Rat Maze?

I have curly hair. It has always been a maze of spirals. I felt like “Baby” from “Dirty Dancing.” Kept it shoulder-length, and it bounced when I clogged.

The girl with natural curly hair on “Charlie Brown” made me like having curly hair and I fluffed it up like she did. Seemed to me it was special.

Until, at the tender age of four, or so, the adults in my life started telling me I had rat beds in my hair. What the hell are rat beds and why in the world are they in my hair?

I thought on it. Waited till they told me enough times for it to be believable. We occasionally had rats in the house and I knew what you did with rats. You set the rat trap and killed them. Rats ain’t no good for nothing.

My paw-paw had given us some of his government cheese cause it was real good in scrambled eggs. That’s about the only way I would eat an egg back then, was if it was cheese eggs.

So, little miss here put two and two together and decided that if I had rats living in my hair and it made everybody cuss while they was brushing it, I’d just go right ahead and catch them varmints.

So, I got up out of my mahogany bed after everyone in the house had gone to sleep and put a big chunk of that government cheese in my hair. Right in the back and mashed it in good, real good. Damn those rats for living in my hair, and went back to bed.

The next day when I got up I kinda thought everyone would be proud of me.

I had come up with that all on my own. I was intending to solve the problem. But, turns out they apparently didn’t mean it literally. They should have been more clear. I hated my hair after that for several years.

I hated it when I got lice for being nice to the dirty kid. I hated it when my hairdresser pointed out how dry it was. I hated it when my step mama actually tried to help me fix it.

Now, I love it. It’s a damn shame though I took me till I was a grown up to not give a shit about what they said my hair should be like. It’s the way God made it, I am just the way God made me. And, I think its pretty. It is part of what makes me unique.

I’m still the girl with the maze of curls and I still hate rats.

Jamie Godwin






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