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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Yes, I Had the Complete Salon Experience

I just had my hair done at a local salon and I had the fright of my life! For when I met my new hairdresser I recognized him instantly: Thomas Pynchon, reclusive literary master! “You look nothing like your high school photo,” I told him. That seemed to puzzle the man, but no matter. I was delighted. Don’t you know, I always expected him to look older, gaunt, and a bit less polished. But he looked nary a day over 32; his teeth were a frightening shade of white, his hair was full and luxurious. He wore a pinkie ring and a neckerchief. And surprise of surprises, he smelled delicious! None of that musky, musty, greased-forehead business I so often associate with our great, unwashed scribblers.

As he busied himself with my hair, he asked me the usual hairdresser questions: what did I do for a living? Did I live in the area? Did I have any "hot" plans for the weekend? Oooh - he was cheeky, catty, even! Of course, he was modest in regards to his writing; his eyes glazed in confusion and he changed the subject when I broached it. I told him I could barely muster patience for his writing, but that the fault was entirely my own. He was concerned with the type of conditioner that I had been using, and rather listlessly suggested that I use the brand sold at the salon. Always eager to emulate a master, I snapped up a bottle of $45 conditioner, easy peasy.

We talked hairbrushes: what manner of bristle provides superior sheen, what type of handle delivers what the wrist can flick, and why. O, the sun set and the sun rose, and still we jabbered on! I must have sat in that salon chair for a full hour. His assistant popped corn and poked straws into a couple Capri Sun pouches for us– we dined like teenaged kings on the gratis salon treats. Or rather, I did. Thomas Pynchon ate nothing.

When it came time for me to leave the salon, Thomas Pynchon gave me his business card. Recluse, no kidding! He refers to himself as “Jesse” now! I certainly hope I didn’t blow his cover with my effusive praise and pointed exhortations for advice. He seemed to get crankier the longer I tarried at the counter, so I finally took my leave. You needn’t ask me twice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly, I saw Samuel Beckett on the subway this morning. That same old craggy face, that shock of white hair. He seemed happier, moreof a spring in his step than I would have expected, which cheered me up no end.


2:58 PM  

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