Published in Pilot Illustrated Literary Magazine #4. Have you ever had a dry scalp? he asked. Have you ever had a dry scalp and it’s itchy? I could hear him scratching his head under my open window. At first, I thought it was a dream or the radio, and then I realized it was one of the hundred skinheads that had been surrounding my house for three days. I can feel it on my hands, too. My hands are dry, he said. Maybe you have eczema? someone said. No, it’s just my scalp and my hands. You need some kind of cream, someone else said. Yeah, I think I do. You should see a doctor about that. I think I will, he agreed. A noise that sounded like a firecracker went off, and then I heard the cheers of the skinheads. They did this routinely every hour on the hour. They were trying to ferret me out. I stared at the ceiling. What was I going to do? I had things I had to get done. I had to be somewhere. Or did I? I couldn’t remember. Everything had been a blur since the skinheads arrived. Yes, I had to be somewhere. I remembered. A meeting. It was a very important meeting with very important people. And they couldn’t start until I arrived. The skinheads were stationed at every window and every door. Each time I tried to escape, they escorted me back inside— firmly, but gently. They weren’t rude about it, but they were strict. When I asked one skinhead if I could go to the meeting, he said no right off the bat. But the other skinhead said he would look into it. They were playing good cop, bad cop; I just wanted some answers. We don’t want any trouble, one skinhead said. Trouble? I asked. We don’t want any trouble, he said again. That was yesterday. I tried almost everything I could think of yesterday. Today was a blank wall. I had no ideas or scams. I looked out the window and saw the skinhead scratching his head. Stop scratching, I said. He looked up at me but didn’t say anything. I went to the bathroom to take a shower. I thought if I proceeded as if nothing was wrong, then nothing could go wrong or could prevent me from going where I had to go. When I turned on the shower taps, nothing came out. That’s strange, I thought and sat on the edge of the tub with my head in my hands. Then I flushed the toilet to see if there was a serious water problem, but the toilet wouldn’t flush. It was clear they had turned off my water supply. So here I was trapped in the house with no water and food supplies quickly dwindling. I didn’t panic though. I had to focus on the meeting, not on this minor inconvenience. I looked out my bedroom window and sure enough there was the skinhead scratching his scalp. Only, his scalp was now a bloody, pus-filled mess. He had blood on his hands and down the back of his neck. His scalp even had a stench that wafted up to my bedroom window. It smelled just like rotting eggs. I think your scalp is infected, I said. It’s a dry scalp, and it’s itchy, he said. You’re bleeding. He touched the back of his neck and then examined the blood on his fingers. I don’t have any water, I said. You don’t? he asked. I shook my head. I guess they’re getting impatient, he said. Did you put some water in reserve? No, I said. You should have. If you get me some water, I’ll get you some alcohol for your scalp. He thought about it and then said: I’ll see. I had to close the window because the stench from the skinhead’s scalp was making me dizzy. Since I couldn’t prepare for my meeting, and I had lost my appetite, and I couldn’t even make coffee because there was no water, I decided to take a nap. A few moments later, I woke up to a strange noise. It wasn’t a firecracker. It was somewhere between a howl and yelp. I wanted to look out my window but was afraid because I knew I was about to witness blood and guts. But I looked out the window anyway. On the ground, two skinheads I had never seen before were tackling the skinhead with the itchy scalp. He was yelping and howling, but from where I was, there was nothing I could do. I told them to stop, but they ignored me. Then one of them said, Mind your own business. This is my business, I said. One of the skinheads took a roll of gauze out of his pocket. He started wrapping the gauze around the head of the skinhead with the itchy scalp who was making the job difficult by fighting and kicking like a trapped animal. It’s for your own good, the skinheads hollered. Once they got the gauze tightly wrapped around the wound, they continued to hold him down. The skinhead with the gauze took a pair of red mittens from his other pocket and put them on the hands of the skinhead with the itchy scalp. They tied a thick rope around the mittens, to keep them in place, and then tied the rope to the skinhead’s ankles. After what seemed like forever, they got off the skinhead with the itchy scalp and walked away, whistling and passing a cigarette back and forth between them. The skinhead stood up. He was a little shaky and a little off balance. He tried to lift his hands above his head to itch his scalp, but couldn’t because of the rope tied to his ankles. He tried to kick at the rope and slip it off with his shoe, but it was no use— the rope was knotted tightly. The skinhead looked at me helplessly. And with tears in his eyes he said: Have you ever had a dry scalp and it’s itchy? I looked at the mittens and the rope they were tied with; it was a thick rope, the kind of rope used to lasso calves at the rodeo No, I said. I’ve never had a dry scalp.