"Miss Marsha wants me to get the book."
I'm in a barber chair surrounded by querilous students; if one of the few adults in the building wants Marti to get me the book I am not about to argue.
Marti comes back cradling an oversized catalog of fashionable hairstyles in her skinny arms. "Look at these pictures and find the one that's closest to what you want. That way you and me is both on the same page. That's what Miss Marsha says." It's the same book I've seen in countless shops sharing table (or rack) space with Cosmo and Entertainment Weekly and American Salon. This one, though, is titled "Funk-ti-fied Hair Styles" and is as clearly unsuited for my straight, fine, white hair as the student's Caucasian mannequin heads are for the predominately black student body and clientele. But I figure Miss Marsha, who sounds like a police officer instructing you to put your hands on the steering wheel now, she knows something. And truthfully, I'm willing to let my amusement take me with the flow, so I start paging through sections. I mark a couple of pages with my fingers as Marti and I comment on the red-and-white mohawk and the false-eyelash plumes.
Miss Marsha works her way down the row of students and I show her the two disappointingly unfunktified styles I've chosen as being the closest to Mia Farrow's circa "Rosemary's Baby," an explanation I didn't even try on Marti. She shows Marti how to start and continues down the line. Marti tells me how she'd like to be in high school again. "You know when you in high school and all you think is, When I'm 18 I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that. Well," she shakes her head. "I got $500 and all I'm thinking is Now I can buy some groceries. None of that 'I'm gonna buy me some clothes.' You got it good in high school but you just don't know." I smile because I'm thinking, Honey, wait until you're 40.
I get back to my car before Parking Enforcement does. I didn't think a cut would take six quarters' worth of time but of course that's part of the gamble involved in a beauty college cut. I didn't crap out with Marti, though I am looking a bit more like Linda Hamilton than I would prefer, but hey I can always hit up the Piedmont for some funktified accessories. It'll grow out and six or seven weeks I can roll the dice again.