Monday, October 07, 2013
portrait of the artist as a hairy guy
Wives of husbands with hearing problems often forget that other people do not suffer that handicap.
I am one of those people who carry on conversations as if he were addressing a public meeting -- as Queen Victoria said of Gladstone. People often assume I am hard of hearing. I'm not. I'm just loud.
Near the end of my stay in San Miguel de Allende, I stopped at McDonald's. An American, about a decade older than your correspondent, was ahead of me in line, and he was having trouble getting his order across to the Spanish-speaking clerk. The situation was exacerbated by his obvious hearing problem.
After I ordered, the two of us had an opportunity to talk -- about fifteen minutes -- while we waited for our orders. "Fast food" has an entirely different meaning than up north.
When he got his order, he took it to the table where his wife had patiently maintained her grub stake at a table. My order soon followed. As I walked toward them, I heard her say:"that actor in Dumb and Dumber." I instinctively knew the first part of that sentence: "The man you were talking with has a haircut like --."
She was correct. That is exactly what my hair looked like. Or perhaps like the first stage of costuming for an auguste clown.
Either way, it has been months since my head has seen a barber. Maybe seven months. I can't remember when or where.
You would think that being placed in the same sartorial category as Harry Dunne would be an incentive to immediately "get thee hie to a barber." But what would embarrass some tends to be an incentive for me to act just the opposite.
There were certainly plenty of opportunities to get my hair cut in San Miguel de Allende. From all appearances, a larger portion of the town must spend hours in salon chairs.
However, when I was inclined to get a haircut, I could not find a barber. And when I found barbers, I was not inclined to get my hair cut. More the latter than the former.
So, here we are, a full two weeks since I took the photograph at the top of this post, and my hair is just that much longer.
But I do know where my Rubicon-not-to-cross point is. Before it gets to the point where my hair could be pony-tailed.
If I went that far, I would probably end up at the annual Burning Man celebrations.
Clippers before incense. That is my red line in the sand.