel behind hind and run a comb through his hair, over and over and over. Or maybe it was a brush? Dad never said much to us while he sat there. He was mostly quiet. Kept his hands folded together in his lap. Maybe his head was bowed down a little, unless one of us tilted it up or to the side. Which is a distinct possibility. I’m pretty sure Kath and I fussed over him and probably argued about taking turns and whoever wasn’t doing the grooming likely tried to lean up a little bit against his shoulder or his back.
For a chunk of time when I was little, like at least in kindergarten through 2nd grade, I had short hair. My mom called it a pixie hair cut, which was maybe a way to cutefy the cut which was pretty boyish on me. Or at least I passed a lot as a boy then. Mom always took me to her hair stylist to get my hair cut. The salon was in the basement of a semi fancy, old hotel near downtown and first mom would get her hair permed and I would run around the hotel and ride the elevators and then while Mom was under the dryer I’d get my hair cut. Mom’s stylist used scissors on everything but my bangs, which she cut with a straight razor. She would pull a lock of of my bangs out with her one hand and hold them and then with her other hand hack at the ends with the razor. It always tugged on my head in a way that made me tear up. I would get so quiet and I wouldn’t look at myself in the mirror because I didn’t want to see myself crying. I don’t think she needed to use a razor to get the stupid pixie look she was going for and sometimes I think she must have enjoyed inflicting the pain on me.
The first time I saw MTB was years ago at the E room. I noticed her because she was rocking a modified mullet and wearing mostly black, and I’m pretty she was wearing a vest too. I remember thinking about her hair and thinking “bold.” As in right the fuck on bold. It was so fucking cool, I thought; she was making the mullet her own. Plus she looked hot. I saw her a few times at the E room. I thought the same thing every time. Bold! Coooooool! Hot!
I met MTB in person about 4 years ago via a get together for CS. CS invited a bunch of people out to celebrate the fact she’d quit this job that was sucking the life out of her soul. I was sitting at the end of table with 6 or 7 people when MTB walked in Bar Bar and I thought, holy shit there is that hot dyke who rocked a mullet from E Room. I immediately got self conscious and I tried not to stare at MTB. Or not to be too obvious about staring. At some point CS introduced us and then at some point later, MTB and I caught each other’s eye across the table. I’ve got to admit that I don’t remember how MTB was wearing her hair that night. I’m sure there was that curl cascading down the right side of her face, but I couldn’t say how long or how short it was, or if it was dyed. Besides catching her eye, what I remember were her boots. Danner’s. The kind a logger would wear. I nearly melted.