Bill Engleson (@billmelaterplea) flew the highest this week and takes his twelfth win!
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I hadn’t had a haircut in months. My covid locks were sticking up like I was Art Garfunkle at his frizziest finest.
I drove by ye Ole Barber Shoppe early, but it was cluttered with all manner of hairy mankind.
Later, I passed by again, saw a lull in the proceedings, pulled over, masked up, and went in.
The personnel had changed. Pre-Covid, there had been a small contingent of elderly barbers, a bastion of near-retirees, manning the shop.
They knew their hair.
I took a seat, wallowed in some nostalgia, watched a younger fellow trim an elder’s silver head.
I was the only one waiting until another hair-challenged comrade came in. He was carrying his worldly goods on his shoulder. He set his duffle bag down, fumbled with the mask supply, said, “Fingers ain’t working.”
I commiserated, ‘know the problem well, friend.”
Finally, he snatched some free mask victory, covered his mug, and sat down. “Been a hard few years…hernia operation bumped four times.”
As I considered how to respond, a woman came in from the back.
“I’m Kim. Next up, take a seat.”
“That would be me,” I answered.
I settled in.
Kim began clipping.
Hernia fellow got up, flashed a CD, asked, ”Found this. Mind if I play it?”
He got the okay and slipped his booty in the player.
Patsy began to wail. “I fall to pieces…each time I see you again… “
“Oh, man,” I say, “that hits home.”
“Me too,” says Kim. “Before the plague, a friend and I went on a road trip to a wedding. Up north. Her car. One CD.”
“Patsy?” I guessed.
“Yup. Still haven’t recovered.”
All the while, I’m sinking in a sea of my lost teenage loves…
“Know the feeling,” I offer. “Know it well.”