By Faye McCray
The day I woke up with nappy hair, my husband punched me in the face, jumped out of our second story bedroom window and immediately started f**king the white woman next door. I would not have known what happened but for the swinging blinds beating against the windowpane and his warm imprint lingering in my bed. I stopped for a moment to feel sorrowful, the breeze from our open window forming goosebumps on my skin, but then realized I was probably a lesbian so it was all good.
I yelled “Goodbye!” to my husband from the window he left open and took my time emerging from my bedroom. I did not feel like showering and could only put together clothes that did not match and earrings that were loud and cheap. Confused and stupider, I emerged from my bedroom only to find my house in disarray. My children had gotten into my collection of lint and decided to throw it all over our living room. Unable to find the broom or vacuum, I bent down and swept it up with my hair. When it came time to wash it, as hard as I tried I could not remember how or if I ever had. I felt lazy, craved chicken and suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to smoke weed laced with crack with Trick Daddy. Adorned in lint, I could feel my naps grow tighter, my skin grow darker and my lips grow fuller and fuller. A thin shield of ash formed across my skin and the more I licked it, the ashier I became.
I left for work late because I forgot to pay attention to the time and on the way out, I asked the garbage man to watch my kids and to give me five dollars for the bus ride there. Mistaking me for the raccoon that had been terrorizing our neighborhood, he pulled out a stick and hit me over the head. By the time I came to, he had already fled, leaving the garbage piled up in our front yard. Enjoying the smell, I sat amongst the garbage for a moment licking my ash and thinking about how much I loved salt and welfare. During my walk to work, I felt itchy and angry. I battled with deciding whether to steal something or protest. I decided instead to dance, scratch, and yell incoherent things to the people walking in and out of the local Starbucks. A police officer tried to arrest me. Despite my waning intellect, my superior athletic skills proved no match as I outran him through the streets of my town.
Remembering I had to go to work, I stopped off at McDonalds to dance and scratch with the patrons outside the store. Loving it, I enjoyed a super-sized value meal and took a nap on top of the ball pit under the slide in the children’s play area. The manager woke me up to join me in a short dance and scratch but then asked me to leave because I was distracting his employees. When I finally got to work, I had trouble getting in. Although the door was unlocked, I felt more comfortable sneaking in a window and I had trouble finding a window that I could break, instead of just opening. When I finally made it in, feeling hungry, sneaky and violent, I snuck into the break room and stole everyone’s food and drink. I wrote menacing notes in place of the food in breath fog and spilled flavored drink all over the floor without cleaning up. I took another nap before heading to my office. I dreamt about drug crimes, Hip Hop videos and yelling the word, “B**ch!”
When I finally found my way to office, my boss was waiting and fired me instantly. Among other things, he declared that my hair made me blacker and accused me of lying on my application about my Native American lineage. On the way out, none of my co-workers made eye contact. One, a cross-dressing black man named, Tyler Martin, did a short dance and scratch in solidarity, which, despite my unemployment, made me laugh all the way down the elevator and out of the building. I loved to laugh. When I exited, the police officer I thought I had outrun was waiting for me with handcuffs. I was indicted, convicted of Being Nappy and sentenced to life wandering the continent of Africa.
The Judge offered to suspend my sentence if I agreed to serve three hours in a local beauty salon and be treated with Affirm Hair Relaxer and two packs of Indian Remy 1B hair. I chose the latter.
I’d like to thank Wendy Williams for her thoughtful commentary on Viola Davis’s choice to go natural for the Oscars for inspiring me to turn my life around. I would also like to thank hair relaxer, the people of India and celebrity hairstylist, André Walker.
Author’s Note: This post was fiction and meant to be satirical. Any feelings that were hurt in the drafting of the post were purely accidental. The author of this post is a mother of two who recently decided to go natural. Surprisingly, her husband has not left her, she kept her job, she continues to fight the urge to scratch and dance and she has not entered a life of crime. In fact, she thinks she looks kind of cute.
Faye McCray is a native of New York City and current resident of the Baltimore Metro Area. She is a published blogger currently working on her first novel. She is also an attorney and married mother of two.
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