When I booked my haircut with Stage, I did not picture him as asian. But he is asian, and I like him instantly because I am also asian.
His spiky hair is juxtaposed with a slick side-shave, adding just the right amount of badass to his otherwise pale, innocuous, schoolboy look. He’s dressed simply in a baby-blue cashmere V-neck sweater and pearl-grey corduroy pants.
I wish my painfully straight brother could look this fabulous on his own.
I trust him completely with my neglected ponytail of gangrenous split ends.
After we’ve agreed on keeping my hair long (but adding subtle layers and sexy, side-swept bangs), he asks me the difficult questions.
“So are you a student or do you work?”
“I’m not in school, and I don’t have a job.”
Sensing the awkward silence, I quickly add: “Well I just graduated in December.”
I suddenly realize it’s like…almost fucking April.
But he nods along sympathetically, “What field are you looking in?”
“I’m not looking.” I stare at my scummy self in the mirror and feel unforgivably scummy. Snip snip snip.
“But I got my degree in biochemistry,” I offer, desperately defending my credibility, “only I kind of hated it.”
Stage laughs, and I’m relieved, but then he hits me with the most incriminating inquiry: “So what do you do all day then?”
I think fast on my feet. “Walk dogs. And read books. I read a lot of books.”
Before he can probe further into my ridiculously unambitious life of unmitigated inaction, I turn the spotlight on him.
“So do you like cutting hair?”
“Absolutely,” he gushes, “I love it.”
The orgasmic energy that accompanies career fulfillment flows from his pale hand through his busy scissors, my hair, my brain, my heart, my soul and into my own fingertips, which tingle with something like inspiration.
Or maybe I just have peripheral neuropathy from never wearing gloves while handling toxic reagents.