She lay on the beach, freshly washed up by the tide, skin taut around her skull like a piece of blue canvas stretched almost to the breaking point. I was alone on the beach, save for her, her with long blond hair spread out about her shoulders, the color blond I had never been able to achieve despite multiple dye-jobs and tints, the color blond the girls on the boxes of hair color always had, smiling tauntingly from the medicine cabinet when your own hair turned a nasty brassy color, a cheap whore blond, a stringy stiff straw-like blond. She was wearing a lavender slip of a dress, the spaghetti straps entangled with sea weed branches and polyps.
Even in death she was special. She looked like the sort of person I could never get to pay attention to me, one of those people who sits at the bar in a nightclub, who knows everyone intimately except me, who spends the night laughing while I sit there, sipping my drink slowly, trying to catch the eye of someone, anyone, determined to make a friend or a lover that night. I wanted to be her so bad, right then, even though she was dead and sand crabs were digging holes in her flesh.
The water pooled around her, spreading that glorious hair about her like a halo--she looked like a fucking angel. She had one arm thrown over her face, and I gingerly tried to move it, but the joints were so stiff that I would have had to break the elbow to make it lie down at her side. I wasn't really so sure I wanted to see her face.
The tide was rising up to where I was standing, the freezing water drenching my thin cotton shoes and soaking into my socks. Fine sand washed up over my feet as the water receded, as if the ocean was determined to bury me along with my companion. The water pulled at her dress, pulled at her limbs, pulled at her hair. As I watched, fascinated, her hairline wavered just a little bit, just enough to reveal the dun-colored scalp beneath the golden tresses, just enough to take a little bit of light from her radiance, and as the water dragged the wig completely from her head, I realized that she was actually quite plain, she was just an ordinary mousy little girl like me, except she was dead.
The ocean laid the wonderful pile of hair at my feet, like some sort of peace offering. I lifted the wig from the sand, its weight substantial from all of the salt water it had absorbed, and spread a few strands of it against my arm, against my skin, marveling at the perfect match, picturing myself wearing the wig, sitting at the bar in one of those fancy noisy nightclubs along the pier, drinking too much and laughing too loud, consciously refusing to acknowledge the empty colorless people lurking in the shadowed corners, sipping their drinks slowly, their eyes on me all night, wishing they could be me.