I lost something I needed. I had one strand of hair I needed. It was my favorite strand; it had a dot of white, a genetic streak, a mark, a sign, a symbol. I checked it everyday. But today after de-fogging the mirror with my hand I found it missing. That hair had gods etched in it the way those pre-Hispanic savages carved their ornate language delicately into bone. It had instructions. All the little things. The basic, the taken for granted. Now it will break down. The swallow, the wink, the blink, the right touch for heart-fluttering flirting, the smile, the walk upstairs, the cry. I need it. It’s all written on that hair—my genetic code. It must have gone down the drain, into the pipe. My abilities are floating through the city sewer system. They’re being carried under the streets, under the subways, down into cesspools past flies and cockroaches, that essential hair, forever an enigma, one of a billion follicles, a zillion molecules, dumped clandestinely into the river.
So I don my bathing cap, beat my chest, and slice into the sludge with an awkward and horrible dive.
Story originally published at Word Riot Magazine