The hair on the carpet has been collecting for weeks and we can’t get rid of it. Sometimes it catches a gust from the air conditioning and flutters in front of the TV set. Or it floats into the linen closet and migrates into the kitchen. At night, it clings to our dark and dressy outfits and to our coordinating patent leather shoes.
When we try to attack the hair on Sunday afternoons, our vacuum sputters and coughs. We whack the vacuum in a lousy Heimlich, but it goes limp and dies. We get pissed, understandably, but that doesn’t help the fact that long strands of hair gather by the baseboards. So we get down on our knees and start pulling clumps of hair from the carpet. We do it frantically, as though we are game show contestants and each hair is a long strand of pearls, and we have to grab as much as we can get. The wisps knot together when we pull them up, so we are grabbing what seems to be an entire carpet made of hair.
When, exhausted, we stop, our own hair unkempt and hanging in our eyes, our fists full of hair, the carpet still seems as woolly as before. Meanwhile, the kittens are going crazy, batting their paws about, getting their claws stuck in the hair, hacking it up in piles strewn about the living room floor. It’s disgusting and confusing, and on the human side, we’ve got vertigo. We look down at the hair with violent eyes. We gesture toward the sky, say damn it all to hell, and then we take the lord’s name in vain.
Sometimes, though, we put away our anger and start admiring the hair for its tenacity. But then we laugh at ourselves for admiring something as ridiculous as hair – especially when there are so many great and famous men to be admired in this world. In better spirits, we make jokes about how we really need to shampoo the rug, but when we look down at the pelt of hair forming on the floor, we get frustrated all over again. We get so agitated that bumpy rashes bloom on our faces.
At night, we lie on our sheets, bringing blankets up to our chins. We close our eyes and hope for a pleasant sleep. On rare nights, our dreams are blank billboards, advertising the possibility of nothingness. Mostly, though, the hair tangles around our brains; we can see it even behind our closed eyelids. When we dream now, we dream only of hair.