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BEACON

No. 0 5 S PL I T E N D S


BEACON N o. 0 5 S PL I T E N D S


S P L I T

E N D S

{t h e h air issue}


{ No . 05 } WILLOW SMITH

{ 4 }

WHIP MY HAIR

FOREWORD

{ 6 }

BY JORDAN HAYLES

NES VUCKOVIC

{ 7 }

OMG KAREN

RAUL BARASA

{8 }

DEEP CUTS

KARINA NINO DE RIVERA

{9 }

TRADITION / INNOVATION

RAPHAËL LEWI

{ 11 }

//H-N-S//

NES VUCKOVIC

{ 12 }

BOX OF FRIES

CLAUDIO PARENTELA

{ 13 }

ASSEMBLAGE

JUSTIN ANANTAWAN

{ 14 }

PORTRAIT OF SUSAN KHAN

NINA VAL

{ 16 }

ROOTS

HANNA AGAR

{ 18 }

MR. JOHN KARLSTAD

NES VUCKOVIC

{ 20 }

GOLDEN GIRLS

DECILIEN LOVENSKY

{ 21 }

PORTRAIT

DMITRI PRYAHIN

{ 22 }

BERA

CHRIS GUEST

{ 24 }

SHARK! X 2

KATHARINE COLDIRON

{ 25 }

FIVE STORIES COLLATED

RAPHAËL LEWI

{ 27 }

THE VIRGIN AND THE HARE

ADRIAN X SANDS

{ 28 }

1612 W DEVON

NOAH BAILEY

{ 30 }

SPLIT ENDS

KRISTINA VARAKSINA

{ 35 }

CIRCUS OF LIFE

JENNY KLION

{ 40 }

WHEN IN DOUBT, GO BLOND

ISI AKAHOME

{ 40 }

PORTRAIT

ANICA PRESLEY

{ 42 }

COLLAGE

CLAUDIO PARENTELA

{ 44 }

ASSEMBLAGE

S P L I T

E N D S

3


RAPUNZEL'S

And a few months prior, I posted this: “The man who pays for my electrolysis, is the man I’m gon’ marry.”

JORDAN HAYLES

So, yes, I’m obsessed with my body hair. But, I didn’t know I was until I started writing out my thoughts the day that Chacha texted me and asked, “So what do you think about split ends and hair? Want to write about it in Beacon?”

VAGINA

If Rapunzel had enough hair to flow down a tower, then how much hair did she have on her vagina? These are questions that need answers.

Well, first, Chacha, I have a lot of thoughts about hair. And, second, Chacha, I find it quite suspicious that pubes don’t have split ends.

I bet she didn’t grow a single pube while locked up in that tower. And then there’s me—A 32-year-old black woman with more body hair than a 300 pound trucker. I bet if my black ass got trapped like Rapunzel, I’d grow 10 feet of pubes and produce a lifetime’s worth of chin hairs.

And, third, I think that writing something out and giving it time to present itself fully, shows you things about yourself that are obvious, yet hidden.

I’m imagining myself in captivity now... pacing, trying to figure out the secrets of life, and asking important questions:

Hair made me an inventor. (Pussy Perms, a hypothetical product for pube straightening, were created during a 3rd grade after-school conversation)

What’s the hospitality policy in this tower? Y'all got razors? I’d even pre-write the press headline for when I finally got out: “Negro-punzel found after 10 years. Trapped in NE Portland Tower. Unrecognizable due to facial hair.” Piss poor priorities, I know. I could be getting out of the tower, starting a revolution, creatively assembling my overgrown pubic hairs to make an unsightly call for help. But, I’m just a creative who is easily distracted by my body hair. Take New Year’s Eve for example: Everybody else was kissing under the shade of mistletoe and lying about their resolutions. Meanwhile, I was Facebook posting. “They say to let go of what you don't want as you go into the new year, so I'm over here plucking my chin hairs. #2018 #DontLetNothingWeighYouDown #NotEvenYourUnwantedFacialHair"

Things like the fact that hair has defined almost every part of my life:

