all i need is a buzz

well OK since wearing my hair very short sometimes all it needs is a trim to clean up the back. but…my salon charges me full price for that and i have to get an appointment, get there, etc. so one day it occurred to me that there’s a barbershop right around the corner! all i need is a buzz on the neck — why not?


i walked in.


was this time travel?  i’d landed in DC 1972 when i was a little kid: a Billy Kilmer poster; an autographed George Allen pic; a dog-eared Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali for the youngsters) poster; paneling on the wall; Diana Ross on the stereo.

all that was missing was a can of Pringles and a bottle of Tab.

i didn’t take long for me to snap back to 2016: i noticed everything went real quiet and all eyes were on me. i looked around the shop and my eyes landed on the guy i always see out on the sidewalk sweeping every morning (handsome, middle aged, graying but styled braids down to his waist). thankfully he was the only one not gawking at me.
“HELLO! what’s up, young lady?” (ever notice that the older you get, men address you as young lady?)  i smiled and pointed to the mess in the back of my neck: “Can you trim this?”


it took everyone in there a few minutes to warm up, but once we DID… things sizzled. we talked about 60s and 70s TV, old radio stations in DC, and i met a guy who cut Ralph Nader’s hair when he worked at the State Dep’t and i met another one whose wife did the hair and make-up of Janet Jackson and her whole dance crew in the 80s – TWICE he kept repeating.

unfortunately, that is all i can tell you because i also found out that most things that are said in the barbershop…STAY in the barbershop.

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