so i went to the barber shop to get my hair did. its always a good idea to talk to the fellas when theres nothing going on on the street. the problem with the marines is they always want me to hit the streets when the shits going down. aint gonna learn anything when its hot on the block.
and on top of that, theyre going to know youre the heat if you only show up when there’s a bustle in the hedgerow.
now that i dont have a fro they were slow to recognizing me. then they were all, whoa broth-aaaa!
alot has changed in the barbershop. theyve taken down the nubian artwork and added a wall of tvs. they were on the same station, playing the same commercial. i was irritated cuz they used to play these neosouljazz mixed tapes that i really loved cuz id never heard anything like that before.
sat down and told the guy i wanted it shaved down to nothing. i had maybe 2 millimeters of hair and i didnt like how it was growing in. i looked olde. dumb. mean.
before the guy had a chance to put the smock on me an older man showed up asking for harold. harold is the young brotha who runs the place. harold has a huge fro so huge i have always thought it was fake, but you never know.
a half white barber kid yelled out, harolds at the store.
the sto? the old man questioned.
my barber was all, no, he in the back.
old man repeated even louder the sto? looking at the half whitey. and held the look.
my barber put down the buzzers, ran in the back and collected harold.
a bus sped by. a twenty. with an old ad for the nba allstar game on it. shaq.
when harold and my dude came out together the old man complained about the tvs that i wanted to complain about.
y’all selling tv’s in this place? what if i want to talk with these gentlemen?
i looked around.
apparently he was talking about us.
the barbers didnt say anything. i laughed. the old man demanded a remote so as to turn down the televised hip hop. nobody went for one. B.E.T’s “rap city” was on. beyonce was dancing around in lingerie.
i got a hammer in my ride if you cant find your clicker, the old man said. not moving from the point.
the tv was turned down and we were able to conversate.
the fellas didnt know the old man was my partner.
a seven twenty rapid barrelled past the barber shop. a blur of red.
twenty minutes later my head was fully shorn and i was being asked to pay $20. i slipped my man two twenties because the info was good.
the ninety degree sunshine hit my bald pate and i walked down the dirty boulevard like i owned the place.
cuz i did.