Hair made me an activist. (Hate the sight of my hairiness but defend body hair on women as natural and publicly show-able.) Hair even helped me pick my first profession. (I originally wanted to be a dermatologist… mainly to fix facial skin hyperpigmentation due to ingrown hairs.) And I would have never realized this unless I put pen to paper. It turns out that writing is a better mirror than a mirror itself. It has shown me that I’m a hairier woman than I thought and that my long standing relationship with hair deserves some overdue attention (and therapy) strand by strand, split end by split end. Jordan Hayles is the founder of The Radical Brand Lab in Portland, Oregon; home of radically authentic brands like Period Petty. You can find her sporadically appearing on comedy stages, doing brand strategy for troublemakers & truth-tellers and dancing in the grocery store aisle because she’s weird. Connect with her online at www.jordanhayles.com or on social: @joriehay


N ES VU CK OV IC { om g k a r e n }

7


S P L I T

DEEP CUTS R AUL BAR ASA "There’s something about bringing out the best in people that captivates me. It gives me a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Becoming a barber has allowed me to contribute to society by helping others get back on their feet. I cut hair for people in recovery and homeless communities, which helps them maintain a positive attitude and look presentable for potential employment. I come from a dysfunctional alcoholic family - I’ve never met my father, I’ve experienced racism and prejudice and am a recovering alcoholic - I’m a complete recipe for failure. But, I know that despite my setbacks and shortcomings in life, I have something to offer. I’m at my best when I help people feel good about themselves or remind those who struggle in life that they do in fact hold value and are not failures.”

E N D S

What drew you to barbering while in prison? I was drawn to the culture behind the urban style barbershop. Barbers were laughing and roasting each other, talking about music and sports, what kind of women we dreamed of and what we’d do with our lives if we were free. It was an escape from the rest of the prison. Even if it was only 30 minutes.

Why is a good haircut so important? It gives you a sense of self worth. You feel good about yourself and others view you as such as well.

Do you have a barber or do you cut your own hair? Even though I love being in a chair, I shave my own head. Some people can rock a bald head. I’m one of the lucky ones. Plus it’s easy to maintain.

How can a haircut influence the population you serve? People come in beaten and tired from their addiction. After I cut their hair they see what lies underneath what they have become. Their eyes light up and the smile is often enough to jerk tears from my eyes. They get motivated and feel good about themselves. They remember that they do have self worth.

If there was one thing you wanted everyone to know about barbering, what would it be and why? Your barber is not only someone who can make you feel good about your hair but many times people just need someone to listen to. I find I make countless connections with people who need to just unwind and have someone to listen to them about their lives.

Raul Barasa learned how to barber while serving time in prison. Now on the outside, Barasa has turned his unexpected skill into a passion, a career path and a way to help others. Barasa is a proud father and currently seeks his barber’s license at Phagan’s School of Hair Design


S P L I T

K A R I N A N I N O D E R I

E N D S

V E R A

{ murmurs }

{t h e h air issue}


{ No . 05 }

S P L I T

E N D S

11


S P L I T

E N D S


C L A U D I O

P A R E N T E L A

S P L I T

E N D S

13


S P L I T

E N D S


JUSTIN ANANTAWAN { por trait of S USA N KH A N }

"If there's a process by which I could no longer encompass my energy in my words alone, and perhaps the energy seeped through my ears and permed through my skin into the form of my body. Perhaps I speak in the way I hold myself, perhaps you understand me if you see art in context to me. "

— SUSAN KHAN


But do lay to ponder life Let roots and petals slam the ground Their cycles start again You're never lost, just found

R O OTS

Poison, or water me Annual knows what to do We all fall onto the ground We all rise and be anew

NINA VAL

Float across the waters Or lay on dirty ground Seeds of memories rife Scattered all around

That rests upon my lap Are the split ends of life But travel up the roots I'm still very much alive

Those storms, those storms can come Welcome and say hello They'll spit their waters at you You'll watch those new seeds grow

Like petals that are sewn Together I am knotted Through eons I will last Sitting never plotted

Their flowers rise to your chest Like a firework display Like shoelace tied together To help you go your way

Of one thing that's connected Of one thing that will grow Of those roots upon my head To the branches the trees know

But do lay to ponder life Let roots and petals slam the ground Their cycles start again You're never lost, just found

They break through their walled frames They reach to those blue skies Past chipped cherry polish Pulled along for its ride

Poison, or water me Annual knows what to do We all fall onto the ground We all rise and be anew

Float across the waters Or lay on dirty ground Seeds of memories rife Scattered all around Those storms, those storms can come Welcome and say hello They'll spit their waters at you You'll watch those new seeds grow Their flowers rise to your chest Like a firework display Like shoelace tied together To help you go your way


17


S P L I T

E N D S

{t h e h air issue}


H A N N A A G A R

His hair flows free Like the free spirit that is he. Long and gray Sometimes snarly.

