I’ve been going to this barber shop called “It’z the Cut” in Carrollton on and off for about a year, and I’m just now figuring out how it works. Or maybe the culture of it, or something. I’m a white dude, and in case you haven’t guessed by the name of the place, it’s a black barber shop with one token Mexican. The comforting thing about it is that every dude in America, no matter what color, agrees on and can talk about two things: Pussy and beer. On the other hand—this is the part I’m not used to as a white dude—getting your hair cut there is not an in-and-out thing; you will usually be there for at least an hour. Yesterday, I was there for two. It’s an experience.
Since I could drive, I’ve had this thing where, all of a sudden, I will freak out and have to get my hair cut immediately. I can’t wait for more than fifteen minutes for a person in front of me. I’ll drive around to wherever the fuck can take me right then. Super Cuts and shit. This has caused many a shitty haircut, and plenty of times, I’ve had to get my head shaved the next day because it was so fucking bad. And all of it seems worthwhile if I can get done RIGHT NOW.
There have been exceptions to this, of course. I found stylist at a salon, who was fucking hot and fucking cool. I would make appointments with her every three weeks, which was usually before the freak out stage. We sort of dated for a bit, and that was pretty much the end of the best stylist I will probably ever have. I was scared to kiss her and scared that I was too fucked up emotionally for her. I disappeared for a bit, and after that, she didn’t want anything to do with me professionally or otherwise. That’s the only exception to me not having to get my hair cut immediately. Obviously, that didn’t go so well either.
Fuck. Sometimes I start writing about girls and forget all about what I was originally writing or talking about. White dude in a black barber shop. Yes, that’s it.
One day, I was having a full-blown anxiety attack about getting my hair cut, and ended up at It’z the Cut. I’d already been to a few budget honky places, but I couldn’t wait. I was a little nervous about going in there, but like I said, I was having an anxiety attack. It’s not like they were gonna lynch me or something. I walked in, trying not to look too white, and they had an opening right then. That definitely gave me the wrong idea about the black barber shop. The first guy who cut my hair there called himself PH. He was a fucking badass barber, but there was something a little off about him—like his life was pretty fucked up and he was barely hanging on. He reminded me of myself. One day, I went in and found out he’d disappeared. The other dudes in there seemed to be glad he was gone. I got my haircut by the token Mexican and he fucked my shit up pretty bad. Good thing I wear a hat constantly when I’m not a work.
After that, I went to this Super Duper White Man barber shop. Good haircut, but really lame. I felt more at home at It’z the Cut and went back there the next time.
Again, I walked right in and a dude named DeShun the Definition sat me down in his chair. He is fucking awesome. The first couple minutes, we were feeling each other out. What do you do for a living? Sports and where are you from? That’s when I heard the dude at the first chair say, “Hey niggas, Miss Tilly here with the ribs!”
An old black lady walked in with ten Styrofoam boxes of ribs. No shit. Ribs. Every dude in there (beside the token Mexican) dropped the clippers and ran for the door.
DeShun said, “Hey man, I gotta get up on them ribs. I’ll be right back.” None of the other barbers had to say anything to their customers.
“Cool,” I said, thinking that this was way too cliché to be real. I was also thinking it was a little rude to eat while giving someone a haircut. Especially ribs. And of course, I was thinking all sorts of racist shit. I mean, come on, ribs? You would have thought some racist shit too.
This was probably my first lesson in the culture and experience of the black barber shop: None of them are in a hurry and ribs come first. They all carried their ribs to the back and didn’t come out for five minutes. They were all licking sauce off their fingers when they came back. One dude said, “Hey DeShun, let me get up on one of those ribs.”
DeShun said, “You see this look on my face, nigga? That’s about as close as you gonna get.”
Then the other dude said, “How much for one rib?” The whole place, including me started laughing. He was quoting Chris Rock from “I’m Gonna Git You, Sucka.”
DeShun turned to me and said, “You know that movie?”
“Fuck yeah. That shit’s hilarious.”
“You’re pretty cool.” And with that, I was in. Mostly. Sort of. That haircut took about forty-five minutes, and it was totally worth it. I got a great haircut and funny story about black dudes eating ribs. Oh yeah, and he gave me a handshake/hug which made me feel good in a totally human way, having nothing to do with possibly being an honorary black dude. I wasn’t there yet.
The next time, I had to wait about thirty minutes. I read the paper. DeShun and I talked about all kinds of shit that day. We talked about Saul Williams and agreed that he was the only slam poet in the world who didn’t suck donkey dicks. He told me about being in the Navy and groing up in the country. I told him I was an alcoholic and I used to be a college English teacher. He calls me “Professa” now, though he knows I work in a shrink’s office. Though the conversation and haircut were great, I was still slightly annoyed at the length of time the whole thing took. That definitely comes from an “I’m the white man, and I have shit to do” attitude. I had exactly nowhere to go or anything to do that day. I was starting to get it. You’re not just there for a haircut.
Last week, I went in and DeShun said it would be an hour and a half. There was no way I could wait for that, but there was no way I was going anywhere else.
I went back yesterday, and had one dude in the chair and one dude waiting. I told myself that I didn’t have shit to do, so I waited. I’d brought a Rolling Stone with the top 100 guitar players of all time in it. (Totally gay list.) I was barely past Jimmy Hendrix when the dude next to me started talking about walking in on his son “stroking.” I was sure he was talking about beating off. Nope.
“That little nigga was stroking!” Everyone laughed. “You shoulda seen the look on that little girl’s face.”
They all started telling stories about somebody’s mama catching them fucking. DeShun had a different kind of story.
“One time, I was eatin the cookie when the girl’s mama walked in.”
“Hell yeah,” I said. The other dudes looked at both of us like we were crazy.
