It’s a dance as old as time itself, or however long it’s been since one person wielded a pair of scissors and attacked the hair of a helpless victim in a chair.
My hair starts to cover my eyes, annoying me as I push it away all day while staring at a computer screen. A day or two before my Wednesday night basketball games, I mention to Louise how difficult it is to shoot when you’re looking at the rim through brown strands of hair, no matter how easy Pistol Pete made it look. That week I play hoops but stop every five seconds to brush my hair out of my face. Later in the evening I’ll blame a substandard shooting night on the fact I could barely make out the basket, especially from the long distances I launch from. A few days later, maybe that weekend, I finally say I can’t take it anymore and I need a haircut. Louise groans and curses, then ignores me for a few hours. One time she explained how she couldn’t handle the fact she would cut my hair for the next 40 or, if the genes are generous, 50 years. I stood there dumbly, contemplating mortality and my hair. Eventually she relents, broken down by love or possibly inspired by hate, visions of a quick stab to my head with the scissors dancing through her head. So easy, so final. It’s probably the mess that keeps her from doing it. And then I sit down and she cuts my hair, ignoring my reminders to avoid slicing my ear, telling me to move my head to the side or up and down, smirking when I complain about the falling hair getting in my face. Then it’s over and we forget about the tension and the hair for another two or three months.