Barbaric Snippet

I’ve had my hair cut. Sorry to spoil the big reveal but I thought I’d take the medium to proclaim this publically. Walk-in barbers; contemplative places don’t you think? Give you time to reflect, one might say- thou turnst mine eyes into my very soul/and I see there such black and grained spots. Yes, a place where conversation is inevitably necessitated but where eye-contact is quite pragmatically eliminated to the occasional upward glance- this suits me fine.

There was a time I hated all of this of course. The indecision, the trauma, the humiliation – connotations I suppose of films with prison camps. That dreadful itchy nose which overcomes it seems all other thoughts when on that raised black throne. That stray hair which can’t be brushed away by hands bound underneath my tight-collared frontal cape.

Now I seem to rather like the notion. Yes, there’s still the awkwardness upon the leather couch. The location of the subwoofer has always irked me – I’ve found the satellites but am yet to spy precisely where the deep bass tones are emanating from. I’m always conscious of the intimate proximity that’s forced upon us on the intermediary seating. However, this is amended by the attention afforded when one ascends tentatively from the leathern lows to lofty swivelled heights.

I’ve realised it’s quite hard to report back from these excursions, as I do so now, as to the precise identity of the one who wields the blades. Where I could say: the blonde one; the brunette; the redhead, I’ve found these traits to be indefinitely variable with the given profession.

I’d say my current cranial architecture was a collaborative project. I’ve gone to these things more open to suggestion recently, more malleable, increasingly willing to be moulded, perhaps?

To be fair I’m sure this verbal parry is distant from genuine interest. It’s an artificial construct. I look on it a kind of game. The sterile sofa, staring straight ahead, the stereo seems capable of solely a single station. Shifty males; conscious not to reveal any hint of intent; detail that would shatter their steely exterior. I watch them as they rise and start to smile, their moodiness dissolved within that instant and I listen and I learn and wait my turn.

I’m called and now I know that I must take the stage. It’s odd how these things seem to catalyse revelatory truths. I once heard a man confess his Mormon heritage upon this chair. His friend of many years appeared oblivious to this and he and I shared in the tale of his baptismal swimming pool immersion.

And so I sit as Samson’s strength is sapped and spill out tails of snakes and lizards seen in Sutherland. She giggles at my sides and says, “You’ve got white bits here.” I am shocked for a fraction from fear I’m going grey prematurely. Possibly sensing my anxiety she quickly amends her statement with, “tan-lines.” Yes, I’ve been on the final Duke of Edinburgh Silver expedition in Caithness and got myself a generous lathering of springtime sun.

About alasdairflett

German & English Literature graduate. From Orkney. Interested in alternative and indie music, language, writing and politics.
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