Story Go Round 1/31/2003, round 1, #2

The Sun Rose

Well, the first few weeks were pretty depressing, and we won't talk about them. But, one day, her hands on the steering wheel, Rose looked out over the traffic jam and reconsidered. I could be hairdresser for some one much worse, she thought. At least Harley's hair is manageable, and there's not much dandruff now that I got him on that prescription shampoo. At least it's not falling out like Mrs. Hendrick's was. She considered that she was still doing what she'd dreamed about in all those long days sitting behind Miranda Richardson's golden honey wheat braids, and after all, there was radio while you were in traffic. Hands drumming on the steering wheel, she looks over and winks at the guy in the Trubby. He sat up a little straighter, and Rose laughed as she saw him spill some of his coffee.

Yeah, she grinned, it takes years off my life. Those ten years at the French Academy of Coiffure de le Roi were going to pay off. She honked at the car in front of her just to express her anticipation.

Darryl slurped up some of the excess from the well of his coffee lid, trying to shake the oddness of it: he'd actually made a sort of human connection while ensconced in the solitary protection of his car, and with a woman with a facial tic at that. She was rather odd - sitting there every day with her crooked lipstick. It was a small town, and regular people you understand, so that traffic jams were rather like high school reunions. If he wasn't mistaken, that had been Harley's hairdresser. I wonder what that old son-of-a-gun's been up to since high school. He was such a spaz.

Harley, in fact, had disappeared that morning, prior to his hair appointment. He really had no idea how he managed to wake up naked, face down on a beach in Madagascar. He rolled over and groggily took off his Timex. The tattoo of Rose on his forearm was still healing. She'd get over him in a week, but he'd never forget her. He could tell by the grassy hills rolling inland of the beach that he was on the west side of the island, which could only mean one thing. He had to start walking east. The wild pygmy deer would be showing up to nibble things shortly. The setting sun warmed his back as he walked toward hope.