Is that your head? It’s missing things. The lighting in here is for shit, this bar, but still.
This guy is sitting alone in the corner with his weird head in his hands. It’s kind of big and out of round. Blank and smooth. No eyes, nose. Nothing.
Don’t worry. I am here to help, I say into his good ear. I set down my drink.
I am running next door to Walgreens to get supplies. I will be right back.
Don’t. Go. Anywhere.
At Walgreens, I look for parts for this guy’s head, which is missing things, and I find markers and sparkly fuzzy bits that could probably help. I put a bunch of cheap art supplies in my basket. The cashier asks if I found what I was looking for.
And I want to tell her, “I need something for this guy’s head because it is not right. It’s missing things — important manly face-like things like lips, tongue, teeth. You ought to see this dude’s head. It is just—smooth.”
But I don’t tell the cashier this, because I don’t know her and she doesn’t know me and she definitely doesn’t know this guy with the head that is missing things and there is no way, no way in hell she will understand.
In the bar, the guy is still waiting. The things his head is missing are in this bag right here.
My boyfriend is probably maybe going to show up soon. If I can just get some of this done before he gets here. He’ll come in and look for me and find me in the corner talking to—. He will come over here and see this dude with his head still missing things, and, well, people can be so unkind. He doesn’t like me talking to other men, and this one having this HEAD? Well, it wouldn’t be pleasant for anyone.
While I was gone to Walgreens, this guy with the head has tried to drink what smells like Scotch. He has spilled this drink all down his (face?) and for that matter I think it was actually my drink, but I let it slide. I pat the head. There is hair on the head but it is gnarled up like tree roots. It needs a good combing and a trim, but I let that slide too. At least he has hair.
“I will fix you up,” I say, pulling things out of the bag. His face skin pulls and pushes, things are happening. There is a muffled sound from inside.
Last night, I had a dream that there was someone in my room. It was dark, and the someone was bad. In my dream I was just waking up to the dark bad someone in the room and I tried to scream and it came out just like that: choked and muffled. Then I really woke up and heard this garroted sound coming out of myself. Should I have wondered if the bad man was real, if the dream meant something, if I should get out of bed and check the house for badness? I didn’t. I went back to sleep.
Dude, stop squirming. If I can just get a decent mouth on you. I’m going to make you so handsome and you’re going to say the nicest, smartest things.
I have drawn eyes with washable marker: black and green. I have molded a mouth out of pipe cleaners. They are unruly. Damnit, what I need is clay. Popsicle sticks? I need real glue. I see this shitty little red and pink pipe cleaner mouth saying “Thank you” saying “baby.” God. I bought all the wrong stuff. Damn you Walgreens for your limited arts and crafts supplies.
When he opens his too-wide markered-on eyes and sees what I am doing, his shoulders shake like he is laughing, hard. He is making this new muffled laughing sound and he points at the pipe cleaner mouth and laughs and then I am laughing because it’s kind of ridiculous, and then I realize he is maybe laughing at me. He laughs and points, and tears slick the black outlines. I dab at him with my shirtsleeve.
Don’t cry. I pat the head.
Don’t cry, my arts and crafts man. You don’t want to ruin your new eyes.