S P L I T

His hands are rough, They are carpenter’s hands. He’s a manly man. A family man. A gentleman. He embraces life. He honors the trees. He can be intense and a little scary. But in his heart there twinkles and glows, A silly side that occasionally shows. He’s a happy man. A “sappy” man. A handyman. A hard working man. But at the end of the day he sits in his chair, He puts up his feet and lets down his hair.

E N D S

19


S P L I T

E N D S


S P L I T

E N D S

21


Фон может быть только один — небо. Ну, еще земля, коль скоро мы по ней ходим.

"THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE BACKGROUND - THE SKY. OR, THE EARTH, WHILE WE WALK UPON HER. OR SAND, OR STONE."


IT'S NOT IMPORTANT HOW YOU LOOK, IT'S ONLY IMPORTANT WHAT YOUR INTENTIONS ARE, YOUR THOUGHTS. "

Не важно, как ты выглядишь, важно лишь то, какое у тебя намерение, мысли.


CH RI S GUE S T


FIVE STORIES, COLLATED KATHARINE COLDIRON

A. In elementary school, I begged my mother to let me grow my hair long. She refused and gave me a dumb bowl cut. B. In middle school, I wanted to be Ariel. I wanted her long, long, red, red hair. C. In high school, I held control over only two things: how much I ate and the length of my hair. The former kept shrinking, while the latter kept growing. I have a picture of myself at that age looking over a precipice in Gettysburg, my back all hair, loose lines to the waist. D. After college I tried short. I sheared off everything below the ears and donated it. Mainly I did this for convenience, because I was teaching yoga and my hair was a nuisance every class, every day. E. Today it nearly reaches my waist—not nearly enough.

25


A. I realized later that short hair on me was less work for her. I don’t blame her for weighing this choice and making it in her favor, because I was little and she was in charge of me and combing my hair sometimes left us both in tears. The consequence, though, was a yearning that has remained in place for three decades, irrelevant to convenience and fashion. Maybe I would have had it anyway. Yet denial makes desires grow. B. Equal to her desire to be human was my desire for her hair. Her desire tears out her voice, changes her species, alters her destiny. That was how much I wanted her hair. C. That picture of me, all hair no face, was what I wanted. I wanted to be seen for those things on my body: the shrinking, the growing. D. It looked like crap. My jaw is too bold for a bob. E. I long for long. Even though it’s long I want it longer. I go to the salon and the hairdresser tells me my ends are a mess—split ends that you can pick apart in two sets of fingers and open up, making two fragile strands from one, until they break. She takes off three inches. I don’t go back to the salon for two years. I teach my head to need shampoo less often. I make a loose braid at night and use a boar brush in the morning. I bind up my hair and loosen it to my pleasure. My split ends tangle and knot and I comb oil into them. They don’t end in tears.


ADR I AN X S AN D S { 1 6 1 2 w d e v o n }


SPLIT ENDS NOA H B A ILEY On the last day of summer vacation, the day before sixth grade was to start, my friend Jonas and I counted how many BMWs and Mercedes were parked in the parking lot of Fausto’s pizza. Well, Jonas counted, looking out through the window from the arcade area, but I was too busy to count cars—busy spending my meager weakly allowance on my favorite video game: RASTAN. “Thirteen, fourteen,” Jonas counted, his voice as shrill as a school bell, “fifteen, sixteen, sevenfrickin’-teen. Six beamers, and...eleven benzes. Then there’s a bunch of other richy-rich cars out there, too.” “Probably all the new ’87 models, I bet,” is what I said, but what I was thinking was: Who thinks they’re special enough to invite seventeen kids to their birthday party? I toggled the joystick over and slapped the button. Rastan the barbarian swung his broadsword and cut down a scaly green henchman. And another thought occurred to me: Who has seventeen friends in the first place? “Guys!” A voice said in as whisper, as loud as a whisper can go. I looked down the row of arcade games. Our other friend, Ben, stood halfway down the carpeted stairway that led up to the reserved party area. He waved us over. I looked back at the video screen just in time to watch Rastan get clawed by a green henchman. He died with grunt and fell into a pile of dust. Jonas and I ran over to meet Ben on the stairs, where I asked him: “Did you get any?” He nodded, then unvelcroed the big kangaroo pocket on the front of his red windbreaker, and held it open. Jonas and I looked inside the pocket to find it full of pizza crusts: toasty brown bread wands, bite marks down one side. “That’s like five pizzas worth!” Jonas said. Ben nodded enthusiastically, tangled brown curls bouncing. “They’re still eating up there, too. We could get more. And guess who’s up there.” “Who?” “Guess.”


