Even my daughter had commented on the fluffy look of the back of my neck, the sideburns now starting to crawl down in front of my ears. As I walked into the hairdressers for my somewhat overdue haircut, I was looking forward to rectifying these things, hopeful of a decent head massage at the basin, and looking forward to a cup of tea and a biscuit.
As I approached, looking somewhat dishevelled by any measure, the door was opened by a broadly smiling young lady who ushered me in and saw me to a seat right away. The tea was offered, the offer accepted, and I picked up the obligatory trashy magazine to pass the time until my stylist appeared. Peering over the top of the magazine, I took in the busy salon around me. I could see several other clients being attended to but the almost impossibly trendy staff. The noise of dryers and friendly chatter filled the air alongside the upbeat tunes that maintained a gentle beat, like the pulse of the place.
Before I've even had a chance to crack open the bickie, my stylist appears behind me, fingers in my hair and eyes boring down on the mop of hair in front of him. I fear my return gaze is somewhat more shocked than anything else. I look around for a second, wondering if I've somehow wandered into a bikie bar. From top to toe he ripples, his entire body, neck, even the back of his head covered in words and images. The intensity in his eyes seems to run through his entire body, so tight he looks to be tensing perpetually. His face is such that I feel like I can see his brain turning over, playing with the canvas of my hair before him as we discuss options. In under a minute, I am whisked to the basin. When I return to the main salon I feel like those ten minutes of bliss were an hour. I take a sip of tea and wait the few minutes for the cutting to begin.
It is intriguing to watch an artist at work. Clearly this guy takes his craft very seriously. The connection between his brain, eyes and hands is almost visible to me, and I'm thankful he is so occupied in his task that he doesn't notice me following his every move. The scissors move so fluidly in his hands, twisting and turning to get the angle just right. He throws out a little chat, friendly and interested. As he works away, our talk goes from the weather to politics to the state of the world at large, even working through some psychology that's topical. As he fills in my broad knowledge gaps on Brexit, he styles my hair and hold the mirror up so I can see the back.
I walk out shortly after with a great haircut, a couple of book recommendations, and marvelling in this wonderful world full of interesting people with stories to tell.