(Trigger warning: female hirsutism, racism)
I got lost on my way home and this happened.
The turn after the corner where I buy Chinese food on Fridays expanded to a street in Prague. It looked familiar, but instead of its cold ghost-like eeriness I’ve known from my previous visits, the city was bright, full of sunshine, and warm. Chilly wind, unfitting to the large ball in the sky, caressed my mustache.
“Wait, what? Since when did I have a mustache? I am a woman, for Christ’s sake, and I have a pretty good complexion!”
People were giving me weird looks, couples whispering to each other, covering their mouths with their hands. I felt like I was in a Victorian era movie and that an unscrupulous ostracizing was waiting in the wings.
“It must be the mustache!”
“It is definitely about the mustache!”, I concluded.
I touched my face to see if I was dreaming. No, the soft female skin next to the new facial hair was still there, just as I knew it. But the unexpected hair growth kept me warm from the chilly wind, and I kind of liked it.
Much to my surprise, I loved my new mustache. The smell of the Chinese food slowly disappeared from my nostrils, replaced with the scent of a slum breeze coming from the Vltava River.
The comfortable numbness I was drifting into was interrupted by four pairs of hands grabbing me from behind.
“There she is! How did she get so far, I wonder? Did you forget to lock the door, Petr? Did you let her out on purpose? You did, didn’t you? You rascal! Don’t get too comfortable around her! I know she is funny, but she is an animal, can’t you see she isn’t human? Not even an animal, she is the devil itself!”, the man who spoke was holding me tight as the young boy, Petr, looked at me with guilt in his eyes, and shaped his lips to utter a silent sorry.
“Come on, we have to take her back to the circus! Two shows are scheduled for tonight, and we have visitors from abroad coming this weekend! Jakub will get mad if she isn’t there. I don’t know why he makes such a big fuss about her anyway, it’s not that she makes us that much money, the two black guys we stole from the Gdansk harbor last spring are worth ten times her mustache!”
He tied my hands and covered my mouth and my new fancy mustache with a cloth so that I cannot speak or yell for help.
He threw me in the back of a closed carriage. Petr sat next to me as the loud man hopped on the front seat and clucked the horses to start the ride.
With eyes heavy and the image of Prague getting blurrier and blurrier, I had so many questions: how did I ended up there?
The rhythmic sound of the carriage and the pain in my body from the fight and the resistance beforehand lulled me into a deep sleep.
I woke up in a room full of half-asleep, confused people.
It wasn’t the 19th century Prague. It was the 21st century Seattle.
As the guided voice brought us back to awareness, I remembered everything.
I had past life regression therapy scheduled for that Friday. This new German lady I met at the Chinese place handed me her card. I decided to give it a go.
I don’t believe in regression therapy. A parallel reality, maybe?
But I strangely miss my mustache.
Sometimes, when a few drops of sweat show up at the top of my lips after a workout and I cool down afterward, I get this itchy feeling that something is missing and I reach for my mustache to fondle them. I don’t miss my circus days, but my mustache?
This next Halloween, I might just disguise as Freddie Mercury.