A Bad Haircut
When Jenna started wearing long sleeves in the summer, her friends advised her to get a new haircut.
—It’ll give you your confidence back.
A co-worker gave her a card for Wicked Salon on 15th.
As soon as Jenna stepped outside with her shorter do, however, she knew something was wrong. Most haircuts are satisfied with being looked at in any shop window, but this one insisted that she go down to Broadway and look in the window of Castle, the sex toy megastore her Japanese students had told her was listed as a landmark in their Seattle guidebooks.
When her new inverted bob drove her on past the lingerie and dildos to buy a pair of handcuffs, she didn’t know what it had in mind. She didn’t really understand, in fact, until her husband’s body, still wearing the cuffs, was dissolving in lye in the bathtub.
Realizing what she had done, Jenna faced herself in the mirror on the antique dresser in their bedroom. She held up her arms. It would be another few weeks before the bruises faded and she could wear short sleeves again. Or go sleeveless: why not? He would never tell her she looked slutty again. In the meantime, her haircut was sure to get attention. She just hoped it would be the same after she styled it herself.
Elizabeth Kate Switaj’s short stories have appeared in The Lorelei Signal, Christmas in Outer Space, Expanded Horizons, Colored Chalk, The Death Mook, Ruins: Extraterrestrial, and Gratitude with Attitude. She is currently an intern for Irish Pages and a doctoral candidate at Queen’s University Belfast where she is writing a thesis on James Joyce. For more information visit www.elizabethkateswitaj.net