What $55 Can Buy

by Silvi Alcivar

Today's image: a stranger's hands lifting and cutting pieces of familiar hair until what frames my face in the mirror looks styled, defined. "Oh, mmm hmm, yes," stylist Catherine says, her purple loopy earrings shaking with her head, "this is cute." I think, It's San Francisco mod. She says, "Oh, yes, so cute." I think, It's a fancy mullet I've paid too much for. When I leave Catherine, without a tip, I walk past hipsters and homeless, wondering how you avoid being like everyone else when everyone else is trying to avoid being like you too.


Silvi Alcivar is a graduate of Penn State's MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing. She now lives in San Francisco, and recently discovered she loves the ocean as much as trees. ("If only," she sighs to herself, looking out at the sea, "I could wrap my arms around thee.")