Sunday, March 14, 2010
What I needed most in the world tonight was red grapefruit. I ate the only one in the refrigerator and craved more. I decided that my body was telling me something, so I walked around the corner to the neighborhood grocery. Flip came along to protect me, although I am far tougher than he is.
He tried to tell the store clerk that the girls outside the bar next door looked like hookers, but he couldn't remember the word. I'm not sure why he wanted to share this, but I reminded him that he came from a gentler era in which girls didn't look like hookers unless they were hookers. Everyone we passed was duded up and trailing perfume at near-toxic levels, wearing death-defying skimpy outfits despite the low temperature and a fierce wind off the Bay. I wore paint-streaked sweat pants, Ugg boots and a shape-hiding down jacket, topped by a bad haircut. If I were a hooker, I would starve.
Yesterday, I had my hair cut and I've been plotting a rematch ever since. I couldn't remember when my last one was so I consulted last year's calendar, which had many haircuts for Flip penned in but not a single one for me. I checked the entire year twice. Then I found my calendar from the year before and realized that my last one was in March of 2008. Exactly two years ago. I could probably lose my reputation as a high maintenance woman if I'm not careful.
The person I used to go to was a flake but he gave good haircut, and over several years he got to know my hair, which is finicky. Unfortunately, he disappeared into another dimension or maybe witness protection, leaving only a vague message on his cell phone. The new stylist gave Flip a good cut a month ago, so I thought I would try her. Now my hair looks like a bad Farrah Fawcett wig. With a little Minnie Mouse thrown in for good measure. It's a rotten way to be wounded.
I've been to doctor appointments in which medical interns doing a rotation in a particular specialty sat in. My hairdresser had her own intern, a facialist who wanted to learn about hair so she watched, owl-like, as my hair was washed, cut and flat-ironed. It reminded me of the actor's fourth wall, the space separating the audience from the action of a theatrical performance, traditionally conceived of as an imaginary wall completing the enclosure of the stage.
I do not possess the skills to flat-iron my hair, or even to style it with a dryer and brush. I haven't looked at the back of my head in years because I believe that what I don't know can't hurt me. As soon as I got outside in the rain, my naturally wavy hair reasserted itself and I realized that she flat-ironed it to delay my discovery that it bulges oddly with large clumps that seem to belong to some other haircut entirely.
Flip, however, was looking good when he escorted me to the store. Our hot Saturday night date netted several grapefruits and some red grapefruit juice, plus a dark chocolate bar with crystallized ginger. Between that, the strawberry-rhubarb pie I made yesterday and several boxes of Girl Scout cookies, our his 'n' hers diabetic comas are assured. If that's not romantic, I don't know what is.