Bonnie flicked off her hair dryer, though her mess of orange hair was far from dry, and the sound of bagpipes filled the air. She furrowed her brow at her reflection, as if it could offer an answer. Bagpipes?
Whatever. This city was crazy. She plugged in her straightener, put up half her hair, and began taming the madness, one piece at a time. She worked around the lower layer, steam hissing out the sides, then let down half of what remained and began the cycle over again. All the while, the faint bagpipes puffed on, filling her dormroom a nasally dance melody. Bonnie’s arm began moving to the music, moving from root to tip every four beats.
She wished she had brought her tap shoes to college…it was October, and her dance studio back home was likely preparing for their fall competition.
She put the straightener on the carpet and opened the window—her roommate wouldn’t be back for awhile, she wouldn’t mind.
Bonnie tapped along to the beat in tapless feet, jumped, twirled, scuffed her heel on the carpeting and bounded from one end of the room to another. Her body and her sound and her spirit and her hair filled the room with orange energy. She closed her eyes and spun, leapt, landed on curved, calloused feet that hadn’t moved this way in nearly half a year.
A knock on her door. Bonnie tripped over her own ankle and caught herself on her roommate’s bed. She caught her balance and her breath and opened the door.
“Hi!” said a short, long-haired girl with a bright yellow phone in her hand. “I’m the RA from the floor below you. We’re the quiet study floor, and I came up to ask you to quiet down a bit.”
Bonnie cleared her throat, still breathing heavy and quick. “I was just straightening my hair.” She gestured to the straightener on the floor.
“Oh! You better take that off the carpet, it could catch fire. Anyway, just try to keep it down. There’s a gym in the Larson building if you need space to work out. Bye!”
Bonnie closed the door in a daze. She sat in front of her mirror, picked up the fire-hazard of a straightener and held it at her roots, open, like a pondering pair of lips. Her own lips hung open as her breath evened out.
She pinched her mouth and her straightener closed and pressed her hair straight. Sometime, somewhere, the bagpipes stopped playing.