my dad would still be up early, in hopes of ushering his young family to church on time. Two toddlers
to feed and a wife who would want to sleep in and me, a new teen playing music on my Sony
boombox that I had prayed for. He’d yell at me to hurry, insist my music was slowing me down, but
little did he know it was my hair, and me fretting over it, that kept me stuck in my bedroom. My mom
told me not to get bangs, said I wouldn’t know what to do with them and neither would she so don’t
ask her, but I didn’t listen and it turns out she was right. Too short to blend into a ponytail, too long
to just ignore, like I tried to with my father’s fist on my door, his voice over the music saying I needed
to get in the car Right Now. We’d always arrive after the worship band had started playing the praise
songs, but before the lobby greeters had vacated their duties, a sweet enough spot that seemed to
placate my dad, and get him to stop pestering me: me having helped herd my siblings into the car, me
having exchanged one type of music for another, me with bangs even Jesus couldn’t save.


Author Bio:

Erin Schallmoser (she/her) lives in the Pacific Northwest and loves moss, slugs, and the moon, when she can see it. Her work can be found in Hobart, Rejection Letters, Maudlin House, Moonpark Review, Sledgehammer and elsewhere. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Gastropoda, and is on Twitter @dialogofadream. You can read more at erinschallmoser.com/.