number six 
by Jason Headley

"So where's the latest report?"

This is the question I've had posed most over the past few days. Well, I'm a bit delinquent on this one, I'll own up to that. But there's a pretty good reason. Two actually:

1) I've stopped working.

2) I'm expecting company.

Now that first reason seems to be an excuse as to why I would have the report done, not why I wouldn't. But, as you may have learned by watching Scooby-Doo or by looking at those nutty 3-D books where you stare really hard at what looks like an artist's interpretation of an acid trip and suddenly see dolphins or shooting stars, things aren't always what they seem. I've fallen into that space where I have so much time to do things, I actually end up doing less than if I was so busy I had to schedule to take a shit. So I've caught up on a lot of Rolling Stone articles I've been meaning to read, played a lot of guitar, and planned fantasy vacations I'll never be able to afford. But I haven't found the time to write the report before now.

The second reason--the company--makes more sense. My friends are coming to visit, so I've been cleaning my apartment. Now imagine, if I've given up on washing my hair which I constantly display in public, how often I might muster the energy to clean up my little corner of the world that so few people see. Let me crack that riddle for you: Something just north of never. In my defense, I once hired a cleaning lady to come by once a month and take care of the hardcore shit like vacuuming and dusting. But then she decided to clean out a portion of my checking account by using one of my checks to pay her goddamn grocery bill or something to the tune of $180--which was clearly NOT part of the deal--so I've returned to letting my apartment drift into it's natural state of entropy. I really don't notice the complete fucking filth until someone tells me they're coming to visit. Then I'm instantly horrified.

So I set to cleaning the apartment. A task that is now, after a few days of work, almost complete. My research assistant volunteered to do the dusting, because she claimed she "likes to dust." The dusting was completed yesterday. I think she's in a clinic being tested for black lung today. I'm about to vacuum now. For real. I'm gonna move furniture and everything. A little sandblasting of the stovetop to remove stains that can be carbon-dated back to when I first started saying rock music is totally gonna make a comeback, and my work will be done.

The hair? Pretty much the same.

Tom from West Virginia asks:

"I have been wondering what the reaction of your parents has been?"

My parents have instilled in me an appreciation of basic values and have taught me to respect most things. My hair is not on that list. Since the first time I tried to cut my own hair as a kid, they've realized there's not much they can do about it if I want to run around looking like a complete idiot. All in all, I'd say they're intellectually curious about it, concerned about the potential onset of disease, yet still offer me an indifferent and half-hearted support that can really be felt from 3,000 miles away.

Jason from North Carolina wonders:

"Are you concerned about the reaction over time as your natural oils are meshed with the unknown elements?"

This is a valid concern. I recently received a report from a friend in Canada who, finding inspiration in my experiment, was on the 13th day of his own "Kibosh the Wash" run. He reported that his hair looked and felt good, but that it smelled "like an old man's comb found stuffed between the couch cushions." I recommended that he rinse his hair more. Water is the only element we're working with, so I say use it liberally.

Next week: The Final Report. Summations, reflections, and forecasts for the future.

Jason Headley is the author of the novel Small Town Odds.

Other items of interest

The Gargoyle Letters
People In Newspaper Ads Who Look Like They're Farting
Black Box Stew
Rejected Yankee Candle Scents


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