Under Dermis Wonderland

By Aholaah Arzah

It was a process of sufficient precision; the hair combed through and narrowly parted with a fine-toothed comb.  The ribbons of hair that resulted were then separated into thinner swathes yet by the weaving motion of the rat tail of the comb.  These slender strands were slathered in dye and folded into tidy foil packets. If even a single loathsome louse clung by the claw of one of its six legs to the shaft of one frizzled tri-colored hair, it would be seen. The resultant repugnance of such a discovery made in the refined realm of Salon Curlicue would be loudly indignant. So, Virginia could safely conclude that despite the innumerable potential opportunities for possible infection one was daily exposed to that today at least in this moment she did not have head lice. She needed the respite of these moments because regrettably the relief was only temporary.

Barely an hour later Virginia found herself scratching furiously at her scalp and examining the white flaky accumulation under her fingernails with the pocket sized 30 power magnifying glass she carried for this purpose. At this level of magnification it was still difficult to distinguish between the flakes of dry scalp now rolled into ovals by the drag of her nails over her skull and the pearlescent forms of the infamously “sesame seed” sized larva.

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