“Even working in microcosm, Janice Daugharty is a writer who thinks big.” New York Times

The Haircut

by Janice Daugharty

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2011 Janice Daugharty

"Did you make the call?" he asks.

"Today, I will." She is drinking orange juice but wants a Coke.

Usually Don asks, Did you do it yet? Which may mean that he is tapering off asking, or accepting that she's no more eager for the abortion than he is, or that there's another alternative--a miracle in the form of cold hard cash.

"It's your turn to take Donnie to Margaret's." Don drops his Coke can into the stained white garbage bin next to the stained white refrigerator. The white floor is dirty too--muddy tracks and juice runs. A shoe here, a toy there, and the magazine-ad kitchen of two years ago is now a mobile-home ruin.

It is not Beth's turn to take Donnie to Margaret's, but that's okay. She doesn't have to be at work till ten and it's only nine, which allows thirty minutes to get herself ready for work and the baby ready to go to her sister-in-law's. Wow! Thirty whole minutes! Plus, another thirty for the ten-minute drive to Margaret's and the twenty-minute drive into Valdosta, where she works for Thrifty Finance Company. And that's pedal-to-the-metal pushing it.

She can handle that. Beats the hell out of being late, as usual. Beats the hell out of sending Donnie off with Don when he's the one late for work and will drive too fast along the curvy dirt road from their trailer to his sister’s house.

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