Little Zoo

You: cut your hair short for summer, found a fetish site, sold your ponytail to VetteStud68,  asked me for a standard envelope I knew wouldn’t fit.  It: didn’t fit.  We: found a brown box, peeled off the labels, put another layer of packing tape on the edges.  You: put your hair in a sandwich baggie, told me to kiss it good-bye.  I: kissed your ponytail goodbye, took the package to the post office, answered no when the postwoman asked if I wanted insurance, answered no when the postwoman asked if the package contained: drugs, alcohol, weapons, bombs, live animals, dead animals, half-dead animals, human organs, homemade pornography. He: received the package in two days with priority shipping, emailed back pictures of animals knotted from your strands.  They: a little zoo made from your hair: a giraffe, a whale, a penguin, an elephant on his tongue.  You: didn’t show me his emails.  I: found the pictures on your hard-drive, pretended to be you, emailed back VetteStud68 from your account, asked him about other animals: Could he make a one hump camel?  A two hump camel? Large birds? Man-eating birds?  He: replied, wrote that he could make many animals, asked how fast your hair grew, suggested new shampoo, suggested tomato paste to remove build up, attached more photos: a one hump camel, a two hump camel, a condor eating a one hump camel while clutching a two hump camel in its talons.  I: emailed again, asked why all of the animals posed on his tongue.  He: replied that he ate them, replied that they reminded him of the animal crackers of his youth, asked how your much your hair had grown, offered to make more animals for your hair.  You: asked me why the shower smelled like tomatoes, asked me why I shaved my: head, chest, legs, arms.  I: lied, told you I had rejected mammalian heritage, told you I had embraced evolution, told you I had collected my hair in sandwich baggies as a reminder of the mammalian heritage I rejected.  You: told me I looked like Uncle Fester, didn’t have sex with me that night. I: found another brown box, peeled off the labels, covered up the Amazon logo with a marker, put another layer of packing tape on the edges, took the package to the post office, answered no when the postwoman asked if I wanted insurance, answered no when the postwoman asked if the package contained: propane, wine, knives, fireworks, live organs, frozen seafood, chocolate, manga.  He: emailed, complained that the hairs were too curly, too small for animals, resembled bacteria, attached photos: salmonella, staphylococcus, streptococcus, chlamydia trachomatis.  They: were too small to photograph, looked like spots of spinach on his tongue.  I: lied, apologized about your hair, wrote him that the hair grew back that way, wrote him that all of the hair grew back curled and different, asked for more time until I could send him more hair, created an account on the fetish site, made my username Zooologist3: Zoologist, Zoologist1, Zoologist2 were already taken.  You: denied me sex for two weeks until my hair grew long enough for you to pinch between your fingers, asked why I borrowed your laptop so often.  I: told you I needed to order a new battery, ordered a ponytail from GlitterB89.  It: arrived in two days with priority shipping.  I: kissed the pony tail good-bye.  It: did not feel taste like yours.  I: soaked it in tomato paste.  You: asked me about the tomato paste can in the trash.  I: apologized for not recycling, mailed the hair to VetteStud68, included a note about how your sister decided to cut her hair short for summer too, the postwoman had the day off, the postman didn’t ask any questions.  I: volunteered that the box was safe for shipment.  He: nodded.  I: emailed VetteStud68, asked him if he could make marsupials.  He: replied, attached pictures: a dunnart inside of a cuscus inside of a quoll inside of a wombat inside of a bandicoot inside of a possum inside of a walleroo inside of a kangaroo.  They: a chain of little marsupials, made of hair, strung from his tongue, hanging in the air.  I: emailed the pictures to GlitterB89.  She: replied, asked if I could make more animals, asked if I could make: Little birds?  Mouse eating birds?  Bird eating birds?  Bird eating humans?  I: replied that I could, asked for more hair.

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Chad Redden is the author of Thursday (Plain Wrap, Spring 2012).  He lives in Indianapolis where he edits NAP.