Joshua Bronaugh
"What's to blame for the recent dishevelment?" you may ask if you have seen me lately.  Or the spots that seem to keep migrating counterclockwise around my face?  Or the dark, saggy, panda eyes?  The death-like pallor that belies the hours upon hours in the barn or arena and the cuts on my hands and arms that never heal but increase in redness and raggedness.  Incessant hangnails and difficulty parting my hair in a straight line.  Can one truly blame diet, exercise, lack of sleep?  Can one shake one's fist at the hands on the clock as they continue to turn, turn, turn without any regard for the tasks of the day, all of the ones that we need to fit in before the new day rises?

I stare accusingly at my dead and silent blow dryer, cooling on the counter top, having breathed its final huff of warm air on Sunday night.  It finally fell to the futility of having to whip my wet hair around my face once more.  I place all of my blame in that faulty piece of equipment which forces me to sleep, wet head and all, shivering in the cold (no, it's not that warm in Texas yet) and makes me dream of seals and icebergs.  I give a peeved glance at my straightener, but it's really not its fault.  Its job is to straighten, not to dry or volumize.  Clunk! goes the blow dryer, into the garbage bin.  And into the trash goes all of my blame as well.

To an outside observer, the force with which I hurl it in may even suggest that I am the one who has blown the fuse.