Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NaPoWriMo #13: haircut

I'm not caught up yet, but at least I'm not getting any further behind.

Today I got inspired when I went to the local beauty school to get my hair done. I've had hair issues ever since a few months after Audrey was born and my hair started to fall out, grow back in short wispy tufts, then fall out some more, and grow back in more weird wisps.

At first I thought getting an expensive salon cut would be the solution. Not so much. I liked the stylist but the cut was just ho-hum and way overpriced. Last time, which was about six months ago, I decided to go to Supercuts, where I got a much better cut for less than a third of what I paid at the chichi salon. Lately, however, I've been feeling exceptionally cheap, and the beauty school costs half as much Supercuts. To get a poem, too, made it an absolute bargain!

People-watching at the Beauty School

As I push down the brass lever handle
and swing the door open
I can see they’ve painted since
last time I came for a trim
walls washed in pale key lime
with a darker shade of apple trim
windows on the east wall
let in late afternoon light
refracted and reflected at each
of a dozen mirrored stations
I’m intoxicated by deliciously overpriced
shampoos, conditioners, styling products
gleaming garish in slick tubes and bottles
nail polishes winking cherry and watermelon
but tastiest by far is the luxury
of a brief hour by myself eavesdropping
watching someone else’s drama playing out
on this small-town beauty school stage

act one: mom with her light green contacts
over dark brown eyes
is at the register as I walk in
asking cordial but concerned
when can we come back
and have this reversed?
I can see from across the room
her teenage daughter in faded jeans and t-shirt
with a friend or maybe big sister
hovering comforting consoling
her roots are coffee brown while tragically
the length of her tresses are a honey blonde

act two: as Karen takes me to her station
we pass a young boy of seven or eight
in a chair extended to its full height
after my shampoo I watch him
straining to sit up straight and still
his dad looks on telling him jokes
asking him about school and friends
twisting his rough hands around
a baseball cap while he watches his son
trying to not fidget or fuss as the stylist
a plump motherly brunette
in a black apron and pink necklace
tickles him with her clippers
trimming close hairs on his nape
his crisp tapered cut almost done

act three: halfway through my cut I notice
a twenty-something guy
husky in madras shirt and wrinkled khakis
ambling in through the front door
checking in at the counter
following a willowy blonde stylist
and finally settling into the chair
across and one seat down from me
his hair curls in enviable if unruly waves
down over his shoulders across his face
mutton chops and full beard
and I wonder will she cut it short? shave him?

I’m poised on the edge of my adjustable vinyl seat
but the efficient and methodical Karen
finishes my cut and I never find out.

1 comment:

aubrey said...

ooh so interesting. it made me want to know what happened to all of those people. loved it!