The Six Hats: Becoming Acquainted.
Six. The number of the devil. On Monday, when the week had barely begun to rear its evil little head, we met the six hats. Or rather, they met us. Please, do not wield your wand. This is not an SCA variant of Rowling’s Sorting Hat. Be gone Potterheads. Alright, I can forgive you for your innocent mistake. The Six Hats is a peculiar title, cloaked in mystery and the promise of dark, dark, dark magic. It makes you think of a travelling circus act, or a middle-aged “boy” band doused in Lynx parfum, or perhaps even a half dozen mutant Chuckle Brothers clones. Maybe not the last one.
Anyway, Marc put a halt to our gossiping tattle. Squashing our hat-related rumours, he stripped away their disguises one by one. The hats were not left naked, nor afraid, but rather they shone with hues that made you want to kiss the earth. Oh, what colours they were. Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, Black and White. The more we learnt about each one, the more they seemed to become real people. Transcending their woolly prisons, they sat beside us and draped a fuzzy arm around our shoulders. They felt almost tangible. What Marc was describing was a self-evaluation technique. A mode of scrutinising your own work.
Although, I couldn’t help but feel rude. How could I put on Red’s neat little fedora without meeting him first? Surely I couldn’t squeeze Yellow’s sunhat onto my bonce without knowing the poor fellow? Unarguably impolite. Absolutely, positively wrong.
So, I thought that maybe I would have a greater creative license to flaunt their headwear if I really got to know them. Listen to their story. Hold their hand as their lip quivers when they talk about their dad. Bring them into my world, even if that is just Brixton High Street. Let us begin.
A rational, neutral gentleman. He wears a white Elvis suit, bought second-hand, purely cost-effective. There aren’t enough statistics in fashion. His thin-rimmed glasses teeter on his nose, threatening to drown in the book below. He is a wallflower, contently so. His skin is tattooed with the words of others. He has ink poisoning. Introverted, inquisitive. His socks reach his calves and never fall down.
A bouncy, buoyant woman in a yellow raincoat. A people pleaser, she neglects herself. Her cheeks flush red if someone says something mean. She can’t handle criticism. She has eight arms. Some would say it’s a birth defect, but she sees it as a blessing. They allow her to hold hands with eight people at once.
Half-woman, half-plant. She probes in the soil with arms made of vines. She finds what others have overlooked. Her hair is matted, she keeps things in it. Her teeth are made of gold, they give her light when she is afraid of the dark.
A ruddy-faced man with a proud beer belly. It juts out to the left but when the wind changes it faces to the right. His brain is in his stomach, and he struggles with acid reflux. He feels things in his blood. So, he donates blood weekly. He wants others to feel things too.
A stern woman, she is long-sighted. An impulsive list-maker, her life is lived through bullet points.
Smudged by time, this old man has a thousand memories in his eyes. He snuffs out childhood innocence. An agoraphobic, his front door is locked. There are no sharp corners in his home. He does not shave.
Which one are you?