Loosing my color in NYC

13.06.2020 - New York City - Patricia Ríos

This post is also available in: Spanish

Loosing my color in NYC
(Image by Jesús Ordóñez)


Oh great, just when there’s a hair dye shortage my grey starts to show! As if getting fatter from sitting all day at the computer wasn’t enough. I should have stock piled hair dye. But, how would I have known there would be a shortage? Well, at least no one sees me now and besides, there’s probably millions of people out there who also need hair dye. Fine, we don’t see each other so we don’t care. And, yes, it could be worse. We could be running out of toilet paper. The masks are another problem. Most people only get the kind that makes you look sick. The plain white kind, or the white ones with pink and light blue prints meant for both genders, I guess. We should have colorful or at least cool black masks and hair dye delivered to our door. After all, this is the greatest city on Earth and we have an image to keep. New Yorkers should always look cool and ageless. We don’t need to be reminded that we can get sick or closer to the day we… leave and never come back. There, I said it! No, no need for all that scary stuff, New York! Although, the other night I dreamt I was laying on my back outside, on the moist dirt, in a full moon night and as I was staring straight up at the sky, a boulder (or was it a meteor?) came down and landed exactly on me. The funny thing is I saw it coming and felt no fear. I died and that was that! A blank, motionless, noiseless screen. End of the movie… OK, those are silly things we sometimes dream of. Dying is probably not like that, it has to be much more exceptional… Reality is heavier than my death in dreams… I bet those people who sometime howl and scream from their apartment window are having a hard time, even though they are the same ones who come to the window at 7 pm to cheer for those who are outside working. We have a lot of time to think now. Oh, I found it; the internet says I can dye my hair with stuff from the kitchen. Okay, I’ll get the stuff ready! Yes, that was a silly dream but still, I wasn’t afraid of dying and that sort of stayed with me. Who knows! Hmm, out of all the ingredients called for homemade hair dye I have only carrots and instant coffee instead of grain coffee. Okay, I don’t dare having carrot color hair and brown hair is boring. Oh well, I’ll blend them. Not my favorite color but better than… Hey, there’s some frozen beets in the freezer! Sure, I’ll mix everything and see what happens. It should be a fun color! And, if it looks bad, I’ll just wear a shower cap to go out for groceries. Hey, maybe that’s why I’ve seen people with shower caps outside… our gray is showing! So, who cares… we are all improvising now! It’s true, it could be worse, we could run out of food, nice hair and all. Maybe I should save the beets to put them in a stew… but I need to look younger and nicer now, not later! OK, let’s do this. The beets go in the microwave to defrost while I grate the carrots and the water boils to make coffee. And, what if I get sick and die for lack of shelter and hot water and electricity and gas and heat, and phone service? Come now, you don´t die because of that, you die because you have no food or water and because you get sick and can’t see a doctor. There are places where people have nothing. Well, those people are here too. I´ve been seeing unclean, thin, unhealthy and demented looking people when I go outside. The poor used to be invisible. But me, If I can help it, I will look dignified when I go… I guess. Well, it will depend on… Okay, yesterday I got an email from Kentucky, I think, asking me if I want to get a gun license and then a gun, all online and in no time. I trashed it… but now I´m thinking that after I dye my hair, I’ll get it out of the trash. Just in case… Because, they say that if things get worse, we might have to fight to feed ourselves. Oh, I hope I don’t have to learn to hunt! In that case, I should get a riffle and take shooting lessons online… Or maybe the whole world could agree to take all the money and throw it into the volcanoes, then continue producing and consuming without paying or being paid. The sun doesn’t charge us to shine, or the rain to fall, or the earth to give us beets, right? I Bet it could work! Burn all the money! Oh well, that would probably be a communist thing to do… OK, everything goes into the blender! Ah, interesting color… I guess. OK, done! Hmm, is that enough dye? Damn, it’s not enough dye! Sure, I didn’t buy more beets because they were too expensive, so now I don’t have enough dye for my hair. Yup, It’s always the money! And the guns! You have a gun; you get your way. You don’t have money; you get nothing. You see, we should also gather all the weapons in the world and throw them into the volcanoes… So, now I only have enough dye for two thirds of my hair because the beets were too expensive. Yup, no more guns or money! Oh well, I’ll just dye the front and forget about the rest of my head. OK, okay, it’s not just me. There’s a lot of people going through this right now. Done, now I wait for my hair to get dyed. Ha, there’s some cops on horseback strolling down my empty street. I could tell by the sound of the horseshoes on the concrete… just like the chirping of seagulls, cardinals and blue jays I hear outside my window… and even the eagle that I know I saw from the corner of my eye. It’s as if time was suspended or was gently going back and we could see Manhattan when it was called Manna-hatta! But the cops have better masks. They would look silly with the ones we get to wear. And, by the way, those masks we wear are out of date -like those who still think that things in the world are about the left and the right. Even I can tell that gender is becoming very fluid. White masks with cute pink and light blue prints? Give me a break! OK, I must be ready. I´ll rinse my hair… fortunately I still have water. Hey, this isn’t bad. An unknown color, a kind of chocolate with blueberries and mandarins… Nah, it is bad! It’s really bad! So, what am I going to do now? I have to go out to get groceries and I don’t want to go out wearing a shower cap. Okay, let’s see… Fine, I’ll just shave my head! Oh, of course, no shavers left! I swear there should be no more money, or guns. Fine, I’ll put on the mask, the shower cap and some disposable gloves and I will go out to get food and some cheap shavers. OK, I’ll look like a freak but only once. I’ll look stylish when I shave my head. I’ll wear more makeup and jewelry and be bald. Or maybe I’ll just be bald…

Categories: Culture and Media, North America
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