On Saturday morning, I took a shower and left for Astoria. Because I planned on getting a haircut, I washed my hair and left it to air dry. I knew that blow drying it would not be a good idea after letting it grow out for four months. I avoided any mirrors and store windows on the way. I just couldn't bear to see what my hair looked like without any gel in it. Well, I had an idea...
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As I walked towards the barber shop, I sped up my pace to cut off an old man at the last minute. Really. Fuck it. This was an emergency.
I sat down in the first seat by the door. From here, I knew I could not see my reflection without getting up.
I made sure to make eye contact with Eddie so that he could note the timing of my appearance. I looked around the room. I am behind the guy in the black shirt, the guy in the Mets hat, the fat doofus and the one with wonky eye. This would give me a sense of knowing how long I had to wait.
After fifteen minutes of browsing old issues of AutoWeek and Maxim, it was my turn. Eddie motioned for me to sit in the chair. I wondered what I would see when I looked in the mirror. I was right.
Eddie draped the black vinyl cape around my neck and fastened it tight. He grabbed his electric trimmer and said, "Lotta hair this time."
"Yeah..." I said. "Four months."
(Insert awkward, pulverizing silence here)
I was happy to be getting a hair cut. It was like having an ugly, disfiguring mole removed after years of mocking and failed suicide attempts.
"I give you a challenge, Eddie," I finally said. To this he laughed, but that was clearly the end of our conversation. I guess we'd have more to say to each other if I had a story about, say, a tacky, all-inclusive trip to Mexico, or had just bought a 2009 BMW with 35-inch chrome wheels.
As he cut my hair, he seemed confused. I worried that this would mean a shitty haircut, and chastised myself for not coming 3 and a half months sooner.
I paid Eddie and left, promising to show up sooner next time, but wondering if I actually might. In a perfect world, I'd show up in two weeks, like everybody else, but putting it off for four months has saved me about $105.
Is it worth the humiliation to save some money in this economy?