Pizza and a Haircut (fiction)

Mom told me to get pizza and a haircut before coming home so at the stylist, I waited for the girl with scissors to come to the computer desk where I was waiting patiently surrounded by people with very nice hair who were also waiting patiently but seated on this long, crowded bench and she asked if I wanted anyone in particular to do my hair.


“Someone who works here preferably.”


The people with very nice hair on the bench shuffled and tried to make room for me but I had to stand pretending to read the ingredient on the shampoo bottles until someone got called and then everyone spread out a little, relaxing, and so I waited again for another someone to get called but a new customer had walked in and everyone shuffled together for him like they had for me until that second guy got called and then they spread out a little so their elbows weren’t all touching and it just kept on like that, but all the people with very nice hair seemed quite nice regardless and as the cycle continued, some of the people leaving the stylist’s chair were people who I’d seen get off the bench with very nice hair and when they left, tipping the stylist, their hair wasn’t so nice, just sort of wet and if it were a guy, then maybe also short. None of the girls’ hair seemed shorter.


But I didn’t mind standing by the shampoo shelves. I just hated that it was so cold in the place. It felt nice since outside was hot and had me sweating and all that whisked off when the oscillating fan that blew the AC’s chill around, but I think it would’ve been better if it’d been hot in there since I was waiting for so long.


The girl with the scissors that came to the computer desk before was not the girl with the scissors that asked me how I wanted my hair done and if I wanted it washed before or after the cut and I told her I washed it before school so she led me back with a towel around my neck and she leaned me back and ran water near my ear so cold droplets tickled me until they weren’t so cold and might’ve even been too hot, but I didn’t want to complain so when she asked if it was too hot, I said I didn’t think so, and she told me I had a naturally ruddy scalp like it was a compliment so I said thank you. As she scrubbed my ruddy scalp, I was leaning back for so long getting scratched by her long nails that the snot started draining into my throat but I never ate dinner at this angle so it was hard to swallow. I suffered through not really breathing much if I could avoid it till she tilted me upright and I got a big gulp of a very bad drink that even if it slid past my tongue and taste buds and them had a poor taste.


She cut my hair pretty well for as deep in conversation as she was with the woman in the other chair--about nothing, I think. Most of the time she was on my right side so she could look over my head and talk to the other woman and the few times she got to my left side, her neck was twisted so she could keep looking where she was talking, and at the end, I saw why people with very nice hair left with wet and maybe shorter hair, but I tipped her anyway, more than I had tipped the pizza guy because I wasn’t sure how much to tip for carryout.


At home, Mom asked why the pizza was cold.