May 6, 2002

"Look down at the floor," David says.

Obediently, I lean forward a little from the waist and contemplate the lineoleum tiles below me. Tufts of hair are raining down on my bare feet like fine dandelion fluff. (Dark brown dandelion fluff, desperately in need of a bucket of hot oil and a new primer coat of Miss Clairol #42, maybe ... but dandelion fluff, nonetheless.)

"How's it looking?" I ask.

David tugs the comb through the back of my hair a couple of times, quickly, expertly, without reply. He puts his hand on the back of my head and gently pushes it forward, so that my chin meets my chest. I am now 'contemplating' my own cleavage. 

"A little more," he murmurs ... more to himself than to me, I suspect. I hear the snick snick of the scissors ... feel the cold steel of the blade through my T-shirt, as he clips in a straight line across my back. More hair rains down on the faded blue bath rug at my feet. As he snips, holding the scissors in his right hand, he uses the fingers of his left hand to alternately lift and smooth my hair. His touch -- warm, practiced, sure -- sends little electrical currents shooting from my scalp straight down the length of my spine.

I love this.

I've always loved having my hair touched. When I was in grade school, and my hair was long enough to sit on -- a bit of a novelty in 1968 -- my friends used to take turns brushing it during recess. Later, as a young mother, I loved the feeling of my baby's fingers entwined in my hair as we nursed. But this is a different feeling altogether. There is just something so incredibly intimate -- something tender and erotic and sweetly human -- about standing here in the bathroom on a Sunday night, having my husband cut my hair. I look forward to these bi-monthly haircuts the way one might look forward to a date, or a vacation, or a second honeymoon. For the first time in my life, I am actually glad to have straight, fine, uncomplicated hair that can be blunt-cut with a minimum of fuss, muss, expense ... or beauty parlor chit-chat. (No snooty beautician standing behind me, scowling disapprovingly at my roots and sniffing "I see you color your hair yourself?")

"I think we're done," David says finally. And he sets the scissors down on the counter next to the sink.

Reluctantly, I lift my chin and shake my head, sending a last handful of loose hair drifting to the floor. Together we look in the mirror, David standing behind me, looking over the top of my head.

Well? says his expression. Do you like it? 

I have to admit that it's a bit shorter than usual -- just barely grazing my shoulders, on either side -- but yes, I like it. It looks neat and cared-for and ever-so-slightly sassy, and it's already beginning to flip pertly a little at the ends.

I'm going to be very 'That Girl' for the next few weeks.

I meet his reflected eyes in the mirror. "Thank you," I tell him sincerely. "It looks great." And I begin cleaning up the mess ... scooping up fistfuls of spent hair from the floor and the sink and the bath rug and depositing them into the wastebasket.

"Wait a minute," he says suddenly, as I'm wiping the floor with a damp towel. "I think I've missed a spot." 

And he positions me in front of the mirror again, directly beneath the light, running his fingers through the back of my hair a couple of times and picking up the scissors.

"Look down," he orders. And once again I obediently lean forward and look down at my feet ... shivering a little in anticipation.

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