Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!

Why do I write psychological thrillers?  I think because my Autistic mind works so differently than the average mind, they draw me in.  I can relate to the characters.

The Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! doesn’t even begin to cover the peculiar things I thought as a kid (not to mention my weird thoughts as an adult).  Last month’s story about my sister cutting off my hair when she was sleepwalking sparked a lot of discussion as well as a Throwback Thursday memory for me.

Up through the time I was in kindergarten, I had very long, thick hair.  But I was tender-headed.  So every day while my grandma attempted to rip my hair from my scalp when she pulled it into such severe ponytails that it made me look as if I had a face lift and made my follicles bleed, I cried mercilessly.

Me at 3 1/2 years old. See that long hair?

I guess that’s why Grandma’s ears perked up one day when I was in the first grade when I came home from school and announced that I wanted my hair cut just like my best friend, Lynn Davidson’s.  Lynn had a short bob with bangs.  Lynn also had thin, wispy, cotton candy, flyaway hair that was naturally curly.  (Can you imagine where this is going already?)

Grandma did not hesitate to jump on my request.  She never drove, so we either walked or took the city bus or a taxi cab just about anywhere, which was a major source of embarrassment to me.  To this day, I refuse to set foot in either a bus or a cab, though I do love subways.  But I digress.  So she took me by the hand, and we ran like our beds were on fire down to the salon that was in the shopping center where we bought groceries.

Once I was in the seat, grandma instructed the lady to put my hair in a ponytail and “cut it off!”  (Yes, she wanted to save the ponytail…  How gross!)  When I saw the end result, I was mortified!  My hair looked nothing like Lynn Davidson’s!  I screamed and jumped out of the chair, then ran out into the courtyard and flung myself on a bench and bawled while Grandma laughed nervously and made excuses for me to the perplexed stylist.

Me at 6 years old. This is a few months after THE HAIRCUT. (The hideous wide collar is hilarious. You can see where Grandma tried to trim the bangs herself. What did she use, garden shears?)

How could Grandma have listened to a barely six-year old kid?  (Of course this was not the first time, nor the last, that she did what I wanted and the result turned out horribly wrong and she then blamed me for having poor judgment in the first place.)

I hated my hair!  I wanted to crawl in a hole and die!  I was convinced that with the new haircut, I looked exactly like Christopher Columbus!  Yes, really!

Of course at the time, I had only seen a cartoon drawing of the globetrotting explorer.  But nonetheless, for months until my hair grew back out, I just knew I was Christopher Columbus’ doppelganger, and absolutely no one could convince me otherwise.  Can you see the similarity?

Cartoon Christopher Columbus… See the similarities?

It wasn’t actually until today when I looked up his picture for this post, that I saw an actual painting of him that I realized we didn’t actually look alike at all.  If only they had the internet back when I was six.

Real Columbus. If only I would’ve known.