Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


Steve was waiting in baggage claim at SFO, wondering if he shouldn’t have taken a suitcase at all. He would have saved twenty dollars and not had to wait with the pushy, impatient crowds. He was sure that he had clothes still in the closet at the house on Russian Hill, his abode for so many years before the separation and his move back to Cleveland.

He was nervous to see her. They had a lot to discuss. He tried to calm himself by thinking of the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge and the joy of the cable cars, the ones he used to love listening to, as they rolled down the tracks in the distance, as he lay in bed with her at night.

She entered the terminal, walking through he revolving door. Steve’s head was spinning like the door. She had changed her hair… to red! While part of him was thrilled to see her, the other part was annoyed.

He thought to himself, “Red hair? Do we really need more excitement in our lives? Red is the color of fire and danger and communist governments.”

They kissed. On the cheeks.

“How do you like the hair?” she asked.

There was trouble brewing already. If Steve answered honestly, there was trouble with her. If Steve said he loved it, there was trouble within his soul for being dishonest.



  1. Red is my favorite color!

  2. nice beginning, but I want the next scene!

  3. I’ve considered dyeing my hair red on occasion, and he’s always said that it would make him feel too Oedipal – his mother is a redhead.

  4. This why long-term relationships are built on silences, not all of them comfortable.

    Love is always dangerous. Love is the MOST dangerous thing.

  5. “He” = my husband. That’s a really great story – what happens next?

  6. I am a red head. And I am not a communist.Just wanted to put that out there.

    Keep going…I want more.

  7. Me too, I want more… you can’t just stop here!!!

  8. Obviously, this guy is new to relationships. We all know lying is the only option.

  9. Okay Steve, the safest thing to say is “wow, what a change!” then immediately compliment an article of her clothing or something that you do like. If she brings it up again, you say something innocuous like “it reminds me of French toast for some reason. Isn’t that weird?”

  10. I was born ginger and as I have ripened, the brightness has darkened. Red is great – it is the colour of passion and life and the best lipstick for collars.

    Go with the red – at least you won’t be bored;)

  11. It’s possible that I have a red hair fetish [not that anyone cares].

    I want Steve to like her hair. But more than that, I want her to be a natural redhead.

  12. Love is the MOST dangerous thing.
    I wrote about a post once about love was like a terrorist.

  13. I want to know more!

  14. Sigh. My soul has absolutely no trouble with lying. Steve is clearly a goody, goody that needs a stiff drink and to dye his pubes purple. That’s why he had to move back to Cleveland.

  15. Just get a divorce, already. And move on to a nice American Jewish brunette, with a curvy figure and a load of patience for neurotic men.

  16. First of all, Jane, this is a fictional story about some guy named Steve, not me. Do I live in Cleveland? I have never been to Cleveland!

    And that description of the woman sounds like YOU!

  17. UH OH. Looking forward to the next scene where Steve (who looks an awful lot like Clive Owen) is seen running the hills of SF armed with an AK 47 and trail of Reds on his tail. The excitement! I can barely take it.

  18. I can’t wait to find out if Steve asks if the carpet matches the drapes!

  19. Steve’s going to be pissed when he finds that red hair color bleeds all over the bath towels. Gross!

    Welcome to California Neil! Ahem Steve, I meant Steve.

  20. Embrace change, Steve. Embrace it.

  21. I don’t even have a good comment. I’m still laughing at all those before mine!

    Happy New Year Neil!

  22. Do they live in River City?


  23. Nice. I love it when you really write. Happy New Year!

  24. Sigh – never date someone from Russian Hill. Red hair on a Russian Hill girl is like a Jager-chaser after some Jim Beam. Cheers.

  25. do you know the Dylan song, Tangled up in Blue? it sounds like maybe you should. it’s a can’t quite quit story, a beautiful song. and…for Steve’s next encounter…a line that reads “wondering if she’d changed at all, if her hair was still red.”


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