Tuesday, 11 December 2012

We (this time, we being the two of us, not the many of me) were walking down the road. We passed by a hair-salon. I looked inside, I walked back, I stopped, I said:

"I need a haircut."

Inside, sat down with the sprawling languidity of a subject of a Degas study on pleather sofas, or pouting, propped up on swinging chairs before great mirrors touching their geisha-paints, standing up at corners having gossip sessions, in tiny orange shorts and tops that would have been corsets had they only the laces, a multitude of Saigon's finest-looking girls waited for a customer.

The manager came up to me, a long Modigliani figure, so tall I felt like I was at the same level with her hips, her hair up like the mane on a general's helmet.

"I need a haircut," I said.

She showed me inside, and I'm falling in love left, right and center, my eyes can't even focus on anybody, but the crowd parts before me (to use a much-used, somewhat abused image) like the seas before old Moses. The girl with the impossible green eyes steps back, and the short girl who reminds us of somebody else, and the angel from an Opium dream, they all move back and we are pressed on to where an empty chair awaits us and it starts to feel like the walk to the gallows.

I am pushed down onto the seat. I swing it around from side to side looking for somebody, anybody to step forward.

A huge mammoth of a man, looking like a mutineering cook in a Pirate ship or a great gladiator,  walks out, putting on a belt with scissors and blades that do nothing to make him look less threatening. He walks up to me through the parted crowd.

"I need a haircut," I try to say, but the words get all caught up in the parched bits of my throat.

Let us just say that the consequences of that mistake, probably well-deserved, may require an eletric clipper.

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