Nat’s Hairy Tale

Performance at UCSD for Gender Queer Café 09 April 29

Nat’s mom treated him like a little girl. She braided his hair and put barrettes in it. Nat felt stupid and hated getting his hair combed because it hurt. When Nat’s mom braided his hair, the braids were always too tight. His mom would tap tap tap his head if he started to fall asleep or if he moved his head with each brush stroke. Things weren’t all bad. There was a plus side. Nat got to sit between his mom’s legs and he felt close to her and he could relax a tiny bit.

Nat’s mom pressed his hair with a pressing comb. He was scared every time it was time to get it done. Nat’s mom would put the comb on the fire and he would watch it get hot hot hot hotter. She would oil his scalp and the piece of hair. When she ran the comb through his hair it would sizzle and he would sometimes get burned even though his mom was trying to be careful. Later, Nat’s mom discovered perms. She would do Nat’s hair herself and she would leave the stuff on longer so Nat’s hair would be straighter. Nat’s scalp would burn and he would get sores on his scalp but Nat’s mother didn’t care. She just wanted him to have straight hair. When Nat got to be 15 he shaved ALL his hair off. His hair was no longer there and no longer up for discussion. He literally got his mom out of his hair by cutting it completely off. He felt liberated and tough. For a little while.

Poor little Nat grew up poor and was going to turn 16 soon and he was going to get a job so he could buy his own clothes. His mom only bought him girl stuff. Nat needed to get a job. Nat’s mom and dad said no one would hire him with a bald head. He was scared and believed them, so he grew his hair back. His mom didn’t like naturals so she put an S-Curl in his hair. S-Curl is a chemical process that makes short nappy hair, curly soft and shiny.

Nat got a job as an usher at a local movie theater and after he started he asked if he could shave his head. His manager said sure. Woot! Nat was happy and felt vindicated. He could have a job and a bald head.

When Nat started his new job he met a very beautiful girl. The first time he saw her everything slowed down and got shimmery. Nat thought two thoughts. 1st thought: Oh my God I’m gay. 2nd thought: Oh my God, there is a God, because she’s so beautiful. But that’s another story…

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