I had a Toulouse-Saturday planned and instead of going at 2 like I wanted, I decided to lay in couch and read. Finally I got up, showered, shaved and put this creme (cream? crème? doesn't it have to have milk in it to be called cream or something?) on my face, for dryness. I'm putting on my jacket and brushing my teeth, looking at myself in the mirror and am really impressed with myself. My hair is mildly wet and pulled behind my ears (I do that now, I pull it behind my ears, Rae's suggestion, and every time I do the motion I think of Wayne Campbell). My face is creamy- well, not creamy, but moisturized and glowing. I have this moist, healthy look all about me. I feel good.
I walked toward the train station and bought a baguette to accompany the Emmental (aka Swiss) cheese I brought. And just as I finished it I passed the Rive Gauche Coiff'Homme hair salon. I'd been considering getting my hair cut there as it's not too close to downtown and probably cheaper. (I've been meaning to get a haircut since I put it on my google to do list on September 8.) I walked in and the man smoking and reading a magazine stood up. I said hi and told him I'd like him to cut my hair. "Basically, what I do is grow my hair for six months and then cut it. I want it like this, but shorter. But not too short." He nodded, understood and went to a corner to put out his cigarette.
He returned and showed me to my seat and I put on the sheet-thing, but this one had sleeves! (It made me think how much easier clothes would be if they were just sheets with sleeves. Maybe with magnets on the back. So you pick up your sheet-shirt and then do a little hip-swinging motion to bring one edge close to the other to make the magnets do their thing. Make this already!) He brought over a sink, put on his old, leather stylist's utility belt and washed my hair with just his left hand.
He asked me where I'm from, what I do, how I like teaching, etc. We talked for 5 minutes and then returned to the normal silence I enjoy while getting a haircut. It really bothered me that he was only using one hand while washing and conditioning my hair. At first I thought he was showing off, because he was kind of massaging my head too- and doing a good job! But once he got to cutting I could smell his cigarettey right hand as his scissors came close to my nose.
This was quite the cut, a real process. Shampoo, conditioner, very thorough combing and brushing, cutting the ends by pulling straight up, pulling my hair from one side of my head to the other and cutting over there (to make layers?), using a straight razor on the back of my neck and around my ears, making elaborate, quick snips around my sideburns. He then asked how I liked it and I said it was good, but wanted a little more cut off from the back?
"Yes, err, the bottom."
"But if I cut it more while it's wet it won't look right when it's dry. You understand?"
"Yes, that is logical. I understand. I just don't want the style of the English players of football. You know? In English we name it after a fish. A mullet." [I make a swimming fish gesture at the back of my head]
"Oh, the Coupe à la Waddle?"
"I do not understand."
"Football? English player Chris Waddle. He played for Marseille."
"Okay. Not that."
"You don't worry."
He then pulled out a device that I thought was the Suck Kut, but was just a blow-dryer with a narrow vent. He blow-dried my hair very closely and incrementally and brushed it out. I haven't used a blow-dryer in ten years. I looked like a kid I rode the bus with in elementary, John Kuenzer. He claimed he was Tommy the Green/White Ranger's cousin. He had an enormous head with hair just heaped on, begging for a balloon to stick to it. His hair was nice- not like a mop or all staticky- but was so big. That was my hair. He carefully tried to make a part, but there was nothing left to be done. Without the ample supply of grease and moisture, my hair was doomed to be full-bodied and laughable. He smiled and showed me the back with a mirror.
"Yes, thank you. This is very good. Perfect. Thank you."
"Good. My pleasure. That'll be 20 euros."
"Oh, you don't take the bank card? I have the need for an ATM."
"That's not grave. There's one around the corner."
I returned with the money and he offered me a pen or a lighter. I took a lighter, like an adult version of a "You didn't even cry!" lollipop, and went on my way, thinking of how I could finally light the candles Rae sent me.
Forgotten conclusion statement: He did end up giving me a bit of a Waddle coupe. Whatever I used to have going for me with side curls or whatever is gone, but the curls in the back remain and they remain too long. They stick out and dangle. I do not like my haircut, Sam I Am. And I rarely do. I'm never pleased with what the person has done and always feel guilty for not clearly communicating that at first. I allow myself one "well, could you..." statement and if they still mess up, whatever, I'm out. I'll still say I like it / it's perfect (I say "perfect" in French a lot, for some reason).
By the way have I ever talked about how those heavy industrial equipment companies put cherry pickers on the highway side of their compound and raise them up and to me it looks like they're all giving a toast?