The Local Voice

“Color Blind Advice at the Seaside”: A short story by Vera P.


“A change is coming.”

Vicky sang that blues song all day, “A change is coming, but I don’t know what to change.”

“Change your clothes!” Diane blurted out.

“Why? Do I stink?” Vicky diligently sniffed her armpits.

“Your style stinks. Look at you! Where did you even get that monstrosity of a top? At your favorite Rue 21? How old are you anyways? You dress up like a crazy teenager!”

“Well, I like to think that two times 21 is still 21, just two times better!”

“Then go have a haircut. Your hair looks like feathers.”

“No, no, I’m trying to grow it out!”

“Then maybe you want to change your location for a while? We are long due for a road trip!”

“Yes! Let’s go to the beach!”

And to the beach they went. Early in the morning Vicky came over to Diane’s house, all ready to go. Diane was cleaning the fridge and cooking something green, which looked extremely healthy.

“Who eats veggies for breakfast?” giggled Vicky.

“The same person who doesn’t shop at Rue 21. I just don’t want it all to get wilted while we are away. Also, I am on a vegetable diet!”

“Teehee, isn’t it a little too late to try to get a beach body now? We are already leaving!”

“If you want to be a smart ass, then you can just walk all the way! Who is a driver here?”

“Okay, okay, I love you! You already have a beach body! Also you are smart, intelligent, and my best friend. Let’s go!”

Diane was wistfully looking at a cabbage head. “I’m going to take it with me. We will cook it there. I love cabbage!”

“Sure! We will call it Cabbage Head and he will be our friend! Until he dies on a skillet . . . ”

They reached the coast in the dark. A seafood restaurant right at the beach was inviting—the flame glimmering in the fireplace, waves crushing, seagulls crying. Fresh fish, beer, sandy toes.

There were also bikers everywhere they could see. It happened to be a bikers’ week. At the hotel they looked down from the balcony and Diane puckered her pretty lips. “Bikers . . . I don’t know about that. Maybe we better go and find some quiet place to stay? They are going to ride around all night! And look at that seedy motel right next to us! It stinks! What is it there, that small dark yard surrounded by walls? Looks like some place to hide dead bodies!”

She googled the motel references and they were terrifying! Apparently, it was a local drug post for junkies. But the girls both were too tired and decided to think it over in the morning. Their condo windows were facing a beach and they were on 16th floor anyways.

Next morning was gorgeous, sunny but not hot, and they spent hours walking on the beach, swimming, having the time of their lives. The bikers were surprisingly quiet, the suspicious motel didn’t look so bad in the daylight, and they forgot their worries.

“When are we going to cook our cabbage?”

“I would cook it but we don’t have any tomatoes, and it’s not good without.”

Next day they decided to go shopping. Not for tomatoes. You know, the outlet malls that seem to have better deals on name brand clothes, or just claim so. On the way there Diane changed her mind and decided to go to the hair salon. She wanted to change that blonde color she presently had to a completely different blonde color and to have a haircut.

“I still think you have to go with me and style your hair, too. Look, you have some gray! Why don’t you dye it? And you need a haircut; you look so cute with short hair!”

“No thanks, I love my few gray strands! I talk to them, and everyone has a name. I already told you, I am trying to grow my hair out, do not discourage me!”

“But won’t you be lonely all by yourself?”

“Believe me, I won’t! Just go ahead.”

Diane was away for three hours. Vicky was not really the type who could lose herself in the shopping spree, and Diane didn’t answer the phone, so Vicky started to be worried and called the salon. Diane cheerfully chirped, “Oh, my phone is dead! I am done, will come in a minute. By the way, I got you some tomatoes for the cabbage dish you promised to cook.”

When she arrived, her hair looked almost exactly the same. She seemed to be very pleased with her new blonde color, and kept asking if it looked better than before. Vicky assured her that yes, it did look so much better, it used to have that yellow tint, and now it is more like blueish.

Diane squealed and grabbed a lock, crossing her eyes to see if it was really blue? She didn’t want it to be blue.

“Well, it looks so much more intelligent than it used to be.”

It happened to be not the best compliment also.

“Are you trying to say that it looked dumb before?”

“Now, let me be honest. I am slightly color blind. You were blonde before and you are blonde now, just three hours and $200 short. That’s all I know, and that’s all I have to say. I am glad you like it, though. Nice haircut!”

“I didn’t even have my hair cut yet! I’ll go back tomorrow. Color blind? How come? But you are an artist! How do you do all your bright paintings then?”

“I paint by numbers.”

Next day Diane went for a haircut and Brazilian blowout (just some super necessary frizz-fighting hair treatment procedure, not what you think), and Vicky enjoyed more salty waves and white wine. In the evening they went to The Pier—a place for nightlife and music. All the bikers were there, hundreds of them, revving thir engines and posing. The girls took pictures, ate po-boys, danced at the bar, walked the pier, and had a great time.

Next morning they were packing, ready to go home. Poor Cabbage Head Friend was still lying there in the fridge, looking sad and abandoned. And there was no choice but to take it back.

A Short Story by Shane Brown of Brown Family Dairy
The Way We Live Now
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