An old boss of mine was cutting my hair. He had a barber’s chair set up in the middle of a store. Shoppers stared at me as they went by. One kid stopped to gawk with his finger in his mouth. I slipped my hand out from under the cape and gave him a little smile and a wave. When he was done, my boss removed the cape with a flourish, brushed some powder on my neck, and rang me up on an old cash register that he had sitting off to the side, the kind with the numbered cards that pop up in the window and the lever you crank to ring the bill and open the cash drawer. He charged me twenty bucks, which seemed a little steep.
I stopped in the restroom to inspect my haircut in the mirror, as I often used to do. It was awful. A total mess. It was all patchy and uneven and not even trimmed close and neat the way I like it, just sparse clumps of hair and some sloppy manipulation with a comb. I would have been better off trimming it myself with the clippers like I normally do. I was going to have to do that anyway. What a disappointment.