Appointment by Shelagh Power-Chopra

He went for his usual appointment with Lin, but she wasn’t there. Gone off her rocker, said her colleague, Suyin, a catty woman who chewed ginger and specialized in perms. Lin had been cutting his hair for months now, found her shop by chance one day when his barber was shut. It was a simple shop–hard pink chairs, no magazines and one potted plant. His hair was limp and a mousy brown but she never made him feel bad. She cut his bangs with such precision it was if she held an imaginary ruler against his forehead. She didn’t talk much, always smiling–once she told him he had good features, you have devil eyes, she said mischievously as she rubbed mousse in his hair. He loved to watch her move–so willowy and ethereal like a living ghost. He often thought of asking her out–they’d go to some little Italian hole in the wall, read Mallarme together and later she’d lie naked on his plaid sofa as she trimmed his moustache. Lin real upset, she run out of here like fire, Suyin said as she clipped away, nicking his neck. He closed his eyes, listened as she sucked the ginger–a waterfall in his ears. Got a phone call, neighbor found her husband hung up in the closet, love of her life, I hear. He stared at the mirror, his hair looked chewed up–severed by a miniature lawnmower. Okay, we done here, Suyin said, holding out her hand for a tip.

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6 Comments

Filed under Shelagh Power-Chopra

6 responses to “Appointment by Shelagh Power-Chopra

  1. I like this bizarre little tale of the hair salon and the strange characters. You made the setting very clear with the hard pink chairs and single plant. It sounds like it could be the start of a longer story. Good work!

  2. Really nice, Shelagh. You have several stories going on here and this is the moment of intersect.

  3. It’s amazing how much drama you packed into a simple scene of less than 250 words. Great job.

  4. Quenby Larsen

    Ha! Last line = Great.

    Some other faves: “It was a simple shop–hard pink chairs, no magazines and one potted plant. His hair was limp and a mousy brown but she never made him feel bad.” It’s like the shop and the customer are made for each other.

    And the fantasy riff: “He often thought of asking her out–they’d go to some little Italian hole in the wall, read Mallarme together and later she’d lie naked on his plaid sofa as she trimmed his moustache.” (+ !) — Q

  5. I used to go to a shop like this in Hawaii. My favorite cutter was from Taiwan; she didn’t smile, didn’t talk, but sure could cut hair. You nailed it all perfectly.

  6. Pingback: Week #26 – bad haircut « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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