I scowled. “Fucking Cobra Commander? I don’t know. Just tell us!” His eyes glazed a little. “Just come up and see.” I sighed. “It’s your turn to get crusts. We’re not going up there.” “You have to see. Trust me.” He turned and scampered back up the stairs. I hesitated for a moment, then let curiosity propel me up after him. Jonas followed. At the top of the steps, we peeked over the waisthigh railing that enclosed the party area. A fungus of flipped-bangs haircuts (boys), and teased perms (girls), had infected the tables—an outbreak of pegged jeans, some white Keds sneakers, and lots of deck shoes...with no socks! I almost lost my appetite. Preppies. We hated them, and they hated us. “So who’s up here that’s so special?” I said. Ben lifted an index finger and pointed. A black arc of dirt under the tip of his fingernail helped direct my gaze. “Other side, in the corner.” And it was there I saw Rory, the rich-kid ringleader. But that’s not who Ben was pointing at. We knew Rory would be there, of course: it was his birthday party, after all. The kid Ben was pointing at was our friend, Nick, who we hadn’t seen since the beginning of summer. He’d been distancing himself from us ever since he moved from his mom’s tiny houseboat on our dock, to his dad’s big house in the hills, right across the street from Rory.I didn’t expect him to ever actually be friends with Rory, though, because Rory was “the worst person ever made,” in Nick’s words. But now Nick sat right across the table from Rory, eating a slice of Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza, talking and laughing. Flipped bangs. Pegged jeans. Deck shoes. No socks. “What the hell?” Jonas said, echoing my thoughts.

A warm tingle surged through my body, washing away the shock of Nick’s apparent treachery, at least for a moment. I looked around the party... Didn’t see Tina. “She left,” Ben said, “With her dad.” I heard a stifled laugh and looked over to see Jonas and Ben wearing mocking smirks. “Shut up,” I muttered. They knew I had a crush on her, and they thought it was ridiculous: an eleven- year-old boy with a crush on a fifteen-year-old girl. But it didn’t seem that absurd to me, even if she was Rory’s big sister. Tina was different. I’d gone over to Nick’s dad’s house a few times, before Nick had stopped talking to us. Tina had started babysitting him, and I’d ended up hanging out with her a couple of times. Just the two of us. She’d even gone to Caine’s Cake Shop with me once. I’d knocked on the back door, and Mr. Caine, the baker, had given us scraps of cake on pieces of parchment paper. We’d sat eating them and talking on the stairs on the side of the building. She’d told me how her dad only cared about his job, and money, and I’d told her how sometimes I wished my dad cared about those things a little bit more. Now Nick spotted us behind the railing, and waved us over. Ben looked at me. “Should we go over there?” I nodded, then opened the gate and led my friends between the tables. Preppy gazes felt like they were lasering into my skin. “I smell dock rats,” one of the kids said. “Doesn’t your dad pump my dad’s gas?” Another preppy said.

I looked at Ben, hoping. “Nick’s the one who gave you all those crusts, right?” He’s not a complete traitor, right? It’s not as bad as it looks, right?

I could smell a summer’s worth of play emanating from my jeans and hooded sweatshirt. Normally I didn’t give it any thought. I was proud of being a dirty waterfront kid, but right then I felt embarrassed, which made my teeth grit with anger. “What do you think you’re doing here?” Rory asked us when we reached their table.

Ben shook his head. “Tina went around and got them for us.”

