Yesterday afternoon as I'm pulling money from an ATM in Forest Hill a large balding fortysomething man in Boss says, "How much for your hair? $1500... Is that enough?" And he peels off 15 $100 bills.

I blink. A man wants to buy my hair. For $1,500. It's the middle of the day. And neither of us is The Walrus.

"So, are you saying you want to buy my hair for $1,500?"

"Every single strand."

I glance out the window just to see if there's a camera crew nearby. There's a tall, lean, beautiful woman, wearing shorts and a skimpy tee, leaning against a Rolls Shadow, picking from a small black plastic tray. I wonder if she knows the Boss man. Is that his Rolls? Is the hair for her?
"Does that include the scalp?" I say.

"No. No. No. No. No. Ha. Very funny. You are funny. No."  He spoke with the ease of experience. I'm not the first one he's offered money for hair. And when he laughed his body shook like a mound of jello.

"Just checking," I knew his offer didn't include the scalp. A guy who buys scalps doesn't shake like jello when he laughs. Unless he's trained by MI-5. But then why would MI-5 train agents to buy scalps from strangers? Wouldn't they just take them? This is how I ruled him out as an agent for MI-5. Also, he was way overweight. Jason Bourne would never let himself go like this. Even if her were dumped on Facebook.


So for those of you who haven't seen me, or a picture of me, or a likeness of a picture of me, I have a head of full long curly brown hair that I wear in a style I like to call curly long. I've had it ever since I was born. And I've grown accustomed to it being there. On my head. Still...fifteen hundred dollars.


"Not for sale," I said

"Two thousand?" He peeled off another five one hundred dollar bills.

"What do you want with my hair?"

"This I cannot tell you. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. So whaddya say?" he says.

I looked out the window at the woman leaning against the Shadow as if she'll lift up her t-shirt and reveal another t-shirt with the answer. She didn't do that. She picked up something from the tray and put it in her mouth.

"Okay, two thousand, five hundred," he says and peels off more bills.

The man is offering me two thousand five hundred dollars for my hair and I'm thinking about it. Why? I don't know. Maybe because I don't want to think I'm selling to, like a Charles Taylor. And what if he uses my hair to buy weapons and those weapons are used to kill innocent men, women and children. And what if he gets caught and put on trial in the UN War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague and the prosecution calls me as a witness and I have to admit that like an idiot I didn't ask the man who bought my hair if my hair would be involved in arms transactions where innocent men, women and children will be killed. My mother calling me up in the Hague. Couldn't live with myself.

"Sorry, can't do it."

"Three thousand."

Shook my head.

"Ha. Ha. Ha. For your troubles." He put a hundred dollar bill in my shirt pocket and turned to leave.

"Hey." I motioned outside. "Is she with you?"

"Yes. My assistant. A night with her was my next offer." He hesitated, raised his eyebrows.

I looked again. At her. Her. Her. The entire evening played out in my mind and when it ended I pressed replay-European version. It's only hair! Public ignominy at the Hague! I shook my head.

"Ha. Ha. Ha. Good day to you."

When he's at the door I ask, "What's her name?"

"Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. You are a man. You are." He wipes his forehead and leaves.

I finger the hundred in my pocket.


Anonymous said...

My mother alway told me to take money if offered to you. I have very short hair though.