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Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Squat, Bald Man in my Head

The squat, bald man in my head has a louder, and sometimes opposite view of life than I do.

He’s the one cackling with glee when the young XL woman in the M pants struggles to lift her own body weight up the steps of the bus, the guy who looks me in the eye to make sure I notice her, the one who lifts a knuckle-y finger to point out a possible gravy stain on her chest.

He’s the guy who mutters questions under his breath related to the state of our country's educational system, just loud enough to hear but not loud enough to make out while standing behind the man with 14 items in a 10 Items or Less line at the grocery store. And sometimes he meets that guy’s eye, then shoots an imaginary weapon at his gallon of two percent, grinning.

He’s the lout yelling at the guy playing the recorder and irritating the lunch crowds down on Nicollet. Trilling madly and playing with a flourish seen infrequently since Liberace's death, Flutophone Man's upturned hat is at his feet, implying that your change would be the reasonable response to the audio assault hurled in your direction. “Would you shut up?" he bawls at him. "For cryin’ out loud, you have no skills!”

All said in good fun, of course.

The squat, bald man is not a violent man – necessarily – but he wouldn’t mind watching it for a bit.

And he likes me.

“Oh, oh, oh,” he says, sitting down on the couch, square elbow to my ribs. “When you run to the store, get me a pack of Marlboros.”

“I’m not running to the store.”

“Yeah, right, but when you do,” he says, lighting one cigarette with the glowing end of another, lips curling and uncurling around the words, “get me some smokes.”

“I thought I told you I don’t want you smoking in my head anymore.”

“You did.”

There is an uncomfortable moment of silence as we stare at each other.

“Whatever,” I say, turning away. “Just don’t blow it into my sinuses anymore. I hate that. Blow it out my ears.”

I can hear him smirking. He leans against me. “I’m gonna need the car Tuesday night.”

I sigh heavily, turn back. “OK. One, why does everyone think they can use my car; and Two, where the hell do you have to go on a Tuesday night?”

He lifts his chin, blows smoke toward the front of my head, catches himself, and turns toward an ear. “The less you know – pffffffffffff – the less you can tell.”

I don’t like this, but like the cat, the squat bald guy in my head has a way of returning the car with a full tank of gas, a sure way to my heart. I worked at a full-service gas station for half a year in my late teens and have a love/hate relationship with the pump.

“Fine,” I say. “But leave the seat the way you found it this time.”

The smirk leaves his face and he draws himself up in a show of false dignity. “A man’s posture is his own,” he says, indignantly.

He grins. “You allow me full adjustment rights on the front seat, and I won’t tell anyone you had three cigarettes Friday night on that freak-out you girls called an evening.”

I lean back on the couch, rub my eyes, press my fingers against them until they explode in a Byzantine disaster of black and red.

“Fine,” I say.


At least I'll get a full tank of gas out of the deal. Plus my cigarettes from the other night are still a secret.

29 comments:

Joanne Noragon said...

He'll be leaving soon, Pearl, and when the cigarette smoke clears you will still be able to see the XL in M pants---and smile.

joeh said...

I am bald and fat...er stocky, I also count items in the 10 item or less lane, but it is not me, I could not survive in your crazy head...plus I quit smoking.

Douglas said...

Just curious... why bald? And why "squat" when you really mean "fat?"

Mr. Temper (that's the man in my head's name) always counts the number of items, always notices the morbidly obese (oh so often on their little electric scooters which strain to get up that gently sloped ramp to the sidewalk), and just about everything else but keeps the explosions of outrage firmly inside my head... most of the time... is thin and needs no toupee.

chlost said...

Wow--monkey, fat bald guy, cats. You have a full head, er, I mean, life. No wonder you have this ability to see the world from such a unique perspective. I won't tattle about the smokes if they don't.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Well, I don't have a squat bald man in my head. However, I am quickly becoming a squat, bald woman - so I guess that counts.
Masterfully told, as always, my friend.

Delores said...

Well the secret's out now...we ALL know you snuck a few ciggies. So that leaves the bald guy with no smoking gun so to speak.

vanilla said...

The sneaky Pearl, blackmailed again.

savannah said...

the bastid! ;) xoxooxoxo

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Honesty. Great policy. Especially once you're found out...

Keep fighting that battle Pearl - you're strong. And you need the lungs. &*> YAM xx

Eva Gallant said...

I'm putting my money on you, not that guy in your head!

Eva Gallant said...

I'm putting my money on you, not that guy in your head!

jenny_o said...

I wish I had a squat bald man in my head instead of the mini-me that's doing all those naughty things. It would be a darn sight better for my self-esteem to think it's not me in there.

And at least your guy leaves you with a full tank of gas. Mini-me runs it down to the red line the night before an out-of-town appointment. Drives me crazy.

Indigo Roth said...

He kicks where it aches, it's true x

Shelly said...

I hate it when squat, bald men overrun my head...

bill lisleman said...

Bald and blunt.
"freak-out you girls called an evening" - oh I wish I had said that the other day.

Elephant's Child said...

Your head is full. And I am so glad you share...

HermanTurnip said...

I think your inner squat bald man and my critical sister should get together. It sounds like they're made for each other.

Timothy Hecht said...

You have to be careful with the voices in your head. They may act like they're indestructible but, they can be damaged. I know.

http://agent54nsa.blogspot.com/2013/07/voices.html

Oh, yeah, Baldness Rules!

Merlesworld said...

oh dear I would charge him rent.
Merle.....

Nick Wilford said...

Sounds like quite a character!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Glad he is in your head not mine, I have enough trouble with the short fat woman in mine.......oh hang on she is also in the mirror......bugga

Geo. said...

I know that guy, Pearl. He's titular dept. head of philosophy and phys. ed. --my head. Don't like him but he's a natural. Determined, realistic and has something on everybody else in the faculty. However, I always check his decisions with the gardener, that's me.

TBM said...

I wonder what the guy in my head looks like.

haphazardlife said...

I can't help but picture your squat bald man as George Costanza from Seinfeld.

Slick said...

According to my husband there are too many snakes in my head to fit a man in there, too.

Of course, he's kinda squat and almost bald. Wish I could get him off my back!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Bald, squat men are always overcompensating in such miserable ways.

Roshni AaMom said...

He does sound like the cat!!

Daisy said...

Hahaha! You certainly have a lot going on in that head of yours. Thanks for making me smile, Pearl. :)

Diane Tolley said...

The guy in my head, the one that always supplied the ideas, packed and left. And what a mess! News clippings. Old napkins with 'cheese and the test tube' or 'painting the watertower' scrawled in lipstick. Crumpled, discarded papers. Sigh. Where, where did he go?! Sounds like your idea man is still going strong. Does he ghost write?