Stupid Fan

April 10, 2008
By Ka'Pree Basnight, Seattle, WA

Stupid fan, doesn’t even work. Maybe it’s for decoration. The Caribbean music that faintly came from the radio in the window seemed to calm everyone in the shop. I waited impatiently by the wall for my sister to finish on Mr. Bonko’s head so I could sweep up the hair on the floor. Sweat fell from my forehead and into my eyes, blurring my vision.

I would wipe it away, but what was the point because it would come back again.

“Next.” Kiwali’s voice sang.

Finally. I made my way toward the chair, broom in hand, to sweep up the hair when Mr. Nokey came and rudely bumped me. He frowned down at me as he took a seat in my sister’s chair.

“Now Mr. Nokey,” Kiwli said. “You know you were not next in line.”

“I sure everyone doesn’t mind right?” he said looking back toward the line at from which he came.

Everyone frowned but didn’t say anything. They never did because Mr. Nokey was related to the mayor. But in my opinion it shouldn’t matter because he treated people unfair and I’m sure if someone told on him to the mayor I’m sure he wouldn’t appreciate his kin’s actions.

“See?” he said turning back to Kiwali. His eyes roamed over her body before he smiled and sat back down.

I stuck my tongue at the back of his head before I finished sweeping. I picked up the dust pan and started to head toward the garbage can at the back of the shop when I bumped into Mr. Numan, the town roamer. He would just walk around the neighborhood with no real destination.

“Hey Mr. Numan, just throwin’ out some hair. What are you doin’ here?”

“Just roamin’.” He said.

“Okay well see you around.” I walked past him and into the blazing heat.

I covered my eyes as I stared out at the kids on the beach who splashed in the clear blue water, and at the adults who were supposed to be watching them but instead lying in the sand tanning their already black skin. After I closed the lid on the tin garbage can I stared out at the beach one more time before I walked back through the screen door of the shop. Mr. Nokey was talking to Kiwali. He was talking in a whisper but everyone already knew what he was talking about.

He was asking her out, again. She shook her head and said, “I’m busy this weekend.”

He looked around, handed her a card which consisted of his phone and cell number and his email address, then said a silent goodbye. As soon as Mr. Nokey walked out the door me and Kiwali burst out laughing.

“When will he get the point that you don’t want him?” I said wiping a tear from my cheek.

“I don’t know. I mean, doesn’t he see the age difference? Hello, twenty-one, thirty-two, gross.”

“I know.”

She carelessly threw the card over her shoulder as she called out, “Next.”

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