My hair guy maintains a chair in a salon in the Westchester complex in Northwest DC.
He needs to talk and I need to listen while he does his work. This most recent encounter took place in the first half of the month on a Friday as usual, five weeks or so since our last encounter. He bustles around, he challenges the norms of his profession. I help with the foil squares that contain a poison (dye) to give me the low lights disguising more or less the lethal white strands of hair. "You don't want to touch it. You can't deny its danger." Which is why his wife never tried and instead cuts her white hair short. Today's conversation went from the wife who took away his motorcycle long ago after she found their 14-year-old had made a key and went off on a wild ride. She did it when her husband was away. 'I was mad at her for about a day but what could I do." He never bought another one. He is a wonderful guitar player and a cancer survivor now down to138 pounds so he can at least can get back to running..if he dares.
Our conversation: He tells me about time he had his long dark shoulder length locks cut by hair product emissary Paul Mitchell; how today's parents are not doing their job; how he always stands up when an 'elder person' comes into the Metro (or a room I suppose); he banters with other clients coming and going and a colleague who has the chair next to his in this low ceilinged outpost. "You've got to drink water, drink eight glasses a day," he implores. He says this is necessary especially for older people, for health in general.
And he sweetly reassures me that I need not worry about my ever increasing age, which continues to baffle me - why so well so long. "Because you are getting god's reward for being such a good mother when you were younger."
Always a sermon and then a pat on the back.