There is a girl in my library. She is maybe 19 years old. She’s tiny and cute and doesn’t at all look like she should be sporting a giant head of dreadlocks. But she is.
She caught my eye and as I watch her, she tips her head down to read her textbook. As she does so, her dreads fall forward and flop into her face. Impatiently, she scoops them up in one hand and flips them back over her shoulder. I watch as she shifts position to hold them in place.
A few seconds pass. Inevitably, the dreads creep forward and tip the scales, falling into her face once again. I can almost feel her frustration as she gathers them up and sends them sailing back over her shoulder. I’ve been staring at her for several minutes now and it’s become like a ritual. Shift, slip, flop, frustration, grab, flip, shift. Repeat.
I’m fascinated by the process. I’ve had long hair my whole life and one of the first lessons you learn is not to let it bother you. My hair falls in my face. It hangs where I don’t want it. Sometimes, it is just in the way. You ponytail. Long hair, you always have a binder of some sort, or you learn to use a pen. You ignore. You adjust. You refuse to let it be a bother. Or else, you become the girl in the library who is silently fighting a war with her own hair. A war she cannot win.
And strangers write blogs about you.
Part of me wants to ask her if they’re new. They must be. She doesn’t wear them comfortably. Then I want to know why. What made her make this statement? Is it an act of rebellion? Is she trying to prove something? Does she think she looks cute?
At this moment, I’m simply curious.