“Whatever we want,” I said. Rory glared at me and sipped soda through a straw. 31


“They came to scrounge pizza crusts, to eat on their walk home,” Nick said. A burst of sudden laughter sent soda spraying out from between Rory’s tight lips, down onto the toe of my new Nike Air Force high tops. I yanked a napkin from the steel dispenser on the table and kneeled down to wipe the soda off. I noticed Rory wasn’t wearing deck shoes; he was wearing Air Jordans. “Couldn’t afford a pair of these, huh?” He said smugly when I stood up. “Had to get the cheaper ones.” I wanted to smash the freckles off his face with the napkin dispenser. Nick reached out a hand toward Ben. Ben looked at the hand. Nick jutted his hand out further. “No, idiot, I want my cut of the crusts.” Jonas squealed in protest: “What? No way!” "Crusts,” Nick said. “They’re called crusts; not ends.” My guts burned with bitter resentment: I used to always call them crusts. Nick was the one that used to call them “ends.” That’s why I started calling them that! Rory brushed his blond bangs from his eyes. “Yeah, who calls them ends? Nobody calls them that.” “Fine, crusts; whatever,” I said. “We always split our crusts.” I opened Ben’s windbreaker pocket, reached in and procured about a quarter of its contents. “Here.” I handed the crusts to Nick. “Thanks!” Nick said, tone soggy with sarcastic

gratitude. Then he nonchalantly flung the bundle of crusts over his shoulder, sending them raining down past the railing, out of sight toward the front counter and the lobby area below. “Hey!” I heard a grownup say. “Goddamnit,” said another. Every kid in the party was laughing, including Rory, and Nick. A lady I’d seen behind the counter downstairs came upstairs and strode over to where Rory’s mom was sitting. They exchanged some words I couldn’t hear. Then Rory’s mom stood up and walked over to us with the counter lady trailing behind her. Rory pointed to me. “It was him, Mom.” Then he looked at Nick. “He did it, right?” A silent moment passed. I thought I saw a tinge of remorse flash in Nick’s eyes, but then he nodded, and said, “Yeah, it was him. He did it.” Not one of us summoned the words to argue the blatant lie. The betrayal was real now. And it stung. “I didn’t invite them, Mom,” Rory said. “They’re trespassing, and stealing our pizza crusts.” “Be nice,” Rory’s mom said. Then she looked at us, with the phoniest, most patronizing smile I’d ever seen. “I recognize you boys. You live down on the houseboats, right? What are you doing mooching pizza crusts? Don’t your parents cook you dinner?” “Of course!” I said. “What’s the matter, lady? You don’t like pizza crusts?” Jonas asked Rory’s mom. “Yeah,” Ben said, “What’s crustier? Pizza crusts, or yuppies that don’t like pizza crusts?” “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ask you boys to

"We always split our pizza ends."


leave,” said the counter lady. We complied, gladly. The sun was beginning to set on our walk from Fausto’s toward the “cake scraps place,” as we called Caine’s Cake Shop. The sky looked like the background in RASTAN: purple patchwork clouds marching across the horizon. We munched on pizza ends (crusts; whatever)—toasty bread clouds that helped stifle the pain of Nick’s betrayal. When we arrived at the cake scraps place, there was a beamer parked in the parking lot. The only customer there. It was close to closing time. I peaked in the window and saw Rory and Tina’s dad pulling a credit card from his wallet. Mrs. Cain stood behind the counter with a grin, and on the counter stood a big chocolate cake. “We should pop his tires or something,” Jonas said. “Or break his windows.” Ben cracked his knuckles. “Maybe both,” I said, “if he’s still here after we get cake scraps.” We rounded the building to the big metal back doors. I knocked, and Mr. Caine opened the door. He must have already seen us through the windows in the storefront because he stood ready with four disks of parchment paper, piled high with thin slices of chocolate layer cake, whose layers were filled with some kind of red jelly. He handed one each to the three of us, leaving himself holding the fourth. “Where’s your other friend?” he asked, looking around behind us. “Nick? He’s...on his way,” I said it in hopes Caine would— He handed me the fourth pile of cake scraps. “You give him his share, okay?” I smiled at him. “Of course.” He dusted flour from his hands on his apron and waved goodbye. I took a bite of the cake on our way to the stairway on the side of the building. The filling was raspberry. It was the best thing I’d ever tasted.

