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.
not a good morning inside my head. decided i needed to move my body to shake it. didn’t opt for a quad-quaking, calf-cutting run or bike ride, just a stroll. savored the green that is dotted with the beginnings of yellow in fact took in all the green I could (knowing what is to come). potted a croton and a succulent for the front porch while outside plant time is viable (knowing what is to come). that took some of the edge off. decided to get out again and see a film. of everything showing, i narrowed it down to “99 Homes” or “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead” (the national lampoon story). whichever one started the closest to when i walked in would win. that was all the planning I could muster.
“99 Homes” won.
and so did i.
it’s about the aftermath of the predatory mortgage lending → housing crisis 2007, ’08, ‘09 and it takes place in ‘10. hard to believe 2010 is already a period piece film but they got everything right from the bushy tween boys’ 70s haircuts to the iPhone 4. Michael Shannon (LOVE) plays the “bad guy” who seriously wins every acting award inside my little universe especially when he gives a soliloquy-style ass chewing to the “good guy” played by Andrew Garfield who takes it even deeper and darker as a desperate dad who breaks bad and does it so good. even Laura Dern in a supporting role just filled in every crack that might have been. emotional reckless intensity was tempered by some tender moments and only one scene messed with my suspension of disbelief but the rest of the film made that not matter as i have totally forgotten what it even was. Oscar Oscar Oscar. and i hate Oscar (we have covered that).
it felt so good to leave the theater riveted (i am 2 for 2 this fall!) and able to walk home thinking about what i just saw and not what i was seeing (not the greatest ground to cover, that walk home) and just as i started to feel – and relish – the last of the warm fall sun searing color into my neck and back of my legs (knowing what is to come), i saw this as i crossed the 395 overpass on E Street, and thought to myself that it’s so ugly it might just be pretty: