Brownish Green

27 Aug

“Do you ever accidentally snip your fingers?” he said, watching her work as she reshaped his profile, re-portioned his confidence, cut off five or six inches of raggedy ambiguousness. Hazel was giving the final touches to the ends, to complete her trademark look: a cut that doesn’t look like a haircut but gets whole-person compliments.

“On rare occasions,” she said with a final snip.  As the last lock of hair fell to the ground she glanced down to see tendrils of brown shaggy hair gone from his head, onto the linoleum, which, by the way, they didn’t make anymore and which was peeling at a few strategic spots.  No one would ever know the level of skill that went into her avoiding the little pitfalls and stubs the floor’s uneven surface represented because her feet had memorized where the obstacles of weathering were.

And as she blew his hair dry her frustrations would diffuse to resignation, but not before her thoughts did an extra lap around the inner-circle of reason, as if a new answer would present itself: The landlord said corporate would be replacing the floor last month and six months prior to that, and last year, and when she first mentioned it when she moved in what had it been? Five years now?  The foot traffic was better at the mall, but the overhead paid was the sense of existential angst that came from trying to get help from an entity that was so voluminous it was a non- entity: a corporation, now a established legally as a person; the sold soul had no awareness of allegiance to anything but itself.

“There you go!” she said, giving him the hand mirror and turning the chair so he could check the back.  “How do you like it?”

“It’s great!” he said, “Short,” he looked up at her, “But it’s better, isn’t it?”

“You look approachable,” she said, “And now I can see those hazel eyes.”

“Hey, ‘hazel,'” he said, “I always called them brownish green.  Now I can say, ‘Hazel told me they were hazel.'”

“That you can,” she said smiling.

She took off the smock and he got up, shaking out his head and brushing a few imaginary hairs off his shirt.  She handed him the bill, and off he went to the front desk to pay.

He forgot to tip.

“Walk in’s,” she muttered watching after him as he disappeared into Abercrombie and Fitch, “Sunuvabitch.”


One Response to “Brownish Green”

  1. ingridf September 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Awesome… love the line: “a cut that doesn’t look like a haircut but gets whole-person compliments.”

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