On Human Sacrifice and Hairpin Man

Prior to working with me in property management, Alan had a distinguished career as a hair stylist, and up until last October, he was employed by a small, hip salon in one of Houston’s trendier neighborhoods. One slow afternoon, not having any clients to attend to, Alan got bored and made a sculpture out of hairpins; as so many things do, it ended up on my desk. I named him Hairpin Man.

“Hairpin Man”; 2014; hairpins, mixed media.

A few days ago, Alan asked if I still had Hairpin Man, and I was all, “Of course I do!” and then ran into my office to make sure he was still there. He was, but I learned an important lesson about mindfulness and staying present: I’ve got all these awesome things (and people) in my life, but I take them for granted and often don’t notice that they’re still around. Hairpin Man was a tiny little token of my friendship with Alan, and I decided right then and there that I would take a moment every day to appreciate him.

The following morning, Hairpin Man was gone.

Being nothing if not reasonable, I barged into Alan’s office and screamed, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH HAIRPIN MAN?!” Once he climbed down from the ceiling, Alan assured me that he had not taken Hairpin Man, and in fact had seen him on my desk just a few hours before. We went back to my office to find him, and Alan suggested that maybe I’d accidentally knocked him onto the floor when I was unpacking that Apis the Bull statue. A cold, rational chill ran up my spine.

Are you at all familiar with the Twelve Labors of Hercules? In case you’re not, Labor Number Seven involved Hercules having to travel to Crete and subde a savage bull which had been rampaging through the countryside and terrorizing the locals. So I was crawling around on the floor and groping behind filing cabinets and suddenly obsessing on this particular legend, and my brain put the two together and presented me with what it felt was a perfectly plausible explanation.

You guys… I think Apis ate Hairpin Man.

And yes, I’m taking my meds, and yes, I’m fully aware that cast-resin replicas do not come to life to devour conveniently located knick-knacks. In theory. But nobody was in my office when Hairpin Man disappeared, and there is historical precedence of man-eating bovine idols, even if modern Biblical scholars dismiss it as propaganda.

I’m just saying don’t fuck with bull statues, people: At the very least, they are unpredictable.

Unless you’re a celebrity, of course, in which case the rules don’t apply to you. Typical.

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