Bridging the Visual and Literary Arts

by Mary Anne Humm

Inspired by ‘Queen’s Garden,’ a hand-cut porcelain piece by Elizabeth Alexander.

My name is Sam. I’ll soon be 49 and I have made a decision. I’ve looked the same for years. Tomorrow is haircut day and I’m making a change.

You guys reading this story know what I mean. The ladies think we’re a physical hunk with this long hair, especially mine—golden, luxurious and flowing over my ears.

We’re expected to have a certain “look.” It goes with that bit of a swagger when we walk. This expectation has never mattered to me in the past. I’ve been happy with the perks that have been given to me just because someone says, “You’re Gorgeous.”

My real concern about this decision centers on my “Sweetie,” my live-in. She calls me her “love sponge.” I love her so much, but sometimes I wonder if her squishy hugs would be as loveable if I changed my looks. I cannot bear to think of my future without her.

But enough of the “pretty boy” look. It’s time to talk to Susan, the gal who cuts my hair, and explain to her how I feel. We go back several years. She always gives me the right cut, snipping away with those shiny silver shears. Anyway, tomorrow we will have a talk.

Arriving at the shop, I explained my dilemma. “Not to worry, you stud-muffin you…why, darl’n, ya’ll will look like a dreamboat when I’s through with you.” With that, out came the shears, glistening in the overhead fluorescent light.

Now to the scrub bowl and a good washing. Not satisfied with the comb out, Susan proceeded to bring out those whirling, noisy chrome clippers. “Enough already, I don’t want to be scalped!”

Paying no attention, my Southern Gal just kept at it until I looked on the floor to see mounds of my luxurious curls strewn about. “Darl’n, I’s through…take a look…you’re the best look’n guy in here.”

At that very moment, Sweetie hurried through the door. For a moment she stood in shock. “What have you done to Sam?” She was on the verge of crying. Suddenly she grabbed me. “Oh, my love sponge, just look at you…you are more handsome than ever!”

Then I knew that beauty can change, and when it does we can still find beauty and love in the new.

As Sweetie led me out the shiny red door, I still had my swagger and winked at Penelope, the French poodle, who was just arriving.

She gave me that look…you guys know the one…the one that says “that Shih Tzu is sure a HUNK!”