Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can it really be the hair?

My search for a warm, dry place to sit one afternoon was hampered by a locked village church. The reason some of the churches are locked and other not are varied - some churches hold precious relics or priceless art, some are completely unattended, some have notes on the door with the keybearer's address, usually on the same square. About half, in my experience, are unlocked, but it happened one cold, raw day, the village church was locked. There was no café or bar; the school and mayor's office locked, too.

At the edge of the village, I saw a light on behind steamed-up windows of a 'Coiffure'. The Christmas decorations around the bay window invited me to peek my head in the door. I saw two women smoking cigarettes and chatting away, a small dog with a bow on top of its head wagged its tail at me. I explained that I just wanted some place to sit for a little while. They invited me in graciously. The older women got me a cup of coffee, the younger took my hat and gloves to the radiator.

Out of occupational habit, obviously, the younger woman studied my hairstyle as we talked about my pilgrimage. She probed at it and arranged it - natural? she wanted to know, the color, the waves... and you wear a hat all day?! I'm lucky that I don't even need to brush it or blow dry it after a shower - it just always goes into place, regardless of the type of shampoo, no gel or mousse needed. She was heavily made up herself, with big complicated hair. Attractive, in a fashionable sense. I could never be a pilgrim, she concluded, I don't have the hair for it. It takes an hour every day to get my hair just right.

Who knew? Could simple hair be key to a pilgrim's life?

1 comment:

Tara Jerry said...

Simple hair is definitely key, could you imagine Lisa in your place?

Did the woman also admire your "silver" hair? Haha.

-T