I was standing there holding the little plastic bottle. I was kind of in shock, really. I had been looking for this for a few months. I lived in a Hispanic neighborhood and something like green hair dye was unheard of. Especially in the year one thousand nineteen hundred and eighty-five. I had found it in a little beauty supply place sandwiched between a Mexican restaurant called Migalito’s and a Winchell’s doughnuts. Always the last place you think to look I guess. The fucking south side sucked.
The woman working there was fully suspicious of me. Not everyday you see a kid with a blonde Mohawk in a beauty supply store in 1985, I guess. She was the standard 40 something woman of the mid 80’s which meant she was really stuck in the mid 70’s. Bleach blonde hair heavily sprayed, slightly overweight Hispanic woman. She thought I was going to steal something for sure. I knew it. I could see her moving back and forth along the counter. Craning her neck to see what I was up to. I was used to that kind of reaction. Old woman clutched their purses and shopping bags as I rode by them on the street on my skateboard. No big deal.
Little did they know they had nothing to fear from me. I had enough problems. Stealing and mugging old woman was pretty much at the bottom of my list of ways to survive. See, I was a straight edge kid. I didn’t do drugs, steal, or anything like that. I was essentially a parent’s wet dream, only wrapped in the wrong clothes, the wrong hair and the wrong overall outlook on life. I was also about 24 hours away from being homeless, but more on that later.
So as I went up to the counter to pay, I could see actual physical surprise on the woman’s face. I wasn’t going to steal it! Not that she would have dared stop me if I had tried. She was still scared shitless of me. I must have looked like an alien to her. I paid the seven or so bucks for the dye and said “thank you”. You should have seen her face. One strange turn after the other in her world. I have always been polite and as a teenager it always took “old” people by surprise. They expected the growling rude punk rocker they saw on Quincy and ChiP’s or some shit. I knew they were judging me, but fuck them anyway. Kill them with kindness I say.
I stepped out of the store with my bottle of green hair dye in a brown paper bag. I stuffed it into the pocket of my ripped oversized jeans. Dropped my skateboard (stolen, but more on that later) to the ground and skated off towards home. Trying my best not to think about the shit I had to go through to get home or the shit I was going to have to deal with once I got there.