Marina Rubin


from the book Stealing Cherries, published by Manic D Press (San Francisco: 2013),
with permission of author and publisher

Ethical Conduct by Ralle

i found the perfect barber in the city, quick with the scissors, kind with the blow dryer, every eight weeks he trimmed my hair for a measly sixteen dollars. i enjoyed the simplicity of his old-country shop, the lack of fancy flower arrangements, the absence of Farrah Fawcett posters. one evening washing my hair in the basin, he begged for my help in a delicate private matter – he had a son who was nineteen years old and awfully shy with the opposite sex and unlearned in the ways of love and so perhaps an experienced woman like me could teach the boy a few things. i glanced in the mirror, examined my hair, eyebrows, earrings, looking for signs that could make the little Greek barber think i was some kind of mrs. Robinson or worse, Goldie Cocks. after that night i let other men in the city cut my hair, they were all terribly gay and had no virgin sons, and insisted on being called hair consultants and charged hundreds of dollars for a simple trim, and a complimentary frappuccino.


About the writer:
Marina Rubin’s work has appeared in over eighty magazines and anthologies, including Dos Passos, 13th Warrior Review, 5AM, Fiction on the Web, Westchester Review, Coal City, Gravel, Newfound, Lillith, Skidrow Penthouse, and The Worcester Review. Rubin is an associate editor of Mudfish and a 2013 recipient of COJECO Blueprint Fellowship. Her book of flash fiction Stealing Cherries (Manic D Press) received an Honorable Mention on Heeb Magazine’s list of Best Books of 2014. Her short story “Good People Make Bad Couples” was shortlisted for the 2019 Writers’ HQ Flash Fiction Prize, and her upcoming short-story collection Snuffbox has just won an honorable mention for the 2020 Miami Book Fair Emerging Writer Fellowship. In addition to writing, Marina Rubin is an avid mountaineer, having summited Kilimanjaro, made it to Everest Base Camp, completed Tour du Mont Blanc and Camino de Santiago. She lives in Brooklyn.

Image: Ethical Conduct by Rallé (1949- ). Oil on board. No size specified. 1996. By free license.