The person who cuts your hair falls right behind immediate family and romantic partners in levels of importance. They are masters of your fate. A good one will make you look better than you actually do, cutting your hair so as to draw people’s attention away from your giant forehead or mismatched ears. A hack will leave you looking like someone who just lost a fight to a lawnmower with dull blades.
I’ve been in Bowling Green for a month, and the last time I had a pair of blades touch my hair was when I interviewed for the job. It was time to do something about it. On one of my coworkers recommendations, I tried a salon on the other side of town. Carrie was finishing the last of her Marlboro Menthol when I showed up. It was just the two of us in the shop. I was the last client of the day. I might of gotten in four or five sentences, the rest of the conversation was filled with Carrie lamenting about her 19 year-old-son drinking himself stupid at college, her love of college basketball, and her recent divorce. The usual roll of barber/bartender/priest was reversed. Since I listen to people talk all day, I figured why not one more sorry soul.
She finished with the job and told me it would be 17 dollars.
“Do you take plastic?”
Carrie directed me to the nearest ATM and I promised to be quick. I had considered just leaving, but she did a good enough job that I want to go back, so I rushed to the ATM and back. I walked in to her putting on a hoodie. She apologized then asked if she had given me a business card.
“Here you go, I’ll put my cell on there. If you need anything, just give me a call.”
With that she gave me a hug, I gave her a 20, and left, confidant I could of had a taste of divorcee. But who wants to have the taste of regret, desperation and cigarettes on their breath? And, let’s admit it, Carrie was well past her prime. She was past being past her prime. She was on a downward slope, literally and metaphorically.