"So many impossible things have already happened in this life. He doesn't think twice when she tells him to get ready: He's about to get a haircut.
He sits in the chair in the upstairs room, the room they sometimes joke and refer to as the library. There's a window there that gives light. Snow's coming down outside as newspapers go down around his feet. She drapes a big towel over his shoulders. Then gets out her scissors, comb, and brush.
This is the first time they've been alone together in a while - with nobody going anywhere, or needing to do anything. Not counting the going to bed with each other. That intimacy. Or breakfasting together. Another intimacy. They both grow quiet and thoughtful as she cuts his hair, and combs it, and cuts some more. The snow keeps falling outside. Soon, light begins to pull away from the window. He stares down, lost and musing, trying to read something from the paper. She says, "Raise your head." And he does. And then she says, "See what you think of it." He goes to look in the mirror, and it's fine. It's just the way he likes it, and he tells her so.
It's later, when he turns on the porchlight, and shakes out the towel and sees the curls and swaths of white and dark hair fly out onto the snow and stay there, that he understands something: He's grownup now, a real, grownup, middle-aged man. When he was a boy, going with his dad to the barbershop, or even later, a teenager, how could he have imagined his life would someday allow him the privilege of a beautiful woman to travel with, and sleep with, and take his breakfast with? Not only that - a woman who would quietly cut his hair in the afternoon in a dark city that lay under snow 3000 miles away from where he'd started. A woman who could look at him across the table and say, "It's time to put you in the barber's chair. It's time somebody gave you a haircut."'
by Raymond Carver
i love you seany. happy anniversary.
18 September 2007
Posted by Jules Oldroyd at 11:24 AM