The Haircut

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With his fingers on the door handle, David paused for a moment to think. "Am I sure about this?" he recited to himself. The short answer was "no", and he knew it, but despite that he decided to press on - pushing the glass panelled door open he hopped into the warmth of the hairdresser's reception area.

It was mid Saturday morning and the salon was busy - well groomed girls in black t-shirts and jeans bustled around their clients and the smell of hair products and heat filled the room. The over made up girl behind the reception desk didn't look up - instead she dabbed with one hand at a PC keyboard while looking blankly at the screen. David felt a little uneasy at first, nobody seemed to have noted his arrival but he felt self-conscious and a little lost -a lone male in a sea of female. Every other customer was a woman and he wondered for a moment whether he should have just snuck down to the barbers at the bottom of the road instead. With a conscious effort he pulled himself up, stuck his chest out a little and strode purposefully over to the receptionists desk.

"Hi there".

 the receptionist looked up and auto-smiled, dead-eyed. "Hello, do you have an appointment?"

"Hi, yeah, it was for eleven - I'm a bit late I'm afraid". He gave a little nervous laugh. Truth be told he was a lot late. As usual.

The receptionist gave him a look that was as good as a "tut". "Do you know which stylist it was with?"

"Erm, Jenny I think. Yeah".

"Ok, I see, 11 o'clock. Take a seat over there please.", she auto-smiled again and gestured towards a black leather sofa up against the opposite wall.

"Thanks."

"Miserable rude bitch, why am I doing this?", David thought to himself as he flumped into the sofa.

For five minutes nothing much happened. David flicked through the pile of magazines that were strewn on the low glass table in front of the sofa trying to find the obligatory car-mag but it must have been snaffled by the last male customer. He gave up and picked his way gingerly through Heat, taking care to skip the fashion features. He heard a little cough and jumping like a guilty school boy looked up to see the receptionist standing over him. She made eye contact this time.

"The stylist will just be a minute. Would you like a coffee or tea while you're waiting?", this time her smile was more convincing. He inwardly chastised himself for jumping to misogynistic conclusions earlier.

"Erm, yes, thanks. Coffee please."

"How do you like it?"

"Sorry?", David was flustered for a minute, "Erm, sorry, milk and one please".

David could feel himself blushing a little. The receptionist smiled again, "Won't be a minute", and headed off to find the coffee.


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