11:08 pm

Hair Supply

Haircuts are an admission of defeat. Your hair is too long. You can't trim the bangs yourself. It's starting to look like a wild animal has taken up nesting in the thing on top of your head. People ask you if you're going to an 80's reunion party. The beginnings of a mullet are reaching their greasy tendrils down the back of your neck; you've started listening to Air Supply again and cannot stop.


You know it's time. You don't want to give up, but you have to. It all has to end someday. You clutch the phone with a trembling hand as you make an appointment. Your voice drips with defeat. 

"Y-yes. Monday at 12 is good. Thanks."


You hang up the phone. Bury your face in your hands. The end is near.

It's Monday. The hairdresser cheerfully asks if you need a wash. No, lady, c'mon, do I look that dirty? Oh God, maybe I do look that dirty.

"No thanks," you reply, smiling like the weak, quivering lump of failure you are.

Why are they always so cheerful? And sincere? They're not Stepford Wives, but still, you suspect. And they have scissors oh so close to your neck. And your ears! Have they ever cut off someone's ear intentionally? Have they ever done it accidentally? You keep in mind to google that when you get home.

Snip go the scissors as they cut the first lock. "Goodbye, old friend" you whisper mentally. The hairdresser gives you a funny look in the mirror. Maybe you said that out loud.

And now she thinks you're the serial killer. Good going. She still tries to make conversation, though, as they all seem contractually required to do. The same old "So... where do you work"s and "Where do you live"s spoken through chewing gum you've heard a hundred times before. Somehow, with all that practice, you still manage to say something awkward. Maybe you were too busy trying not to stare at them in the mirror, or at least not enough for them to notice.

Oh. They noticed.

You fidget, trying to distract yourself. Wishing you could mind control your phone and do anything to pass this hour-long stretch of 15 minutes. Unfortunately, telekinesis hasn't been invented yet.

So you sit in silent shame as your hard work falls to the floor. It's going to be short; otherwise there's no point going to the hairdresser, is there? But logic has no place in your grief-stricken mind. You're going to have to grow it all out again. For a few painful weeks, you'll be in the no man's land that lies between "military draft/special ed student" and "respectable, professional individual." 

And yet, as you stand up from the comfy 50's lounge chair that seems to exist in every hairdresser, you look at yourself in the mirror and see a new person. A brave, determined person. Someone who could do something with their life. Someone who could be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a movie star--okay, probably not a movie star--or an astronaut, or...

Or someone who could hurry up and pay. That's fine, too.

As you leave the hairdresser's, you feel naked. You can feel the wind on your scalp. You thought that thing was buried forever. At the same time, you feel free. Free of that one hair that kept tickling your neck and no matter how hard you tried, you could never find. Free of the emotional baggage of thinking the elderly are judging you. You like jazz, too, you swear. You're not one of them damn rebel kids, or foreigners, or whoever the octogenarians of today direct their ire to. You're a responsible member of fuckin' society; that's why your entire existence depends upon caffeine to make up for your grossly maladjusted sleep schedule. You go file that report, tiger. File it like a motherfucker.

Yay! I made it through a common social situation! Only infinity more to go!

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