Through the Looking-Glass

Many women get their hair done during their lunch-break.

I’m no exception.

The receptionist has dyed half of her long straight hair in pink. She also wears silk and velvet like a young Marianne Faithful.

Have a seat, she tells me, while signing a receipt to the UPS guy who glances at her mile-long legs.

My hairstylist spots me and waves me in.

In her hip tunic that brushes against the hem of her short shorts she looks young enough to be my oldest daughter’s age.

I’ve known her for three years – enough to feel comfortable whether we talk or not.

Today she is in a talkative mood…

And I loose my thoughts through the wall-hung mirrors displayed above each working station.

I see my face.

I see the back of my head.

I see my left and right profiles.

Oh the passing of time.

I see the other hairstylists.

One, wearing boots that remind me of my Clash’s period, trims the thinning hair of a thirty-something year old man.

Another coils pieces of aluminum around the faded blond strands of a bank employee whose plastic ID badge dangles from her wrist.

Still another leafs through the pages of a Wedding Special issue magazine and points at various styling options to a bride to be.

In front of me, behind me, on each side of me, faces and movements are duplicated through the mirrors.

Could I, like Alice, pass through the one in front of me and step on the other side?

What would the world be like on the other side of this mirror’s reflection?

Would have time stopped?

Alice after all only found a reflected version of her own house.

How do you like it?

Pardon me?

I’m finished. My hairstylists hands me a mirror so I can check the back and side of my head.

While my mind wandered, my hair has been washed, cut, blow-dried, and styled.

My hairstylist has worked at smoothing the passing of time.

I like it. As always. Thank you.

Thanks, but I already told you, you could do it yourself.

No, I can’t. Besides if I could you wouldn’t have a job.

She laughs.

And I couldn’t dream.

I pay. I tip. I book my next appointment.

She hands me a card. Whoa, it’ll be March.

I’ll see you in March, then.

Time goes by so fast.

If she knew…

On my way out, a poster on the wall catches my eye.

Unlike Alice with Jabberwocky I don’t need to hold up the poster to a mirror to read it perfectly.

In purple glittery ink, someone has written:

All you need is love

John 3:6

And signed with a big heart.

I slip my jacket on.

Take care.

You too.

A hug. A smile.

The door swings closed behind me.

My reflection in the large expanse of glass makes me pause.

Is that me?

Life is but a dream.

At least at the hair salon during lunch-break.


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