I stand on the edge of the front lawn, because that’s the only place I’m allowed to smoke. I’m wearing a pair of ugly flip-flops.
They’re blue, and a size or two too large for my feet. They sort of make me feel awkward and angry. I don’t care for flip-flops, but I needed footwear that I could slip on and off easily. This pair only cost me about $5. Despite their utility, the shoes annoy me. Maybe they remind me too much of my Floridian upbringing; tacky and disposable.
Cars pass, and the strangers inside sometimes gawk, or giggle, as they drive past. A trucker gives me a honk and a thumbs up. In response to my shaved head? My smoking? My fashion sense? Ironic, or sincere? I’m not totally sure.
A couple of normals drift by slowly. A couple, of normals, a man and a woman…
He stares me down. He looks at me like I’m the end of the world; a visual representation of everything he’s been taught to fear. I only need a second to recognize his expression as one of contempt.
She glances up, demurely. She considers me like I’m a curious genisus; a suggestive invitation to a party she secretly wants to attend. I only need half a second to gauge her expression as one of interest.
I look back, unflinching. Not because I’m fearless; because I feel unashamed, perhaps even sympathetic.
I feel kind of sorry for them both. Because he’s got nothing more important to hate, and she’s got nothing more profound to be inspired by — than some silly bald girl, just trying to enjoy a cigarette.
Conservative social norms remind me of my flip-flops. Despite their utility, they annoy me…
Tacky and disposable.