Story Go Round 02/15/2003, round 1, #2


Mortimer left his mother standing there in the rain. She looked a little sad in her mauve sou'wester, which had become a common thing. He stomped in the puddles to see if his new boots would splash more than his old soft tennis [shoes]. An arc of water splashed him on the behind and left a spot. That did not win him points with his new boss, who already seemed to regret hiring him to work the floor. You were expected to dress well at Ray's Hairy House, the new bulk hair-cutting warehouse. Mortimer liked to dress well, which his mother encouraged. Ray relegated Mortimer to the back room, where all the hair was deloused. Huge industrial-strength vats of bleach steamed & bubbled under his watchful eye. He brought his own hair whenever he could to test its potency and efficacy. He took pride in one-stop-hair-care, and 24 hour service. Mortimer was 12 years at this, 12 happy years, mind you. True, he still lived with his mother, and true, she was completely bald under all that hair, and yes, there was no chance for a promotion. It was all true, he told his therapist defensively. But that didn't give anyone the right to judge.

"To deny something is to give it power," the therapist shouted at him, part of his unique method. "You'll just have to try harder!"

If only Mortimer could have afforded a real, licensed therapist, but this back alley, mail order, cut rate "Emotional Masseuse" would have to do. He didn't tell his mother where his lunch money went, and Mr. Ronald, his therapist, didn't either.

"Times up," he howled. "If you will only do my hair next time, I think we'll start to see results in 4-6 weeks."

Mortimer's shoulders sagged just a tiny bit, but he was willing to give it a try, for her sake. I love you, Mom.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange