|Sometime before v sometime afterwards.|
I decided to celebrate the end of the long and dreary month that is January by indulging myself with a full Turkish Barber haircut and shave experience. Being a Wednesday the barber shops were pretty much empty so space and waiting was not a problem. Strangely though in the first shop I wandered into (which was clearly empty), I was met with a polite but robust "we don't do walk-ins" rebuttal. I made out like I understood what a "walk in" was and tried not to look too much like a victim as I exited. Clearly I wasn't hipster enough for a stylish barber's shop named "Bearded Bastards". Things have changed in the few short (?) months since I last had a haircut, I may have the power to drive away custom. Perhaps I should've gone in and just demanded a "fucking decent haircut!" and they'd have accepted me as some kind of deranged but savable hipster. Anyway, just to spite the bearded bastards (and any other white male oppressors out there), I went to the next barber shop two doors down and sought help. This Turkish guy wasn't prejudiced, looked reasonable and "walk-ins" during blizzards seemed like an essential component in his business plan, so he set to work.
I settled into the chair and we had a brief conversation about clipper numbers, beard removal and money, I think I came out of it well. As I squinted to watch a TV show about the Burmese Railway and how to cross paddy fields with the incorrect materials using only elephants as tools, he chopped away at my ragged glory, shaved my eyebrows and scraped his cut throat razor across my pink but steady facial flesh. He used the hairdryer a lot to blow away the numerous hedge clippings and plastered spicy oil and hot towels across my sagging and now hairless features. There were raw flames as he tackled my ears but very little pain and not a single cut or release of blood. Then, via a strange piece of electrical equipment I was massaged in the top body area in a tough but soulful enough way, just to prepare me for standing straight again after spending 45 minutes pinned down in the frequently readjusted chair. I thanked him, paid him and left the shop feeling like I badly needed a coffee and a time of rest and reflection, so I went to the nearby Tesco cafe. It seems I'm no hipster (Tesco coffee tells you that!), not even close, just grey old bloke looking lost in a snow shower and in need of a good tidy up. At least I know my place.