Take it off

“Take it all off,” I said, making a lazy motion to the top of my head. This was my third time with Cait. We were starting to get to know each other. She knew what I liked, but this time I wanted something different.

“So, the clippers?” she asked, brandishing them like a samurai sword.

Cait has curly hair and considers herself to be an anarchist. She lives in the Tenderloin, the bleeding heart of San Francisco, and one day she wants to open her own therapy practice.

I said yes and stared back at myself in the mirror, trying to imagine a new, tougher me. I was angry. Angry at happy couples. Angry at ads on TV. Angry at fucking anything I wanted to be angry at! And for some reason getting rid of my hair felt like the best way to shed all that.

Cait started with the buzzer at four, just in case I changed my mind. We started chatting about her recent breakup – an engineer who made a lot of money and never talked about his feelings. They’d done couples therapy for a year and then one day he just proclaimed it was over. Shit is fucked, I said.

“Amy is going through the same thing,” she said, pointing the buzzer in the direction of a woman standing above the other chair. Amy is tatted and wears Red Wings. Her hair is long and braided, and hangs beneath a fisherman’s beanie perched on top of her head.

“She came in this morning and wanted to shave her head.” Amy nodded. I pictured two braids being swept off the floor.

Cait told me that hair had energy. She told me she was glad she got the apartment. She might have to find a roommate. Her mom was threatening to visit for Thanksgiving. And then she told me she was going to use scissors for the top, and if I woke up in the morning and really wanted it all gone, she’d do it for free.