My peculiar scalp can’t grow hair, and wigs itch down into my brain so I used to sport a ball cap to hide the flashing neural pathways and sparking synapses that shine through my transparent cranium.
My weekends free – who wanted to date a freak? – I played my banjo on the children’s ward Saturdays. During one visit, when no one was looking, I knelt beside a sad little girl and removed my hat. See? I don’t have hair either, I said, my brain pulsing light.
The girl tried to smile. Looks like fireworks.
When I returned the next weekend, the girl’s empty bed snatched my breath. Is she…?
The doctor grinned. Better!
I decided that if the girl could bear the treatments, I could endure the whispered stares. I tossed my hat in the trash.
As I started to leave, the doctor stepped in front of me and peeled her scrub cap.
I thought I was alone, we said.
That evening we met for dinner – soft lights, a corner table, conversation charged with the excitement of possibility…and a glow from our fireworks flickering on the wall.