(and no, I won’t be imitating this particular behavior of my main character, lol)
I strolled into Yvette’s shop, back straight and head held high. It was the first time in months I had shown up at the shop in broad daylight, during business hours with a scarf on my head.
I imagined the stylists making note but I wasn’t concerned.
Settled into Yvette’s chair, I pulled the scarf off. Sprigs and batches of hair stood on varying locations around my head.
“Okay, so what’s the plan for tomorrow’s big reveal?”
She turned me slowly in the chair, getting the vision of what she was going to create today.
I interrupted her creative musings, “I want you to shave it all off.”
The chair came to a rather abrupt stop. She shook her head as if to clear it, then looked at me in the reflection of the mirror. The look on her face? Priceless.
“I’m sorry, did you just say, ‘shave’?”
“As in, no more hair.”
“You got it.”
“Yes, Yvette. Shave it.”
“All of it?”
“Uh…yeah, Vette. All of it. As in gone. Cue ball, with exposed scalp all over my head. I’m making my debut as the reclusive, never before seen Desire Reid, better known as Chari Sayles, erotic horror author extraordinaire. At a comic convention no less. I want to do the grand entrance thing. I’ve got it all planned out…”
I could tell she hadn’t gotten past the word ‘shave’. Her eyes held the glassy stare of one who is in deep shock after having witnessed a terrible event.
“Earth to Yvette. Did you hear me? It’s going to be great!”
“But seriously, you want me to take all the hair off your head?”
“You haven’t heard a word I’ve said have you?”
“No, not really. Everything after ‘shave it all off’’ is a bit of a jumble.”
“You’re always telling me it’s about what’s inside and how I feel about myself. You’re the one with the pep talks; how my hair does not define who I am as a person; how my looks don’t make me any more or less worthy. Well, I finally believe you’re right. No more fake name, fake hair, or fake attitude. Sure, folks are going to laugh and make fun, but those are the kinds of people I didn’t want to be bothered with in the first place.”
“You know, I can appreciate all of that and I’m happy to hear you finally admitting it. But sweetie, we’re talking BALD. If we shave it, there won’t be anything for me to attach a weave to should you find yourself wanting to change up. I just want you to be sure this is what you want. I mean, BALD. That’s pretty drastic. Now, I could give you a really close cut?”
“What? And make the landing strip just that much more obvious? Naw, this is it. Let’s just shave it.” I grinned at her in the mirror.
“Wow. Shave it.”
“Cut it all off.”
I really didn’t want to make a day of us going back and forth like a bad comedy routine.
“Yes, honey.” I spoke slowly, exaggerating each word, “I want you to shave all of the hair off of my head.”
Guess the reversion to kindergarten teacher-speak sunk in. She turned toward her cabinet of tools, taking her sweet time getting out the clippers, assembling what I was sure were unnecessary attachments. Once she had everything situated just so, she took even more time washing and drying my hair. She said it was so the clippers would run smoothly. Apparently they can get hung up in dirty hair causing them to not work as well. Personally, I think she was stalling, thereby allowing more time to get used to the idea; more time for her to say good-bye to the hair she had spent over twenty years taking care of.
Finally, she held the clippers in her hand. I could feel the humming vibration of them just inches from my hair line. Her hand shook the slightest little bit.
“I feel like I’m about to cut down a tree I’ve spent all my life growing.”
“Oh for goodness sakes.”
I grabbed the clippers and without a moment’s hesitation, took them straight back, shaving a swatch down the middle of my head. The result was a reverse Mohawk, a smooth strip of scalp now showing from front to back.
We both stared at our reflections in the mirror. The looks on our faces? Priceless yet again. Yvette’s jaw had come unhinged, her eyes widened. I was just as comical with eyes open in surprise at the resulting look. The stunned silence lasted a full two minutes before we fell into hysterical giggles.
“OH MY GOD!” she howled.
“Stop, stop, I’m going to pass out.” I was already light-headed from laughing so hard. We couldn’t look at each other in the mirror without a fresh round of laughter taking us over. I’m sure the other stylists and customers in the main room out front thought we had gone insane. If I hadn’t been the one laughing, I would have thought the same thing.
It took some doing, but we got ourselves under control; the exuberant laughter dying down to titters, hic-cups, and gasps for breath.
“Oh my God, girl you are nuts. But okay, if you’re going to do this, let’s do it right.”
She finished taking the rest of my hair from my head. I thought I’d miss it, but it was like a weight being lifted from my emotional shoulders. No more worrying about if the wig was on straight, or if a weft was going to break free at a critical moment.
“Okay, so there you go. You are clean as the proverbial whistle.”
“Wow. Who knew I had such a weirdly shaped head?”
“I did. But okay, now what?”