Same Simple Cut
It is 11 years and counting. Ideally, I would go to each 4 weeks, but it surely doesn’t occur like clockwork. Haircuts, like many different duties in my life, are sometimes borne of necessity. No matter how lengthy I fuss in entrance of the mirror, hoping that final dollop of product may repair no matter appears not fairly proper, it simply doesn’t work.
That is when I textual content Jose. He at all times calls again punctually and leaves a message telling me that he’s at work and I can come by every time I’m free. I’m not even certain why I textual content since he’s by no means out. I don’t suppose he has ever taken a sick day.
The haircut is easy and the identical one I have been getting for 11 years. Nonetheless, I present him the identical image each time, prompting him to dig out his wire-rimmed glasses to have a look at a photograph he has seen numerous instances. The actions have change into comfortably acquainted, like a seasoned veteran practising tai chi at the native park.
We chat about the information and about household. Jose at all times asks about my mom however by no means my father. Is it as a result of I have by no means talked about him?
Since I acquired married, Jose usually imparts marital recommendation. It is the sort of old-school steering that doesn’t ring true anymore. Still, I pay attention, smile and nod.
I respect the barber-customer relationship.
— Hank Zhou
I stepped off a bus on Fifth Avenue in Midtown on a steamy afternoon. My first cease was a close-by avenue vendor for a chilly drink. I requested for a seltzer.
“How much?” I stated. I anticipated to listen to $2 or $three, so I was considerably shocked when he stated $5.
I handed him a $5 invoice.
“I am not a tourist,” I stated. “I live here.”
Flashing a giant smile, he handed me again a single.
A modest victory, possibly, but it surely made my day.
— Art Schaffer
No. 7 Buzz
I was standing on a No. 7 prepare heading into Manhattan when a wasp began buzzing round my head and then landed in my hair.
An older lady standing close by observed what was taking place and the panicked expression on my face that stated, “What do I do now?”
Without a phrase, she calmly rolled up her newspaper and gently hit me on the head.
The wasp, in all probability considerably dazed, flew away.
— Joan McGrath
One 12 months, after adorning my Christmas tree, I observed that it was crooked and about to fall over. I leaned it up towards the wall till I might run out in the morning to get a bigger stand.
It was raining when I awoke. I placed on a hat and ran to the nearest tree lot, at Spring Street and Lafayette. I was sporting the garments I’d slept in and I hadn’t brushed my tooth.
“Excuse me,” I requested the man there. He was sitting inside a bit sales space that was coated with twinkling lights and studying a ebook. “Do you sell tree stands?”
The eyes that appeared again at me had been the kindest I had ever seen.
I had by no means requested anybody out earlier than. I was terrified to do it and terrified to not. The considered strolling previous these timber on daily basis and not realizing extra about this impossibly good-looking man was insufferable.
After returning residence and getting my tree straightened out, I placed on garments that weren’t pajamas and marched all the way down to the espresso store. I purchased a scorching chocolate and wrote my quantity on the cup.
I will need to have walked round the block 5 instances earlier than I acquired the guts to stroll again as much as him. An hour later my telephone rang. It was Jose.
He thanked me for having the braveness to return again and requested if I’d prefer to go together with him to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting.
Afterward, we instructed one another our life tales over a bottle of wine at a bar at Grand Central. I will need to have been on the good listing that 12 months.
— Stephanie Najor
I parked my automobile at an outside lot close to Madison Square Garden whereas my pal and I went to the Rangers sport. After the sport, we walked to Virgil’s and spent a while catching up over a leisurely barbecue dinner.
On the manner again to the automobile, I acquired a hole feeling in the pit of my abdomen when the car parking zone got here into view. From a distance, it appeared that my automobile was the just one left in the lot.
My uneasy feeling was quickly justified. When I left the automobile there earlier in the night, I had by some means failed to note the signal clearly stating that the lot closed at 11 p.m.
As my pal and I stood helplessly at the locked gate pondering our stupidity and predicament, I noticed a bit of paper taped to the fence and flapping in the wind. It was a handwritten be aware.
“I’m in the Irish pub around the corner,” it stated. “Meet me there.”
— Vincent Bucci
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Illustrations by Agnes Lee