Thursday, November 15, 2007

Two New Books

The only thing I know that can make the joy of starting a new book greater is having to wait to do it. Every semester I acquire a long list of books I wish I were reading but don't have time to. Instead I read books I should read and make frequent trips to the bookstore or to Amazon to fawn over the titles I promise myself I will get to as soon as school is out. The excitement builds; the tension mounts, and then, lo and behold, school ends and I rejoice.

Today I went to Follett's book store on Court Street and purchased The Best American Essays 2007, edited by David Foster Wallace this year, and Siddartha, by Hermann Hesse. For each I have chosen a new bookmark: for Best
I have selected a Supercuts 9th-haircut-free card that is two cuts shy of redemption,1 and for Hesse I have chosen to use a Bajio Grill buy-ten-meals-get-one-free card that is completely filled out. The holidays2 are upon us, my friends.

1This is the second such card I had after living in Provo for 4 years. I kept going because I liked showing up on weekdays at around 10 or 11 and never having to wait. Almost always it was the same girl working then, and we would have the same conversation, month after month. She had great hair, masses of half-curly locks that fell across her shoulders, trendily divided into a layer of dirty blond on top and one of deep brown underneath. While she had her hands in my hair, I thought about how fulfilling it would feel to have a handful of hers (am I a hair guy after all?). But that's not why I went. Sometimes instead of this woman it would be a sassy blond girl with a slight lisp who I imagine was from Alaska because she reminded me of a girl I knew from Alaska. Not only were her haircuts not that great, but she once said something (flirtatious? cutesy?) to me and simultaneously touched one finger to my nose as if I were a teddy bear or Miss Muffet's tuffet or something, and I could do nothing but flinch a bit as my arms were trapped beneath that cape thingy. I was mildly terrified of her from then on, and honestly I don't know why I kept going because it was always a pretty good chance I would get the one and not the other and you can't just walk into a shop or even just press your face against the glass, look at whose doing the cutting, and leave. Once you're there, you're committed to getting it cut. Another thing: no matter which one was cutting my hair, I couldn't but sit there and think about asking her out. Was it the false sense of intimacy, something about the success or failure of small talk, or something else?
    I did win a contest there once by putting my name into a drawing to win an Easter basket full of hair care products—I think it was that first girl who called me up to tell me I won. It was the summer of Paul Mitchell for me, and ever since then I haven't been able to settle for Suave. I'm a Fructis man now.

2Because Ohio University is on the quarter system, school is now out for seven weeks. Seven. Full. Weeks.


Amanda said...

Come play.

David Grover said...

On my way.

Elisa said...

I remember going to Supercuts with you a million years ago and either meeting or hearing about the nose-touching girl. I also remember totally regretting that haircut. (By the way, I started reading your blog...)

Janssen said...

So I read that little blurb at the end with out checking which of your cards it was referring to and I could not wrap my mind around why the girl at the Mexican food place would have her hands in your hair. Or? Why when the other girl touched your nose, you would have your arms under a cape. Was it Halloween?!?!

Then you talked about how you are committed to getting it cut once you walk in and it all suddenly made much more sense.