The rapist. Miracle worker. Friend.

November 29, 2008 at 3:09 am (Clairissa, Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

It truly was a black Friday.

I’m unspeakably bummed tonight. I got some sad news Friday. One of the favorite women in my life is moving on, and the hole in my heart is big. While I’m happy for her, inside I’m screaming “NO!…”

(sniff sniff) Here’s whazzup…

For the last year or so, it’s been a habit of mine to swing by Clairissa’s barber shop on Friday afternoon. My hair is perfectly maintained. Thursday night I gave her a call, leaving a message on the shop’s machine. “Hi, honey! I need an excuse to come see you. I’ll give you the new Rolling Stone if you trim my neck fuzz? Nothing urgent, don’t book me for anything, just let me know if you’re not gonna be there?”

Friday morning I got a text message. “I’ll be in at 3:00. Come on by!”

I geared up for the ride, plugged in my traveling sound system and hit the road. As the bus meandered through Portland, I daydreamed of hot lesbos and pierced nipples. My cell phone buzzed. I checked the text message. “Still coming? I’m late. Be there by 3:30.”

No problem. I called her cell, getting the voicemail. “I’m on the way. Don’t save any time for me, I’m just coming by to socialize.” Worst case scenario, I stuff the magazine in her mail slot and see her another time. I already have an appointment for mid-December anyway.

Clairissa greets me at the door with a peck on the lips and a bear-hug. Lisa, her GF/BFF comes out, and we stand on the porch, smoking and chatting. That’s when Clairissa drops the bomb:

“I’m moving to San Diego.”

“What?” Please ears, don’t let me be hearing that right…

“Times are tight, people aren’t spending money on their hair like usual. Lisa has contacts and a job there, so I’m going to give up doing hair for a couple years and find something else to do.” She smacked Lisa on the ass. “This one can support me for a change!”

A flood of emotion rushed over me. We’ve become way closer than most barber/clients. She’s held my hand through the tough times with the women in my life. My last birthday turned into a weeklong celebration, with us drinking our way across town and me living in the back of the shop like a psychedelic Quasimodo. No one but her has touched my hair since 2004.

Who the fuck will cut my hair?

Suddenly I wanted a haircut. She laughed, busted out the clippers and found the Number #1 attachment. “It’s not going to take much more than the tips off; there’s not much there.”

“It’ll remove the last of the green.”

“There’s no more green. I’m looking for it and I can’t see it.”


She slapped me on my now-bald head. “I love you.”

I slipped her ten bucks along with the Rolling Stone. I don’t mind paying extra for haircuts all of a sudden. I’m probably gonna save a fortune on haircuts over the next couple years. I’ve been thinking about letting the red grow out again, but couldn’t bear the thought of not having Clairissa manipulate my scalp (and libido) on at least a monthly basis.

I looked her in the eye. “Can we go out drinking one more time?”

“Of course. I’d also like to go to that steak place you took me, where we went for your birthday. Would that be okay?”

“Oh hell yeah! It’s a date.”

I was ever-so-slightly mollified to find out this won’t be happening for a couple of months. The moving, not our date.

“Hair licensing is much more difficult in Cali. I’m gonna sling pizzas, or lay around naked in bed, waiting for my sugar mama to come home and do me for lunch.”

I smiled as they cuddled. We were in the kitchen area of the shop. They were pouring shots of vodka, chasing them with Mike’s Hard Lemonade. “It seems to me you’d be good with the public. I was thinking-”

We said it at the same time. “-bartender!” She laughed and high-fived me. There we go, finishing each others sentences…

“You’ve always been about knowing your clients. Imagine how much soul-bearing you’d get if you’re pouring booze down their throats all night.”

She got misty-eyed. “I love how you get that about me. I can do hair in my sleep, but helping people by listening is what I love about my job. Cutting hair is all I’ve ever done. I’ll keep my hair-cutting stuff, but I want to try something different. I change towns every five years or so anyway; that’s how I ended up here. After Ashland, I lived in Louisiana for four years. It’s been over five here. It’s time…”

There’s a small sign in her shop with a barber pole that reads: Therapist. Miracle Worker. Friend. When the sun shines just so, it looks like it says The rapist Miracle Worker Friend. While she’s never raped me, (slightly molested perhaps) the Miracle Worker part is true. The friend part. WAY true. Therapist? The woman has saved me a fortune in advice to the lovelorn.

I want that sign.

As we looked at the nick-nacks around the shop, I saw something else. “Does this mean I retain custody of the frog?”

“Aww…” She gave me a hug. “Of course. I’ve loved having him here.” At one time we’d discussed making babies, but instead settled on sharing joint-custody of a frog ectoplasm. It was time for Froggy to come to papa. He’ll be here when Clairissa comes home.

I sized up the mattress on her futon. It looked like it’d fit my bed perfectly. When I thought of how much hot lady-sex had happened on that mattress, I called dibs on it as well. That’ll keep the imagination fueled.

I lingered as long as time would allow, but had to get downtown to make payday, or else be broke all weekend. I got big hugs and kisses at the bus stop. Clairissa looked at her watch. “Ooh, we have enough time for a makeout session before my next client!”

I winked at them. “Tear off a piece for me,” I said.

Clairissa winked back. “I’ll think of you when I come. That’ll be awkward, I’ll look right into Lisa’s eyes and yell ‘Fuck me Charlie!'”

This got a slug to the shoulder from Lisa, they play-fought for a second, then ran off hand-in-hand to have make-up sex. I waved goodbye, but not for the last time.

Unfortunately, it sounds like the last time is coming soon. At least I have a couple of months to get used to the idea. I’m gonna milk every precious moment with her, take lots of pictures, prepare for the black cloud that will follow me around when it’s finally all over.

I love you, kiddo. I’m setting you free, and hoping and praying you come back someday.

I’ll be needing a haircut by then…


1 Comment

  1. gee-no said,

    Damn!,……just, damn……..

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