For the next thirty minutes, cutting my hair became a secondary task. Occasionally, she would do some work, taking a small section off here and another small section off there. But her primary goal, it seemed, was to get to know me better. She often leaned against her counter, the clippers still buzzing through the air as she talked with her hands.
This type of unnecessary slowness usually pisses me off. But with Tracy, I loved it. Perhaps the pizza was still numbing the section of my brain that controls cynicism. But I think it was really her seemingly genuine interest in my admittedly boring life.
I explained to her that I had just moved to the area, no more than a week ago. We talked about the area. We talked about our mutual disdain for packing and unpacking. She told me about her plans to go to the shore for the weekend and how she and her girlfriends go to the shore every year for Memorial Day weekend. Then I told her about how I went to the shore every summer when I was a kid and about how I had lived at the beach for the past three years.
A bald man sat at a little island in the front entrance. “Hello!” he said.
“Hi, how are you?” I asked. The pizza was still settling in my stomach, but at this point I was on autopilot.
“Great! How are you?!” he asked. He was very, very friendly.
“I’d like a simple buzz?” I said, but kinda asked. As I did so, I raised my eyebrows* to signify that I was new at this whole unisex salon thing and I wasn’t sure if I was being completely ludicrous with my minimal request of a buzz cut, like Lindsay Lohan walking into a liquor store and asking only for tonic water.
*The last time they would be raised in their full glory.
“No problem!” he said, alleviating my concerns. “What’s your name?”
“Youngman,” I told him, craning my neck to his left and right and seeing no other customers in the store.
“Great! We will call you when it is your turn, Youngman!”
A little while back, I wrote about how I was offended when a hairdresser asked to “take care” of my eyebrows.
You can go back and read it, but if you decide not to, all you need to know is that, bushy as they may be, I sure as hell wasn’t about to let anyone trim them.
Until the other day.
You see, I finally moved into my new apartment. But I have not fully unpacked. One of the things that I have not been able to find yet are my hair clippers.
So to get a haircut, I once again needed to go and pay for it.
I figured that it would be a relatively quick task. I buzz my entire head the same length, so the haircut itself would take no more than five minutes.
In and out. Nothing complicated.