CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Word Count: 858
Hair(y). (Hairy situation? Bad hair day? Hair shirt? Hair of the dog that bit you? Go wild.)
His hair had started out like anyone else’s had. It had sat on top of his head as a child, protected him from the cold, had felt soft under a hat. It was dead, moveable, and only caused him hurt when pulled at. He washed it with shampoo and conditioner, he towelled it dry, and pulled his fingers through it when he lacked a comb. He had hair, and the world kept turning and turning, and turning. It was a simple thing.
He grew up and was left suddenly alone. Such a little boy he was, and so much more unusual did he become after the age of eight, after the time where life changed forever and nothing could ever be the same, ever again, no matter how hard he did or didn’t, wish or plead for it in his thoughts. There was something dead and grey in his eyes then, and it wasn’t just colour. His hair sat wavy and dark coloured against his head, snipped in a boyish cut of pre-adolescence and controlled living. It thumped dully against his head, no longer alive, or looked at with interest, no longer styled for looks, just functionality. He felt lost, but soon he found himself, fixed himself, and continued living. His hair, was just his hair, no longer anything too important or required.
When it began to thin, he looked at himself in the mirror, and wondered if he’d miss it. Later on, he wondered if she would notice it, and wondered if she would hate him for changing when he couldn’t help it. Silly, futile, pointless thoughts of a man in love, and once more, infatuated with life. They were the mental processes of someone who was able to be happy and content with trivial worrying, because it made him feel normal and human. He still danced, he still lived, and he once more felt what is was, to feel true life in his body. His hair had started to disappear, but he was alive, and loved.
One day, most of it was gone, and he was alone again. The functionality or appearance of his hair was now something that was just a professional matter. A clean appearance promoted confidence in him, from the people who he worked with. Combed hair was part of that deal, and so, he kept it tidy, didn’t try to hide anything, because he was an unfeeling man with nothing to hide except death and despair. People whispered that he looked distinguished, and chastised him for his look of imposing menace. He didn’t care, at all. His hair wasn’t important to him, like a limb was, it wasn’t dead or dying, some of it, most of it, had just gone away. Another fact, another important loss, and, like his happiness, it was just a thing in his life that had happened. That had happened and couldn’t be changed.
Conrad Ecklie stood out in the early morning sunlight, in front of the crime lab, finishing an impromptu cup of coffee. It was one of the first, and the only, changes in his daily schedule that had occurred in many weeks. It had only come about because one of his subordinates had rung and asked for a cup for himself, but only if he was getting one anyway. Which he wasn’t, and never did, but that didn’t matter. He already knew the man never possessed very little interest in how he, the Dayshift Supervisor, ran his life. Either way, he had done it only because he knew that random acts of kindness appeared kind, as such, even if he wasn’t kind. He had brought coffee because the money would be repaid, and because it would keep faith in his spotless character. He played the game, the game never played him. Besides, if he dawdled, the other coffee would become colder still, and the welcome would be tainted, as it should be.
No wind passed by him, disturbing his features, but as he walked back to the entrance door from the rubbish bin, an errant, momentarily free hand, rose, and brushed at his hair. The right hand, the one that did not balance a cooling coffee cup or his briefcase, lifted and touched his hair, a brief touch, a moment which impeccably hinted at dozens of memories, a generation of genetics at work, a lifetime of everything and anything between death and personal loss. His fingers scraped over his head, over skin empty of hair or cover, and then his hand lowered itself, finished with a brief moment of nothing wedged in-between the day ahead, grabbing the coffee cup as he walked towards his office, the room that held his desk and his professional belongings. He lived a good life, worked in a good job, cared about himself and his aunt only, and commanded an immense amount of respect for his intelligence, hard work and dedication. Hair didn’t matter. It never did, and rarely had, ever, mattered to him. His hair, the existence or lack of it, was simple biology and genetics, nothing to be proud of or helped. In many respects, neither was he.