In the hot dry heat of the summer of 2005, in a plateau desert town where tiny green bugs swarmed so thick sometimes you’d have to clean hundreds of bug bodies, smeared heavy with green slime, off your headlights before they’d work at night, I put pens in my hair.
I’d pile it up thick and messy, off my bare white shoulders, and wrap wide rubber bands the color of old folks flesh around it. It needed to be out of my face for the hours I spent poring over ink-smeared pages with a leaky red pen, looking up sometimes to push my black-rimmed glasses up my nose, crack a joke, have a drink. Eventually I’d stick a pen in that mess, and lose track of it. Find another one. Get back to work. Put it up there, too. Wander to a meeting, collect another pen and stow it in my hair as well.
Eventually there’d I’d be, a nymphet of the copy desk, the medusa of writing implements. Bare-armed and crowned with words. What a wonderful summer.