The Tonsorial Arts

I sported the Kojak as an infant
then moved on to the Ed Asner
or maybe it was the Ed Koch.

Always a few years behind.
During the Hostage Crisis
people wore Ayatollah

Assahola t-shirts and I grew
my hair into a Prince Valiant
which was at least 500

years out of fashion. When I
discovered Bowie I dyed my
hair red, cut it short on top, left

it long in back. A Ziggy Stardust 5
years after the fact. The week before
starting college I got drunk on dark

rum and gave myself a mohawk. This
was long after punk died and 10 years
before it came back to life. 1976

might have been the only time my
hair was on trend. Bruce Jenner won
the Decathlon and I wore his hair

like a bad wig. So did Jackson Browne.
I had a goatee and long stringy locks
in the late-90’s, just a little too late

and by the time I’d cultivated a sweet
Zac Efron, High School Musical was
already in the bargain bin. One day I

woke up and an old man was staring
back at me from the bathroom mirror.
Old age cuts my hair these days, and

colors it. He doesn’t ask what I want.
He doesn’t listen. When I try to say
something, he’s on the phone

reaching for a black pocket comb
swimming in an aquarium of blue
barbicide. He speaks to someone I

can’t see and gives the scissors a few
warm-up strokes before pushing my
head down and making the first cut.


Want Ad

47 years old (next week). 1 heart attack.
1 Brownie Hawkeye camera, older than
I am. Works reasonably well, sometimes.
3 kids. 1 marriage, good condition. (Alright,
acceptable condition. Somewhat broken.)
Bad knees and ankles. 1 shoulder okay.
Back totally fucked. Wrists not so good. Eyes
going. Stomach long gone. Good typing skills.
Almost utterly unemployable. Does not
need as much watering as in previous years.
“Water” interferes with heart medicine.
Sleeps badly, if at all. Not much going for
me, really. Honest. Impatient. Periodically
mean. Sharp-tongued. Lazy. Poor gardener.
Will take up very little space in your home.
Good cook. Does own dishes. Will write you
sweet notes, at first. No recommendations.


Image by Oxfordian Kissuth (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons