Cheating on My Barber
And I know that he knows I’m unfaithful and it kills him inside,
To know that I am happy with some other guy.
I can see him dying.
Once upon a time I applied for and got a job.
It was a happy time. Salary and allowances, moving expenses, the works. The only thing that wasn’t as exciting was knowing that since I’d be moving, I’d have to find a new barber. And I found one. At least I thought I did.
His name was Jude (short for Judas). He was a likeable guy. Young, energetic, stylish. He had a queue of clients waiting for him when I first saw him. In fact, he was recommended to me by a friend of mine. The first time he cut my hair was wonderful. Full of promise. The second time…
The memory of a bad haircut etches itself into your skull. You can’t ever forget it. It’s like someone sears the image right onto your retinas like a biological tattoo.
I got a bad haircut on the 14th day of April 2015. It was a Tuesday. At 1 pm. I had trusted the guy who cut my hair with my life! My very soul! My money! I know what betrayal is. It feels like being punched in the gut with a serrated knife dipped in stinging nettles and poison. I know we call that “being stabbed” but I’m being poetic here. How could he do that to me? Sob.
On Wednesday at noon, I entered another shop and found Simon. He made me bald.
But he did it so well I decided to keep the look.
Also, God has chosen this style of hair for me so I have to maintain it.
Fast forward 3 years.
Simon became distracted.
He got a TV in his shop and he started shaving me “shingo upande” in the most literal sense. I couldn’t trust him anymore with my dome and I didn’t want another Jude situation.
One day I was looking scruffier than usual and I was in desperate need of a cleanup. So I decided to take a chance and entered a random barber shop. This, for a man, is harder than finding a wife. Trust me, I’m married. There I found Alex. Alex was/is (tenses are confusing in prose) a nice chap who pays attention to detail, properly sterilizes his equipment, and gives a damn good haircut. I liked him immediately. Na yuko hapa tu!
I kept going to Alex’s and I ghosted Simon.
I have been ghosted before and it’s not an experience that brings joy.
But I discovered that being the ghoster is harder.
Sometimes I still think about Simon. Is he okay? Should I go back?
He calls sometimes, but I think he knows this relationship is over.
Alex is also on thin ice nowadays. He’s been away from his station these past few weeks and I’m getting tired of this. I really enjoy his services except for when he gives a facial scrub because his hands are … they resemble … What’s rougher than sandpaper? Whatever the answer, his hands are like that. He can literally scrape off dead skin with his bare hand. You don’t want a slap from that guy.
In his absence, I’ve been seeing Joe. It was serendipitous. I wasn’t even looking for him. He’s a gentle soul who doesn’t mind that I’m the silent type. He’s also clean and detail-oriented. He hasn’t messed up yet.
Also, he has the best hands.
Na yuko hapa tu!
I’m ghosting Alex now.
I should ask for forgiveness for breaking the sacred bonds between man and barber. I’m so ashamed.
But I look really good.