Woke up this morning with a boulder of sadness on my chest and a dire need for a haircut. Obviously my hair didn’t become dire overnight but my need for having it chopped did. Thanks to errors in cinema listings, I had time to kill before The Kids Are All Right and wandered into a tiny salon in Chinatown. While the scissors snip-snip-snipped away and I wondered what memories my hair held and whether they would be lost to me now, the hairdresser starting speaking to her colleagues in such a tone about my hair that I started to feel guilty, as if my hair was a child or pet I had neglected for too long. She was so surprised at the length and thickness of it, pointing at the pile on the floor for me, as if hair on the floor was something she didn’t see everyday.
But even I was shocked. Because it looked like a small animal was curled at my feet. There was more hair on the floor than there was left on my head. I smiled sheepishly and said, “It’s been 3 months, since I last had a haircut.” She nodded and smiled and continued snipping. It seemed I was forgiven. Then I counted again. Not 3 months, but 8. 8 months. But I didn’t want to tell her, to correct myself. I didn’t want to seem too eager to defend myself. When I left the salon, they all smiled at me, as if patting me on the back for having done the right thing. “Not so heavy now,” my hairdresser said as I said goodbye. Not so heavy now.