I closed my eyes as he held a blade to my throat. I smiled remembering the first time I met this person. It was back in 9th grade when my mother first brought me to this particular salon for a haircut.
As a kid, I had a weird problem with my hair. They didn’t have any structure. No matter what I did to them, I would end up with a mop of hair placed over my head. The description and angst aren’t how I would feel about it now; it is how I felt about it then. I couldn’t care less about how my hair looks now. In the over-hyped self-consciousness of my adolescence, I told my mom about the issue.
The solution was well, not even one. She took me to this place where an elder cousin used to get his haircuts from and like she would describe my illness to a doctor, she explained my problem to the barber. He understood.
I got my first haircut from him that evening. It became my de facto place to get a haircut. Over the years, I became somewhat chilled out about things that really didn’t matter that much to me; haircuts are one of those things that don’t matter to me. There was a time when they did though and it pains me to say I’m the one who wrote this blog post. I was a troubled child. I have grown so much.
I was getting a haircut today from the same man and I had a thought as he did his thing. This man, despite our limited interaction, is one of those people who has seen me grow up from that self-conscious adolescent kid to the young man I am today and maybe, he’ll continue to be part of the journey. Even more than myself, I realised how there are some places and people who watch so many lives unfold just because of the nature of their work.
It’s almost beautiful how so many people have seen so many others grow older and change in ways only visible to the third-person. Be it baristas in cafés or taxi drivers who pick and drop hundreds of people every day or hairdressers who have served the same people for years.
It’s in the cup of tea your hairdresser offers you because they got some for themselves. It’s in you telling them about fidget spinners when they have trouble understanding what their kid wants. It’s in those little interactions where life truly lies.