“I had me a mouth all fulla pussy and her mama was just lookin. Not sayin anything. Just looking.”
“Nigga, you fuckin nasty,” one of the dudes said.
DeShun said, “Fuck that. I’ll eat a good pussy all fuckin day long.”
“What the fuck wrong with you?”
“What the fuck wrong with you?”
Well, it turns out that many black dudes don’t or won’t eat the pussy. I’m with DeShun; I’ll eat a good pussy all fuckin day long.
I wrote all of that a few weeks ago and forgot that I hadn’t finished it. I even looked for it on my website and tumblr. I’m pretty sure I have a case of Writer’s ADD. I wrote a bunch of other crap since then—some of which I probably also forgot about. I probably had some great points and beautiful prose and shit planned to finish this off but I just don’t feel like it. Here’s a bulleted list of my final thoughts on the black barber shop. My process is fucked.
Lessons from the Barber Shop:
· You’re not just getting a haircut. You’re getting an experience.
· If you’re in a hurry, go somewhere else.
· It’s fun as hell.
· The shit you see in movies is true.
· I’m not racist because I go to a black barber shop and all this is real.
· No, really. I’m not racist.
· Blah x 3
All girls, girlfriends, chicks, bitches, and hos are figments of the writer’s imagination. Seriously.
Good Chick-Lit scares the fuck out of me. Most of it is awful and don’t ask me how I know; I’m already risking my reputation by writing this. But the good shit is way scarier than the best, old Stephen King stuff he wrote while he was still drinking and doing coke.
The one I’m reading now. It’s a collection of short stories by Miranda July called No One Belongs Here More Than You. Though I’m sure she’s a total nut-ball, her writing makes me think that all chicks are just as fucking crazy. Jesus, I should have been highlighting the crazy parts while I was reading so I could write this like a paper in grad school—not that I was ever very good at that. I have to say that she’s a good writer. I guess I wouldn’t be so freaked out if she weren’t.
The first one that got me was her masturbating while talking on the phone to her sister. Her sister is a total slut and was telling her about some dude’s giant cock and jizz shooting everywhere and shit like that. The thing was, her sister knew she was fingering herself. When she came, they hung up. The narrator—who I think is the author of course—is not a slut at all and seems to only get off while her sister tells her about the huge cocks she collects. Thank god, I was not turned on by this. I was scared. And possibly scarred. It was so realistic that I started to think about every girlfriend I’ve ever had finger-fucking themselves while talking to their sisters, whether they had sisters or not. And they were always faking orgasms with me. Or if they did come, they were thinking about listening to their sisters talk about giant cocks and sperm shooting all over the room. My delicate, insecure heart can’t take that kind of shit. I kept reading.
I just read another one about her getting raped by a black cloud monster—obviously her father or uncle or neighbor. That’s not even the wack part. Shit. I need to back up. The story is about this novel she wrote in college about the black cloud rape monster. She tries to meet up with an old professor who said she had “promise” or something. It’s a nice frame, and that part gets wack too.
Back to the black cloud rape monster: He falls in love with her, and she gets tired of him. Kinda breaks up with him, if that’s possible with a cloud rape monster. He leaves, but before he does, he tells her that he will come back as a dude named Steve. She promises to love him, even if he’s ugly. Time passes. She graduates high school and college. The professor she was supposed to meet to talk about her novel about the black cloud rape monster stands her up, and she becomes a teaching assistant for retards. There’s a kid in the class named Steve—you guessed it—he’s the rape monster. She starts an affair with this retarded kid named Steve. Fucking and sucking his retarded dick and all that. She even tries to teach him to read with her book about him. A few months later, she sees the other tards in the back of the class passing notes. She snatches one up and reads it. It says that some other tardo girl has been sucking Steve’s tardo pecker. Jesus! For a minute, I thought she was going to kick her ass, but she didn’t. I think she went home and cried.
Again, I wonder if all girls are a little crazy.
The last story I read was about this chick—the author, I’m sure—who was sort of a lesbian. She was in love with her best friend but the best friend didn’t see her that way. I’m pretty sure the friend was a Borderline. The friend was probably more lesbian than the author—I mean narrator—but who knows? They move in together after high school and don’t want to get regular jobs. Who the fuck does? Their first scheme is doing sexual shit for old, rich ladies. They get one gross one, getting paid barely enough to cover their rent, and decide not to do that again. They consider working at Mr. Peeps, letting dudes beat off to whatever they do behind the glass. The Borderline hates this idea. Next thing you know, the friend ditches the narrator for this rich, high school girl. This breaks the fuck out of the narrator’s heart. Understandably. Three days later, she’s sticking all kinds of shit up her pussy at Mr. Peeps while dudes beat off. This is about the time that I kinda freaked out.
First I thought, Goddamnit! I don’t want to work, but I don’t think anyone is gonna pay me to do naked shit behind glass. That would be so fucking easy. (The chick writers who do this kind of thing always complain about it and how gross it is and all that, but fuck them. It’s a nice fucking option. Not to mention, there’s always the part in the story where they admit that is turns them on a little.) Besides being jealous of the ease with which decent-looking chicks can make money, I immediately think that every girlfriend I’ve ever had has been a sex worker at some point in their lives. And they liked it. And people paid to get the same thing I got for free. And maybe they liked it more. Jesus Christ, I have issues. Anyway, I am completely sure that every girl I ever loved had, at some point, been a sex worker, if not a full-blown hooker. Just once. Just to see. Just for the thrill and nothing else. Just to say they did it or just to write about doing it. Just like me when I tried to have sex with that hooker in Amsterdam, except different. Except wrong. All of it making everything with me a terrible lie. A betrayal. The unexpected wetness saying, No, I never loved you.
But maybe I’m the one who needs to call my therapist.