When we got to the stairs, my legs felt like they turned into Raggedy Andy legs, when I saw Tina sitting on the stairs, toes of her combat boots aimed inward, pigeon-like. She’d been crying, I could tell. Her eyeliner, which pointed toward her temples, making her look like some kind of cat, was dripping down into the white foundation she’d frosted her face with. And her dyed black hair looked like something a cat might cough up, even more so than usual. I wanted to give her a hug. Her lips were red like the raspberry filling in the cake I carried. I wanted to kiss them and see if they tasted as sweet. She smiled at me. “I met you here last night,” she said, “in a dream.” She patted the step, the area right beside her. The silver bird skull ring she wore made a keh-keh-keh sound against the concrete. “Come sit.” I went and sat next to her. Jonas and Ben sat a couple stairs down from us. I held the fourth pile of cake scraps out for Tina to take. “H-here,” I said, my voice trembling with nerves. Everything trembled, especially the sheet of cake scraps. I wondered if that was why she didn’t take it. “Oh, no thanks,” she said. “You’re sweet, but I can’t eat cake right now. I can’t eat anything right now. I’m so...” “Are y-you okay?” “I feel...purple,” she said with a sniffle, “like that sunset.” She nodded toward the west where the sun had just crept away for the night behind the mountains, painting the dusk a deeper shade of purple. “What happened?” I asked. She shook her head. “Oh, just my parents. My dad. He’s just...He’s just mean. I hate him: making me go to my brother’s birthday party; having me come here with him to get the cake. Oh! Did you get the pizza crusts I gave Ben?" I nodded with a grateful grin, then looked out toward the parking lot. The driver’s side window of Rory and Tina’s dad’s beamer was open, I noticed. And an idea crept into my mind. “I have to go fix my makeup in the bathroom inside,” Tina said. “If I don’t see you...I’ll see you again. I know I will.” 33


“In a dream?” I asked, promptly hating myself for asking it. But she smiled, braces glinting in the light from a street lamp. Then she got up, and traipsed around the corner toward the front of the cake shop. I took one of the piles of cake scraps and headed for the parking lot. “Where you going?” Jonas and Ben asked in unison. “Be right back.” I peeked in the cake shop’s front window. The back of Tina’s dad’s pink polo shirt was facing me as he chatted with Mrs. Caine across the counter. Tina was nowhere to be seen. In the bathroom, I gathered. I raced to the beamer, carrying the mound of cake scraps carefully in both hands. I looked in at the plush leather seats. The car smelled like new Nikes, with a tinge of sterile hospital scent. A rush of adrenaline shot through me. I hesitated for a second, then reached in through the open window and set the parchment paper down on the driver’s seat, mountain of cake scraps pointing toward the ceiling. For a second I imagined smearing cake all over the seats, but that would take too long, and I was too afraid of getting caught. The thought of Rory’s dad sitting in a pile of chocolate frosting and raspberry jelly was enough. I just hoped he didn’t see it, and remove it, before khakis hit cake. I ran. The soles of my sneakers struck the pavement like drums in a Slayer song, and my heart beat just as furiously. Ben and Jonas wore mischievous smiles when I reached them. We hid under the stairs, heard the cake shop door open and shut. We watched from between the concrete step slabs as Tina and her dad walked toward the car. I could tell they were arguing, but couldn’t make out what they were saying, until they stopped at the car and turned around. “Fine,” her dad said, “but only to the pizza place. He set Rory’s birthday cake on the hood, pulled a ring of keys from the pocket of his khaki slacks, and handed them to Tina. No.“Then no driving after that,” he said, “not until you get your permit.” Tina hurried to the driver’s side door, reached in

the open window, pulled up the lock, opened the door. “Don’t!” I screamed from between the steps. Tina stopped what she was doing and looked over with a start. I ran out into the open and toward her while Ben and Jonas stayed put, looking confused Tina looked confused, too, mouth hanging open. I stopped, panting, tried to talk: “I didn’t want you to...I wanted him to...I put it there for your dad to sit in, ’cause he was mean to you.” Tina and her dad looked in through the windows. “What the fuck?” is what her dad said. Tina chuckled. Her dad glared at her. “It’s not fucking funny.” He glowered at me: “Get that shit out of my car, now, you little shit.” He was genuinely enraged, and I was genuinely scared. But I couldn’t be scared. Not in front of Tina. “Get it yourself,” I said. Rage made his eyes go demonic. He bared his teeth like a wolf, and growled: “What did you say to me?” "You heard me. Take it out yourself.” "Come here, you little...” He fast-walked around the car, chased me, faster and faster until we were both running circles around the beamer, scored by the sound of Tina’s laughter. I changed direction like Jerry Rice, booked it across the parking lot. The yuppie’s heavy breaths grew closer and closer, until a strong hand snatched my hood, swung me around, neck of sweatshirt choking me. I hit the pavement. Wind rushed from my lungs. I heard an engine start. “Tina.” Her father’s voice had gone gravelly. “Don’t you even think about—I’m gonna kill that girl.” He dashed away from me toward the car, but he was too late. Tina drove off across the parking lot, leaving the sheet of cake scraps on the asphalt behind her. And Rory’s birthday cake fell off the hood as she turned onto Bay street, flipped and landed with a splat on the side that would have held Rory’s twelve candles. The light turned green, just in time. Just for her. Then she was gone. Ben and Jonas buckled over with sustained belly laughs as they watched her dad’s futile pursuit, and when I regained my breath, I joined them.


