I am seriously finished with my hair dresser. I've said it before, but last time's cut was the last straw. The cut and color before that should have been my swan song, but I am obviously a glutton for punishment.
As Dave Barry says, I am not making this up, and I am being kind and leaving out many details. A friend recommended him several years ago -- her hair always looks fabulous. Then again, she has great hair -- thick and lustrous. I could style it and it would look good. It was the old "wow -- Halle Berry wears this lipstick and I'm going to look like her if I buy it!" I was really fond of him, and over several years I followed him from his first dive to a rather posh salon (which he said he left because he said the owners got uppity), to a real dump and then to his apartment.
When I made the appointment, he asked me to stop by Sally's and buy my own hair color because someone had stolen his car - for the second time. He didn't offer to pay for it and since I know he needs money I didn't ask and just paid my regular price plus a generous tip. My appointment was for 10:30 a.m., which is when his 10 a.m. appointment showed up. He immediately began clipping away -- on her hair. I was pissed at both of them, until she said "I'm sorry I was late, but I had to stop by the bank when you told me you needed me to pay in cash."
While he was trimming her hair, I asked to use his restroom -- many of my fans know that my bladder is approximately half the size of a split pea. The toilet was clogged with poop and there was no toilet paper. I'd like to say that I was able to hold it, but I actually peed, used a paper towel to clean my nether regions and then had to deposit the paper towel in the waste basket in the kitchen, pretending nothing was out of the ordinary.
I had the vapors by this time. He was talking about the woman downstairs who had gone missing -- she was a bit off and had been talking about suicide. Her apartment door was open, so he and his stable neighbor had gone to look for her. (This neighbor had gotten totally toasted one evening and had broken three panes of glass in his door when she came down to chat and he didn't answer the door immediately.) He described trash and clothing and how they poked around on her bed with something, presumably looking for her corpse, but came up empty.
The woman getting her hair cut suddenly leaped out of her chair and said that she needed to retrieve her purse from the floor because she spied a huge roach who was obviously looking for her wallet. She said it as one might say "I need to grab a tissue from my purse."
Why didn't I leave then? I've asked myself that countless times, but not as many as I've asked myself why I went back.
He used to use fancy pieces of pre-cut foil when he applied color to my hair, and then moved to chopped up bits of generic foil; then he stopped using it altogether. I didn't know whey he used it in the first place, so was not alarmed, but I did notice that he wasn't as meticulous as he'd been in the past. I had to bend over the kitchen sink while he rinsed out the color and washed my hair. (I'm paying what for this?) As I sat down for my cut, he goes back to the story about the missing neighbor, telling me how the place downstairs was so filthy and disgusting that roaches had been coming up through the drain by the hundreds. The drain over which I'd just had my head. A shiver literally went up my spine, but that totally fucking crazy part of me stayed put.
My hair was longer then, and I wore it mostly clipped back because it's very thin and fine and I've never known how to fix it. There are few things more pathetic than those with really thin hair who obviously imagine it cascading down their backs, when in reality it looks like a ratty fur stole with huge hunks that went missing sometime around the second World War. However, I liked wearing it down the one day when he cut it because he put stuff on it and straightened it and it looked decent. This time, I kid you not, I came out looking like an aging Prince Valiant with margarine-colored hair.
After the haircut, he asked me to take him to EZ Mart and back, where he got one of those giant cans of beer, two packs of smokes and a lottery ticket. (I also bought a lottery ticket and lost).
So what was I thinking a few Saturdays ago when I got a text from him, telling him he was doing hair that day. I was thinking that he really needs the money, I really need a haircut and I'd give him ONE more chance. I don't know whether it was because he had stopped smoking, but his hands were shaking as he deposited some color on my hair -- he didn't even pull out strands of it, just randomly slapped about my head with a brush. Probably his toothbrush. Then I had to bend over the sink while he put a drop of shampoo on my head and immediately rinsed it, handed me a nasty-looking towel, and then whacked at my hair really quickly. He used a blow dryer less carefully than you'd use on your dog -- and -- gasp -- not a bit of product.
Then he asked me to take him to EZ Mart; a friend was picking him up there. I was in and out of there faster than Tiger Woods (wink, wink, nod, nod -- see the most recent Vanity Fair if you are puzzled). I wanted a pixie; I looked like a military recruit (not that there's anything wrong with that) with spots of yellow and orange in my hair and my gray roots standing proudly at attention. As you can see in the photo above, I fashioned a hat for myself. Out of clay. It's heavy and it gives me a headache, but it does the trick -- no one even notices my hair.