January 8, 2011

My last abortion of a short story.

“Hello, I’m here for a haircut that will help curb my nervous disorder.”

Even in my head the whole scenario sounds too darned odd for words. I barely take one step into the parlor and already I’m freezing from utter nervousness. It’s a haircut. It’s not a blind date or anything. Have I really hit this new low? Am I really too socially inept to even take to task my own personal hygiene?

“Why are the walls white and orange? Who the heck designed this place?”

I might have said that bit out too loud. Just keep calm, buddy. The nice stylist leading you to the chair knows what she’s doing. She’s not going to ask you any awkward questions about school or your love life. The girls in the seats are too preoccupied with their highlights and manicures and hair rebonding to care if you look like some freak who walked straight out of — d’oh, stop talking about that show already. Even in the middle of a freaking errand you’re still got Time Lords and alien architecture and anachronistic blue police boxes on the mind. As if you weren’t a big-enough weirdo already.

“How many inches? Uh, short. Er… Two, three inches. Up to the forehead. Right here, see? What? It’s not? Okay, four-something then.”

I mean, I’m sitting here in the middle of a salon filled with old ladies probably up their necks in church volunteer work and very polite stylists who probably commute here all the way from Antipolo just for the sake of steady-paying work, and I’m going on and on about science fiction. Science fiction. Get some perspective, man! The real world is out there, waiting to rear its ugly claws while you’re sitting here minding your own business and delaying the inevitab-- Where’d I put my glasses? Oh, here they are. Did she notice? Nope, still doing that fancy thing with the shears. Huh. This actually isn’t so bad.

“Ha? Uh, no reason Ma’am. Been a while since my last trim. That and trichotillomania.”

Uh oh, big honking fancy word alert. Why did I have to open my big mouth? Oh God, she must think I have herpes or something now. Okay, focus. Let’s see… what’s the most harmless possible layman’s explanation for it? Basic words, basic words… hair-pulling addiction? Compulsion? Nervous disorder? Oh God. Pleasedontaskaboutit, pleasedontaskaboutit, pleasedontaskaboutit…

“Oh, yeah, the part’s to the left. Hmm? Uh… nope. Nope. Nope. What? Uh… once. Just once.”

That’s the thing about being a trich, even if the stuff was reduced to mere inches you’d always find a way. Pick at the prickliest-feeling ones, or the minutest of split ends, or the rare unicorn-like white hairs. Or the sort of spring-coiled dead strands our old yaya used to make such a fond habit of pulling out. I wonder if Beauty School teaches anything about the psychology of—what? It’s over? Already?

“Thank you too, Ma’am. Hand this tip over to the stylist for me.”

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