K RI S T INA V A R A KS INA 35


{ fa ls e s ta b il it y }


{ fa ls e f re edom }


JENNY KLION WHEN IN DOUBT, GO BLOND I never wanted to be one of those people who complained about having a bad hair day, but I am. Having a bad hair day, and complaining about it. Did you know that hair stylists and professionals measure the amount of gray in your hair via percentages...? I’d guesstimate many of my peers are between five and 35 percent gray. Sigh. I, on the other hand, a person born with hair the deepest darkest level of brown, nearly black, have swung fully to the other side of the gray scale, and it hasn’t been pretty. I saw my first gray hairs at 16, and four decades later, I am well over 92 percent gray. No, not gray. White. Not silver, or salt and pepper, but white. Colorless really. I’ve come to a full tilt crossroads in my hair life, and I call that crossroads my ski slope, or skunk stripe. This describes my white hair growing in, making a mockery of the otherwise dark color I’d bought at the salon three weeks prior. The continual shrinking of the window of time between visits. The constant moving around of my hair on my head, in search of the most acceptable/least white spot to settle on for my part. This cycle went on month after month for years—you’d think I was talking about my period, but I’m not. At least then I was fertile. Now, aesthetically and whole-heartedly,

I can no longer pretend that dying my hair dark brown, or lighter brown, even with highlights, doesn’t look like a cheesy style err, at minimum. And profound reality denial, at closer-to-the-truth. A few friends want me to go natural, i.e., white, but I notice these particular amies have gray counts of up to 10 percent—and still dye their hair! Finally, my broken-record hair woes came to an end after a one-way conversation with my former colorist who’d moved across the country years ago. "You need to face the ugly truth, Jenny.” “Click,” went the phone as I hung up. His words were brutal, but not untrue. (I am aware that white is not at all ugly; in fact it’s quite beautiful—on someone else.) After some research, I found a salon that was a step up from the B-grade places I’d come to dread, and it wasn’t long before “Miki” agreed to cut off much of my bad color. And he did, from shoulder length to short. Instantly I loved it. Finally. I was impressed. It seemed my world was changing, shaping up, and it was worth the higher price. Life was good! A week later, still feeling liberated, I went in for step two: the color issue. Miki had pointed me toward “Victoria,” the owner, but she was away, so I settled on another colorist—the wrong one. After hours of acute chemical I-don’t-know-what, I walked out of there


stunned, bummed, and confused. Suddenly my fabulous cut didn’t look so great; it had fallen flat. More importantly, I could not figure out what color my hair was. In the light it seemed oddly translucent. Without a defining color. I was freaking out. “I love your hair color!” someone exclaimed soon after. “Really? What color is it?” I wondered aloud through near tears. “Ash brown,” a friend said. “Ash blond,” countered another. “Fawn,” proclaimed a third. OMFG. The next morning I called the salon. “I need to see the owner. Stat. I am not in love with my color.” I couldn’t get in till the following week, and hid under my hat until then. Thankfully, Victoria was worth the wait. Plus I love a good validation: "It’s dull. So dull,” she commiserated, mirroring the mortified expression on my face. “And it’s not broken up. You’ve got to go lighter.” “Lighter? I don’t even know what color this is!” “Fawn,” she said. “Come with me.” I followed her to the back of the salon, whining,

"What color is it going to be?” “Honey, this is an easy fix. You’re going to love it,” she promised, sitting me down and suiting me up. “When in doubt, go blond.” She was right. It was easy and/or she knew what she was doing and/or she was tired of listening to me complain. Save for the junior blow-drying person she passed me off to who seemed intent on styling me as a Midwestern weather woman, Victoria’s color correction worked. I can identify and name the color(s). I am proud to say that, my grandmother’s frosted tips notwithstanding, I’m the first person in my universally dark-haired family to go blond. Wow. That whole sequence of events was and still is a meditation. I didn’t realize how attached I was to my dark hair, even when it wasn’t organically dark anymore. Who was I kidding? This blond, though still shocking every time I pass a mirror, is much more aligned with my natural hair color than that ugly dark dye was. I had to face it, even though inside I know this fix is transitional. One day I’ll submit, and go natural. White. Maybe. Meanwhile I need a new lipstick, and new glasses, because any shade of red or berry is all wrong for me now. I’m also not a silver anymore; I’m a gold. And I haven’t nailed down my wardrobe color vision yet either; I do not know what color goes with the unknown. I’ll get back to you when I figure it out, but I will take my time! Because no more highcontrast skunk stripe, or ski slope. I’m not a brunette any longer. I’m a blond.


