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April 17, 2003


Ruby cuts my hair.  As she told it, Ruby fell in love at 15 while working at the Tastee Freeze, earning money to purchase a used Opal convertible.  The boy was Darryl McQueen.  He was small-town handsome and Ruby liked the sound of her married name.  Ruby McQueen.  Ruby McQueen.  In those summer nights, she'd repeat the name over and over again until she fell asleep.

Darryl's family moved to California.  He promised Ruby he'd return for her, and he meant it.  But life being what it is, Darryl McQueen joined the Marines and married a doughnut shop heiress.

I returned home after my haircut and showered away the prickly hairs.  Then I walked in the park and passed an Oriental woman sitting on a park bench, her eyes like quarter notes.  On a lyre, she quietly strummed "How Deep Is Your Love?"   The tune reminded me of Ruby and the boy who married the doughnut shop heiress.  The story resonated with me.

Or was it the rare jungle fever I contracted as an Avon representative in Cambodia?

©  2003 by the beastmaster