“Hey! Mounds! Hey! Miss Pubic Head!”
She turned. Saw the culprits. Two 15 year old boys on the other side of the street walking parallel with her.
The blush she felt crushed her with heat and shame. I HATE my hair, she thought.
Slamming the front door, she dropped her books on the front hall phone stand, tromped into the kitchen, and collapsed into the chair at the counter and let her head droop. “Mom, can you make me a hat? Or grandma. Can she crochet one? Fast?”
“Have a look at the wool in the cedar chest. See if you like anything.”
She pulled out a soft grey ball shining with a silver lurex thread. “Is there enough here?”
There was. The next morning a crocheted masterpiece was on her dresser. A cloche. But there were lacy holes. Would it contain her hair? What if all the twirling inverted question marks imitating her curls wiggled loose and spiraled to freedom? Oh well. She pulled it on. Her head looked smaller. Her glasses looked bigger. Her hair was gone!
The love affair with hats began. You should have seen the cap colour coordinated to complement her favourite school dance dress – the flutter sleeved, floral print mini with matching hot pants peeking out, accessorized with platform shoes and a perfect beret. She was Leslie Caron, and the school gym was an MGM back lot. Oh! And a knitted beach cap. Why not wear a bikini and a hat. Why ever not? A hat for cut-off jean shorts in a faded denim blue, of course. All of them tight fitting and accentuating the curve of her cranium.
She liked how she became someone else with each new topper. The newsboy hat came with sass and a foul mouth and a cigarette dangling from her nail-bitten fingertips. The boater had her floating down the Thames, hailing all she met in an English accent. Oh, the romance! Her fedora helped perfect surreptitious glances from underneath the brim. Sly lifts of the eyes full of surprise when caught.
The bonus was when the hat came off and her hair was flat. Beautiful. Smooth. But the best part was the disguise. At least she thought she was disguised. Her signature floppy colourful beret worn pulled back with just a few bangs showing put a swing in her hips.
“You tryin’ to be Bob Marley?” he yelled down the school corridor. “Yer no fuckin’ Marley that’s for sure.” She looked in the mirror in the girls’ bathroom. Who was Bob Marley?
Couldn’t they tell she was Twiggy?
(I have loved hats since I first wore one in self-defence. This is my latest and my newest favourite.)