She hovered next to our table, as if she were at the deli counter, perusing her options, waiting for a chance to speak.

 

I had just opened my little box of McDonald’s Cinnamelts, and my friend – much better behaved in the caloric realm – had just unwrapped her egg white sandwich.

 

The woman leaned in,  “I just heard you tell your friend that you love something?  Well, I wanted to tell you that I just love your hair.”

 

Her voice was so gentle, her skin very thin, sagging like loose panty hose.

 

“Is it natural like that?  Does it just do that?”

 

“It is natural, yes.”

 

She turned to my breakfast date with a look of shared contempt among the straight haired women of the world.  “Well.”

 

I thanked her.  Thanked her again.

 

She told me how she’s trying to grow her hair out, and I loved her confidence.   She spoke as if she were in her early twenties with volumized hair that would grow in long tendrils with the right conditioner and a mere wish upon a star.

 

This side of heaven, her hair will likely be what it is today: thin and wearing.

 

Her name is Gae.  We had a moment, the two of us.

 

She’s from Arkansas.  Moved here five years ago.  She decided she owed herself some new furniture, so that was one good reason to move.

 

I know these things now.

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