Letters From the Editor

File under Weird

Subway riders refuse to be surprised; hobos, dwarfs, musicians go unnoticed. Everyone’s seen the hip-hop tumbling team before and aren’t impressed by the little kid’s back-flip. I have been yelled at, sat on, even impressed as a candidate for redemption from our Lord Jesus Christ (sometimes an angry, vengeful Lord, pissed at the Jews and the housing authority; other times smiling and all-accepting, open-armed with a Jamaican accent). But it was a shock today to see a long mess of hair – brown, presumably human, the shape and density of a sock puppet, like a filament turd – underneath someone’s feet.

By 1st Avenue it had blown half-way down the car, in and out of people’s legs, and we all took notice; I caught a woman’s eye and she laughed, eyeing the hair, though when she looked down, with the it-takes-a-village disdain we reserve for bad parents, I thought for a second that she assumed it was my hair, acting up. It was like the plastic-bag scene in American Beauty except everyone was captivated – not just some sentimental latch-key – with the animated hairball, touching people’s legs, napping on our shoes.

Dummie that I am, it wasn’t until I got to work, still deep in my hair-kite reverie, that I questioned where it came from, then thought, Oh sick.

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin

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