{ por trait b y } I S I A KA H O M E


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ANICA PRESLEY


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CHACHA SANDS founder & editor-in-chief @chachasands "I hate my hair clean and sometimes wait as long as a week to wash it."

GRACE RIVERA ALL I SEE IS BLUE photograph 2018 front cover gracerivera.me @gracerivera

ZACH WESTERMAN director of design zachwesterman.com @holy_macro_ @sixsides "Everybody tells me my hair is black, but it's not. It's dark brown."

DMITRI PRYAHIN BERA | photographs 2015 pages 2, 22, & 23 behance.net/pryahin @dmitripryahin

NINA VAL ROOTS photograph & writing 2018 pages 16-17 @ninastheme @ninavalphotography

WILLOW SMITH WHIP MY HAIR lyrics and images from the 2010 music video pages 4-5 graphic by Yumi Little

HANNA AGAR MR. JOHN KARLSTAD photograph and writing pages 18-19 hannaagar.com

BRITT MOHR art director britt-mohr.com "My dream haircut is the cut Mia Farrow wears in Rosemary's Baby, but I'm too big of a coward to go for it." ARIEL WEISER lead graphic designer

arielweiser.squarespace.com

"I love the texture of short beards and stubble, and secretly wish I could grow one."

DANIEL YU operations manager @yudaniely "I alternate between short and long hair because I'm too lazy to get regular trims." YUMI LITTLE graphic ninja yumilittle.com "My hair is so stubborn, a 6-month perm only lasted a week." RAPHAËL LEWI image maker raphaelwithanumlaut. tumblr.com "If I'm not constantly cutting it, my hair grows into a jew-fro." LANAI LEWIS master vectorizer lanailewis.com "The hair on my legs is so thin and sparse that I don’t have to shave them."

JORDAN HAYLES RAPUNZEL'S VAGINA forward | page 6 jordanhayles.com @joriehaye NES VUCKOVIC OMG KAREN | GOLDEN GIRLS BOX OF FRIES | illustration pages 7, 12, & 20 nes-draws.com @laurapalmersdead RAUL BARASA DEEP CUTS non fiction page 8 KARINA NINO DE RIVERA TRADITION / INNOVATION MURMURS collage | pages 9-10 kndr.me CLAUDIO PARENTELA ASSEMBLAGE collage and assemblage pages 13, 44, & 45 claudioparentela.net JUSTIN ANANTAWAN AND SUSAN KHAN PORTRAITS OF SUSAN KHAN photograph & writing pages 14-15 @justin_anantawan @kkensuu ADRIAN X SANDS 1612 W DEVON photographs | pages 28-29

CHRIS GUEST SHARK! X 2 | oil on canvas page 24 chrisguest.co.uk @chrisguestartist

DECILIEN LOVENSKY PORTRAIT photographs back cover, page 21 @unboxingcolor KRISTINA VARAKSINA CIRCUS OF LIFE photographs pages 35-37 @kristinavaraksina JENNY KLION WHEN IN DOUBT, GO BLONDE pages 38-39 ISI AKAHOME PORTRAIT photograph 2018 pages 40-41 | KATHARINE COLDIRON FIVE STORIES, COLLATED poem | pages 25-26 | NOAH BAILEY SPLIT ENDS non-fiction | pages 30-34 ANICA PRESLEY UNTITLED collage | pages 42-43 @liminal_animal RAPHAËL LEWI THE VIRGIN AND THE HARE //H-N-S// | HAIR BENDER illustration & paper collage pages 11, 27, interior covers raphaelwithanumlaut.tumblr.com

Crib Design House 126 SW Stark St. Portland, OR 97204 / Short Run Printing, LTD. 3128 W Thomas Rd. #201 Phoenix, AZ 85017 . Copyright 2018 Beacon Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. ISSN 2472-2529


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