Wednesday, May 09, 2007

polymorphous perversity

Got my haircut tonight by my buddy Vance. Michael is his given name, Vance is one of his middle names, the other, he tells me is “too ghetto – I don’t know WHAT my mother was thinking” and so he refuses to give it up. I plan to get it out of him before too long. I’ll keep you posted.

Decided to go and pretend that my grandfather hadn’t died today; that I hadn’t come home mid-day and fallen into a hard sleep, because that’s what grief does to me. Knocks me flat and makes me want to nap. Cried a little, made some calls to family, wished I’d packed it up for Phoenix sooner; hadn’t realized I’d be waiting so long to see family and get some hugs. But now it won’t be until July.

Then I dried my eyes and stepped out and kept my secret, so I could hear the gossip and not have to talk about it; deal with it. I love Vance and all that we have every eight to ten weeks or so, but I didn’t want to be talking about my grandfather while my head was wet and stringy.

He was running behind, per usual, so he had a new gal shampoo me. She was tentative and failed miserably to give me what I want from a shampoo, and what I especially wanted today: strong, firm strokes. Scrub me. With confidence.

I can’t entirely blame her. When I was an undergrad I found myself shampooing strangers’ heads one summer without much warning: I signed on as a receptionist and bookkeeper in a Boulder hair salon and the owner was having trouble with his hands. Some kind of scaly eczema thing. So he asked me to shampoo his clients. No training – just dive in. How hard could it be?

Tactically: piece of cake. Lather, rinse, repeat.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the erotic impact.

Their head prone in a bowl; my hips right up close; and then the contact of my hands in their hair. The water. The suds. I had shampooed the heads of boyfriends – those who relented at my request – so I should have expected that it would be charged. But this was more than I had bargained for. I didn’t know these people. I didn’t want to broadcast how unnerved I was. But I suspect there was no hiding it.

The gal who shampooed me today attacked my head with short staccato bursts designed to minimize contact, and it reminded me for all the world of how I felt that summer, slowly working the suds into the pates of folks I had never met before. Trying not to feel what I was feeling.

But her poor attentions made me realize something else: Feeling all that? Doesn’t scare me any more.

What terrified me before attracts me now – or maybe it always did, and I’m just old enough to be brave enough to take it. Not the desire to shampoo the heads of strangers – but the desire to feel life happen, head to toes, in a way that’s open and alive.


Lolabola said...

Is that where you get your hair done? I'm insanely jealous. What a fabulous exterior.

wow the erotic impact of shampooing. Too true. so intimate. I love having my hair shampooed.

Anali said...

I never thought about the impact of shampooing. Interesting. I'm very tender headed, so it usually feels like someone is trying to mush my brain in. It's nice when I can find someone gentle.

suttonhoo said...

thanks for your comments, guys -- I almost consigned this post to draft because I thought it was too pervy. ;)

lola -- I wish! I shot this in the old part of Vegas when I was there recently -- returned later, in the night, and discovered it was a jazz club -- the walls still done up with 50s female silhouettes, backlit, the room full of music.

I was about to drop from exhaustion at that point or else I would have stepped in.

next time.

anniemcq said...

This is hands down, the sexiest thing you've ever written. When I was in my twenties and dateless (and therefore, sexless), I got my hair cut, and the shampoo almost made me cry. Just to feel someone touching me. I let myself get lost in the thought of creating a salon where you could step into a pool, nekkid, and someone with beautiful hands would caress your head while you floated at the edge.

Talk about pervy!

heather lorin said...

The shampoo is my favorite part of the process - I hold a lot of tension in my head and neck so a nice scalp massage soothes and cures what ails me.

Takes me back to church services when I'd lay my head in my grandmother's lap and she'd run her fingers lightly through my hair.

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