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The Stranger in the Chair

'Snip. My eyes squeezed shut. The person in the mirror had been staring at the stranger in the chair. Pieces of floor were scattered among locks of hair.'


The salon was filled with the heady scent of perfumed gels and mousses which were meant to curl, scrunch, style, mold, and bend the hair to one’s will. Piles of various magazines were scattered on tables around the room. Twenty minutes early to my appointment, I had ignored the “children’s” magazines and reached instead for one with a teen idol displayed on the cover. I flipped to a random page and pretended to read while actually observing the room around me. I never thought that salons would be so bright and new. Colorful hair products and styling tools lined countless shelves located above and below massive mirrors. Everything in the barber shop looked shiny and new; even the scissors used again and again gleamed as they went to work trimming, slicing, and snipping away.


'The scissors flashed as they severed the strands that had held countless bows and ribbons, and had lived through more than a few “dress-ups.” A single tear and numerous years accompanied the chunk of hair as it fell.'


I looked down at the magazine article to which I had flipped. Ouch! Yet again, I’d sat on my long braids and then painfully yanked them when I moved my head. I grimaced. Soon I would have to worry about that no longer. The hair that I had grown and groomed over the years just had to go. I wondered why it took me so long to realize how annoying it was, and just how much I needed to change my look. Rolling my eyes, I turned the page.


'In mere seconds, it was over. She noticed the absence of the weight that the old hair had carried, and her new haircut radiated maturity. She saw the corners of her mouth turn up slightly in response. Snip, and it was over. Pieces of floor were scattered among tears and years and locks of hair. The person in the mirror began to familiarize herself with the stranger in the chair.'




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