She was going to do it. She was finally going to do it. She was going to take over the world.
While reading this story, it is recommended you listen to the songs “Dreamt” and “Slow Stone” by Balmorhea
Lady Toupee spent the past 20 years of her life sitting on the head of Old Bald Man. It was a simple, eventless time. Old Bald Man wasn’t big on adventures; in fact, the most exciting place he’d ever been was the toilet stall of a bathroom at Wendy’s. She loved Old Bald Man, he was kind and treated her well, washing her twice a month, keeping her clean and healthy. But god, was he boring. Every single morning was the same: wake up at 7 am, put on shirt and pair of pants that don’t match, wear ugly sandals that were so worn out they melt like a rotting egg. Lady needed something more. She wanted to travel the globe, meet celebrities, go on dates, fall in love. She had dreams, dammit. And he never wanted to do anything exciting. He only went to work, went home, ate soup and watched reruns of General Hospital. It was a monotonous nightmare.
This Wednesday morning was the same as any other. Lady Toupee was regrettably coming to terms with never doing more with her life, learning to face the day with whatever fake smile she could muster up. While waiting to be moved from her stand, she overheard Old Bald Man talking on the phone. He was too far away for her to make out the exact words, but the tone in his voice was high-pitched, fast and giggly. He loudly said, “Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you” before hanging up then ran back into the bedroom, a toothy smile plastered across his face.
He changed into a checkered shirt, plaid pants and opened-toed sandals, then pulled a suitcase out from under his bed and threw piles of horrifically patterned clothes inside. When he finished, he turned around and clicked his heels together. Lady Toupee was nervous. She had never seen him this animated before, not even at his 70th birthday party when he ate Cake Boss cake.
“Lady Toupee,” he said, picking her up from her stand. “It’s finally happening. After twenty years, it is finally happening.”
Old Bald Man put her on, adjusted her so. Then he picked up the luggage and walked out to his car. He started normal, slowly pulling through the neighborhoods, watchful for any dogs or kids that might run into the middle of the street.
He suddenly picked up tase and before they knew it, Old Bald Man was driving 30 above the speed limit. Lady Toupee had never seen him drive more than 45! He rolled the windows down and she wanted to cry. Driving 80 miles an hour with the wind blowing and while sitting on a bald slippery surface was a recipe for disaster. Careful, careful she muttered to herself, holding on for dear life. He made a sharp turn and she felt herself beginning to slide off.
This is it, she thought. This is where I die. But Old Bald Man put a hand on his head, making sure Lady Toupee wouldn’t slip off. She breathed a sigh of relief. Everything was going to be okay. Something crazy was going on, but everything – wait – wait – whoa – WHOA.
Old Bald Man picked up Lady Toupee and stared at her.
“I’m finally done with you, Lady,” he said. “After all these years, I can finally have Bon Jovi’s mullet. I’m going to Los Angeles and you are not coming with me. It’s been a nice ride, but all rides have to stop sometime. And I’m afraid ours stops now.”
He threw her out the window.
Lady Toupee fell to the ground in a heap. Cars swerved around her, deafening her with the squeal of tires. She started to cry. Two decades of her life spent keeping that old bitch warm and this is the thanks she gets? To be thrown on the side of the road and replaced with Bon Jovi’s crusty mullet? No. No. Fuck this shit. This is not how she was going to go out. She still had hope, she had her goals. She wanted to fall in love and meet the toupee of her dreams. She wasn’t giving up now.
To no avail she tried to wave the passing cars down. Nevada plates swam past her like a school of fish. Some drove over her, but it didn’t hurt and for that she was grateful.
The sun was settling behind the mountains, leaving behind a sky of pinks and oranges. Soon it would be night and Lady Toupee didn’t know how much longer she could last. She was weakening, her fight draining. She wanted to cry but was empty. Everything was gone. She lost. Tearlessly, she wept herself to sleep.
The smell of lemons and a Neil Young song filled the air. Stars loomed overhead, the crescent moon smiling down. Lady Toupee woke up to a seatbelt and a thought sunk in. Old Bald Man came back. A hot flash of fury struck her. She didn’t want to be with him anymore, not after what he did to her. She would throw herself out the window if it meant she wouldn’t have to be with him.
She turned to the driver, ready to give a piece of her mind when she saw it wasn’t Old Bald Man, but a young person with thick long hair. They were humming along to the folksy ballad, occasionally picking up a spray bottle and misting Lady Toupee with a lightly lemon scented liquid. The spray was revitalizing, a phenomenal pick-me-up after sitting in the sun all day. Lady Toupee let the fury simmered. Okay. Okay. The driver passed the interstate lines and the driver slowed down, mumbling about it taking 40-hours to go from here to New York City. New York City. Lady Toupee sat in shock. She was going to the city of her dreams, the city she had been dreaming about since the first time Old Bald Man watched some show about sex and a city. She wondered if Carrie would be there, if the singing wicked witches were still singing. She could eat pizza by the slice. Go on a date, fall in love! Anything could happen. Anything was possible. The world was hers.
August 30, 2018