I have cut this man’s hair for years… decades, actually… and just because I’ve got the sniffles (allergies? cold? something we don’t want to think about?) doesn’t mean I can’t take up scissors and comb in my backyard for the first spring haircut of the year.
My back yard really is the best place to cut hair—the hair jibbers, as we call them, float like white feathers to the green grass. One cat finds leaves to bat around under the big sycamore tree that shades most of the yard; the other cat takes up a watchful spot on the deck. It’s a lovely place to be on a spring afternoon.
Once we haul out one of the tall chairs and the good haircutting scissors, I go to the task of making Dick look younger, which he does after every haircut. And you never know when one of us might decide to go topless.
I feel fine—just sniffly, despite all the vitamin C and other good immune-boosting stuff I’m putting into me a few times a day—but when the client shows up with face masks, you gotta wear the face masks. (He eventually took his mask off so I could cut his hair in the back.)
I have cut Dick’s hair in literally dozens of outdoor locations over many years, particularly when we travel. We’ve left his hair jibbers in Yosemite, on two sides of the Pacific Ocean, on an island in Canada, to name a few. Last year, after he came out of the hospital in Honolulu, I cut his hair in a carport in Pearl City as rain poured before I flew home. He stayed for another two weeks with his dear friends Cora and Connie caring for him.
But cutting hair while wearing a mask is a first for us both. These are far from typical times for all of us, and many of us will not be able to see our hair people for some time. (Shout-out to my excellent hair wizard Susan Stewart, who has cut Dick’s hair, too, when I was incapacitated… and, not surprisingly, far better than I!) I am no pro. There are times when I utter an “oh, shit,” while cutting Dick’s hair, which, he likes to remind me, is not something you should say in front of a client. But he has the most forgiving hair that, even after my scissors have gotten to it, makes him look younger and tidier.
You may have heard of the fine novel by Colombian Nobel prize winning author Gabriel García Márquez, “Love in the Time of Cholera.” Now we have “Haircut in the Time of COVID-19.” I’m sure we’ll have more new experiences as we shelter in place in the days and weeks to come.