Author’s note: This is one of my favorite fantasies from before I got sober. If you identify with any of this, make no mistake, you need help. Best of luck to you if that is the case.
I heard the tinkling of tiny bells one evening and looked up to see a tiny person in tights, dressed the way Errol Flynn would be in one of his swashbuckling films. This personage was about the height of a Ken doll, but unlike Ken, he had rooted hair rather than plastic. After all, he was alive.
The hair was a lustrous brown, but it dragged a good ten centimeters on the floor behind him because it was longer than he was tall. The little fellow tried to swagger about on my windowsill, but promptly tripped on his hair and began cursing.
“Hey, I can help you with that.”
“Could you? I want to be able to dance and prance about without worry. I want to show off my comely countenance to the ladies of my kind. All this hair is in the way.”
“I can cut it all off for you. Would you like that?”
“Yes, I would, if you promise it won’t hurt.”
“Haircuts don’t hurt when humans get them. I don’t know about you genteel folk. May I test a strand?” I snipped a couple of millimeters off of the very bottom of a lock of his brown hair.
“I heard the snip but I didn’t feel anything. You may proceed. Oh, before you do. You need to only cut a little bit at a time, and save the clippings into a large jar or bottle. A bottle would be best.”
I placed a spool of thread in the middle of my large serving salad bowl and wrapped a tissue around him. Then I pulled his hair up into a high ponytail and twirled it around a pencil a few times until the length of the ponytail ended at his ankles. It would be easier to cut this way.
“OK, here goes.” I began to slice through the hair with a pair of barber scissors that had magically appeared on the table. The scissors were human sized, so they sliced through the hair in one go. I worked my way up, cutting a few millimeters at a time until I had reached his shoulders. Then I unwound the bun I had made. The loose hair still reached to mid-thigh, so I continued slicing a few millimeters at a time until I had reached his chin.
Next I picked up the clippers that had also magically appeared. The handle was human sized to make it easy for me to hold, but the blade and attachments were tiny enough to fit on his head.
I plowed upwards with the largest attachment and worked up to his crown in the back, then moved to his left side. I inserted the clippers right at his sideburn to take off the side, then repeated on the right. Next I plowed through the top hair with the same clipper attachment.
I moved through the attachments in order to fade the back and sides. When I was done I looked at the table to see if there were any edging clippers, but there weren’t.
“Nope, no shaving yet. I don’t have facial hair anyway. You’ll see in good time what this is about.”
I scooped up the clippings and poured them into a large mason jar, using a piece of paper as a funnel.
A mere two days later, his hair had grown back out shaggy, so I repeated the clippercut. Because he was so small, it didn’t take long for his hair to look long.
When the mason jar was almost full, I sat him down again for his customary haircut. I had given him a very short crewcut for maybe a month now. Today, however, he seemed pensive.
“Nothing is wrong. It’s just that, today is the day when we go all the way. You’ll notice a razor appear toward the very end of the haircut. You are to shave me bald this time. I wasn’t looking forward to this, but you must.”
This time instead of changing attachments for a fade, I went with a bare blade all over, reducing the rich brown hair to stubble. I was just going to shave it clean anyway. Sure enough, a small pot of old-fashioned shaving lather and a small razor appeared, so I worked my way up the back and sides, then from the forehead back. I had never shaved anyone’s head before.
To my astonishment, when his hair grew back it came in a light chardonnay blond. I let it grow for about a week before I resumed clippering it off into the usual crewcut, saving the clippings in a different mason jar. This time, since I was starting with short hair, it took three months to fill the mason jar.
Then, it was time to shave him bald again. This time I knew what to expect. Every time I shaved him, his hair would grow back a different color, this time a deep merlot auburn red, next time platinum blond, then a light toffee brown, and finally golden blond. Each time I saved the clippings in different mason jars.
When his hair started growing back in the same color of brown as it was in the beginning, he told me to check up on the first mason jar.
When I opened the stopper, I discovered that the hair had liquefied and turned to whiskey. This was a dream come true.
“Don’t give me another haircut until you’ve drunk at least three quarters of that whiskey.” The poor chap had no idea how soon that would be. Even as a woman I could drink many men twice my size under the table. He had no idea what he was up against; his hair didn’t stand a chance.
I could empty the whole bottle in a single sitting if I put my mind to it. Whiskey made me mean and quarrelsome and I never really liked the flavor, but if I preloaded with something else, I could do my Irish and Scottish ancestors proud. Granted I would need more in the morning. I wasn’t completely stupid, though, so I drank the whiskey as slowly as I could. Apparently people drank this stuff to savor the taste.
By the time I had drunk enough whiskey to be allowed to cut his hair again, it had reached only to the small of his back. He was very surprised indeed.
When he told me to check the other jars, I was delighted to find the light chardonnay blond hair had turned to actual chardonnay white wine, the auburn to merlot red wine, the platinum blond to gin, the light toffee to rum, and the golden blond to pale ale. In a single night I polished off all of the wine. The little fellow was alarmed.
Naturally in the morning I couldn’t possibly cut fruit without shaking, so I poured myself a cranberry juice that was two thirds gin. Now we were talking. I had the pale ale for lunch, because beer is really liquid bread. This was wonderful. I could be drunk all of the time and never spend a penny on booze again. Never had it been this cheap to be an alcoholic before.
“Can’t you make tequila? Or, you know, grow your hair faster?”
In the end, he couldn’t grow hair fast enough to keep up with my drinking, and he left when all of my mason jars were empty after a bender. I cursed him for leaving, and swore that if I ever caught him again, I would force him to call in reinforcements, as surely he wasn’t the only one of the fairy folk who had magic booze hair. This business of demand outstripping supply was for the birds. Why was he picking on me, anyway? Why was the universe always against me?
Over the years I started to think that he was indeed sent to curse me, by tempting me to get into the habit of drinking so much every day, just so that I could shear him sooner, so that I was impaired most of the time, shaking so much during the workday that I had to take a shot at lunch, which resulted in my being fired and losing everything I had. I resented him so much, especially when I couldn’t stop guzzling despite my sudden loss of tolerance and finishing other people’s abandoned drinks in bars. On multiple occasions I threw up some of the rum into my glass but I just re-drank it. No good letting it go to waste.
I thought of him even during my first week sober when I could barely stand with the headaches, dizziness, lack of proper sleep, the stinky sweats, and all the other unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. It took me at least four months to not feel like my brain was permanently broken and my IQ half of what it used to be, but I never stopped thinking about him.
Now, at three years sober, I don’t miss him, but if I ever saw him again, I would like to thank him for accelerating my rock bottom. Even so, I wouldn’t wish an encounter with the booze hair fairy on my worst enemy.