When you find yourself rolling on the floor too scared to face the mirror like this poor chap:
I went for my hair cut again today and, as always, it feels as though I'm a new person: I have a walk those incompetent wannabes on Make Me A Supermodel prays for and dreams about, I have a new attitude that makes men glance at me twice with glee and women stare daggers into my back, I have a new smile that reminds you of long hot baths and messy duvetcovers, I have a new twinkle in my eye that says don't touch what you can't afford.
I'm still me, but my hairdresser just "pimped" me a little, I guess :)
His name is William. I have known him since my first hair disaster which happened when I was sixteen and the box of coloring said light ash blonde which is supposed to look like this:
but ended up looking like this:
Not even my mother could look at me without cringing. My sister kindly suggested I go to her hairstylist which was according like a Rain man with scissors. When William saw me the first time, his words were: "The eighties are dead love, and so will your future sex life be if you walk around with that hair in public." I immediately fell in love with him.
William recently celebrated his fortieth birthday in Mauritius, but he doesn't look a day older than a well matured eighteen, I always tell him. He's been in a relationship with his partner for about fifteen years and it's the normal I-can't-live-with-you-but-I-also-can't-live-without-your-money-thing (the boyfriend being the broke one). William thinks that qualifies him as a relationship shrink. I nod in agreeance.
It really is like a therapy session when I go get my hair done. There is a very comfartable chair where I talk and talk and bitch and moan and cry and laugh while he listens and massages my head. Mostly he interrupts, but at least he can multi task, so I don't really have a problem with that.
Interrupting helps him get perspective on the situation, he says, and because I talk so much, he has to stop me every now and again to give advice before he forgets what he was going to say. That's his usual excuse. Sometimes he just interrupts me by playing a song that usually sums up his answer in a nutshell.
Once he played me I still haven't found what I'm looking for by U2 when I was complaining about my relationships only lasting two to three weeks; there was also the time he played me Prozac by Vanilla Ice when I asked him what makes people stay together for longer than fifteen years and then there was the time of my bad break up with that dickhead during varsity when William played me Somebody kill me please by Adam Sandler which he said was what he wanted to do the whole time whilst listening to the soppy story. He can be so sensitive, that William.
I've never walked into his salon with a photo or request because he just always shoots down the idea and chucks away the photo. So I complained about it the one time: he pretended to listen and then went ahead and did his own thing anyway.
William seems tough, but he's actually a real oyster with a beautiful pearl on the inside. He had a bad, bad childhood. His father was as loving to his sons in the same way Ted Bundy was towards woman. His mother passed away when he was still very young. William doesn't like to talk about his past much, but what he always mentions when he brings it up is the fact that his mother's death was something he could never get over.
"I think I would've turned out differently if she had stayed alive for long enough. When I think of her I can't breath and I want to turn around and die. What do you say, are we sharing a Valium?"
He started working when he was thirteen and dropped out of school when he was fifteen to go to the "big city" which is Johannesburg (around here anything bigger than a farm is considered the "big city"). I still remember when I was thirteen I was consumed by drooling over Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing and my main concern was what shoes went with what outfit (and I still have that concern today). But I can't imagine how hard it must have been for a young boy to survive on the streets in South Africa and support himself when he doesn't even have a fistful of chest hair yet.
William did and he made it and he has never looked back since.
When he's all done with my hair he stands back, folds his arms and says with a hint of a smile on his lovely face:
"You know, I think I like the girl staring back at me in that mirror. You have her name and number by any chance?"
Now I know he's gay and I know he's my friend, but it still feels damn good to get a compliment from a hot guy with a tight ass like him anyway.
And I walk out of the salon feeling like I deserve only the best and that I really shouldn't settle for anything less. Until the next day when I have to do that hair myself and William gets an anonymous pain in the ass.
(The song that comes to mind here is Reflections by Christina Aguilera: Who is that girl I see staring straight back at me ... )