Monday, November 19, 2012

dear Slater, I couldn't find the right card.

We had entire conversations when you were three.
The questions you asked amazed me,
scared me with how brilliant you seemed.

There were things we planned and things we didn't. The random haircut outside of Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day was of the latter. Just you and me in a hotel waiting for a game of golf to end. It was a strip mall in Marietta, I believe. We had gone for a ride. I needed a haircut, could never seem to find the time. An hour more till we were to have lunch and it met the minimal requirement of having an open light lit.

What do you remember about those walls? Piercings, tattoos, hairspray advertised as glue.
How old were you? Eight, nine maybe?
You still bring this up. You still laugh when you say it.
It will go down in history as my favorite haircut.

The guy, oh. I loved him dearly. He was going through a hard time, had opened that shop after some really serious disappointment since he, this great, greatest, great, great hairstylist of awesomeness had lost his business to a partner. Before that he had done all the models of New York.

There was no way to leave. I was trapped by the duty of good manners in his chair.

It is where we learned that the emotional state of someone who has shears and spray glue pointed at your head directly affects their ability to properly cut your hair.

You're welcome for that lesson, sir.

Do you remember sitting in that chair across the room as he was performing art on my head? You had been so mad that morning, you wanted to go with the boys but you were too young in their minds. There in that chair I remember your smiles. We were trying to hide them, trying to suppress giggles. Remember? Even when we looked away we knew what the other was thinking. It was the longest haircut of my life.

My hair had never been so big, not even in the eighties.
The teasing, not just anybody can perform like that.
It was amazing.


We stood side by side avoiding any eye contact when that guy told us what it cost. I think I added an extra big tip because I felt guilty for not liking it. Though I never told. Our bodies vibrated as we walked out the door. Suppression of such laughter would never be advised. We walked to the car so fast knowing he could see through the door. Still we had not uttered a word to each other, could not even look. Got in so fast you'd think we had robbed a bank.

That's when it started, that laughter. It's a wonder we're not both dead. Didn't I end up begging you to stop? I lost my breath. You puked. We had to go back to the hotel room so we could change your clothes. Then, when we got there.

Remember when they opened the door?
Does that go down as the best Thanksgiving we ever had?

Happy Birthday. I love you.

Today I am grateful for you.
For that look in your eyes, for the pep in your step, for your beautiful mind.
I am grateful for the stories we share.

You are my greatest gift, my sweet.


Anonymous said...

Cool, and chill bumps.

ellen said...

Who needs a card?

Shea Goff said...

I can't wait to see him Thursday. It's been too long.

Johnny Boy said...

I literally get excited every time I see that you are writing about Slater or Billy Sue because the love you have for them makes me smile so hard. I have fallen in love with both of them through your descriptions of them. This particular story had me laughing and crying and as always I have no words for how wonderful you and your perspective are. Thank you so much for sharing your writings with the world! I might be a little obsessed at this point!