online since 1998
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graphic by Jessica Del Greco Dye Job
by Jason Harris

Burn, burn, burn; man, does it burn.

He scrubs the bleach deep into his hair for the billionth time hoping against hope his brain cells die as quickly as the brown mop atop his head. He will abuse his hair until he has none left then curse himself for making his reflection look like that of his father. Patches of fur will sprout from behind his ears creeping up to a glistening flesh dome and he will have the gall to blame his father's shitty genes wondering why he didn't grow to over six feet tall but of course just had to inherit his stupid dad's male patterned baldness as well as a need to satiate his sexual appetite on girls half his age. But he likes it, makes him look a bit on the alternative side; just enough to snag one of those budding punk rock girls he'd so love to have as an insignificant other. You know, those chicks with pink hair and low-cut holey jeans with the elastic waistband of a red silk thong peeking out just above the hips and, gloriously, the ass crack; a girl that looks more like a cartoon than a human.

And of course it still burns as the bleach drips down the back of his neck, sears his skin, leaving an irritated red trail behind it. That's okay, though, because he sort of likes the feeling. It reminds him of that time in college when he ate too much acid and threw himself on a bonfire to protect his friends from the desert demons that wanted their souls for breakfast. He had black hair then. Long, Superman-black hair, the kind with a hint of blue to give it some depth but still dark enough to make his skin look whiter than the ashtray he stole from work but never used because he didn't smoke back then.

So while he waits ninety minutes for the inevitable transformation, he rolls a lumpy joint and sparks it up figuring this will make the time go by faster and may dull the tingling pricklies on his scalp and hopefully not set his hair on fire for real because he has no doubt in his mind that the shit coating his hair is extremely flammable. That's okay, too, because the joint burning between his fingers makes all of that simply nonsense. He can forget who he is for ninety minutes and when his hair fades completely to Platinum Blonde after at least two treatments, he can forget himself for another month or until his roots start to show. He could grow a slick goatee to offset this new hair and then he'd practically be a new person and a new person means no past, no pain, no anything.

At least he can have a little fun, dye his hair, turn some heads, maybe get a little attention from that pink-haired cutie-pie that lives downstairs, the one with the red silk thong beckoning him from an untouchable place - that solitary dimple just above the right butt cheek. She'll want to hang out with him because she'll appreciate him, want to be just like him. Getting wasted in the middle of the afternoon while his hair changes color because he's sick to death of the face watching him from the other side of the bathroom mirror. Smoking himself stupid, dumbing himself down to a point where he's forgotten who he is and the money he owes and the friends he no longer has. Disguising himself, hiding from the one pair of eyes he can never escape: his own.

An hour and a half and he washes the chemicals from his hair and conditions the brittle follicles with a protein ointment meant to strengthen at the root and give hair a healthy, natural shine. He shakes it out, runs his fingers through it and looks up into the mirror.

Not bad but certainly not good either. Like the time he took a straight razor to his wrists, changed his mind and put it to his hair instead. His head, by the way, is as lumpy as his joints and he swore to himself that was the last time he'd go bald on purpose. And as he runs his fingers through his silky protein-enhanced Platinum Blonde hair, he laughs. All this, he thinks. All this so he can feel a little better right now.
As for tomorrow, maybe he can dye his hair blue.

Jason Harris is currently publishing an independent comic book called "Bad Guy." When he's not working on the book and the website, the poor man is doing everything in his power to stay sane and get a little sleep. He currently resides in Los Angeles, hates the city but loves the weather. So he's just going to be a martyr and stay because frankly, New Hampshire is just too damn cold.



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