"Hey, Z, " Sharon said as she held open the salon door. You always have a book in your hand every time I see you," she added. "I'm reading this one with the book club, it's called "Preacherman Blues," Zehira responded as she walked through the door taking in a whiff of the familiar salon scent of hair spray, burnt hair and heated metal. "Another one of those preachy Christian novels huh?" Sharon said. "Actually, this is not your average Christian novel it's pretty good so far," Zehira answered as she hung up her jean jacket.
"I was surprised to see your name in the book this morning. I haven't seen you in months," Sharon said as she walked over to her booth while Zehira followed. "Well, I decided to grow out this perm and --." Before Zehira could finish Sharon interrupted, "Yeah, I heard it all before. So many of my regulars thought they were going to go that route (she actually said root) too, but they all come back. Always." Zehira took a deep breath and eased herself into the chair. "Well, I'm not here to 'go back' I'm actually here to go all the way," she ended with a smile pleased at her quirky come back.
"Humph, I know you don't mean what I think you mean," Sharon said with her nose twisted up. Zehira, ignoring Sharon's frown and sounding as cheerful as she did when she walked into the salon responded, "Well, if you think I am here to get my hair cut I am." "Okay, Ms. Haircut. How much of your long (she exaggerated the word long), beautiful hair do you want to chop off?" Sharon shot back more like a curse than a question.
Before responding Zehira couldn't help to reflect on Sharon's words, 'How come long and beautiful are always put together, like short is ugly,' she thought. "Actually I want all of these frail, broke off, permed ends cut - or as you put it chopped off up to my new growth," she finally responded and noticed that she now had an audience. Two women and their stylists who were in booths across from her, one getting a color applied and the other getting her hair rolled with rods all looked her way.
You would have thought she said she wanted Sharon to shave her head bald and dye her scalp green by looking at their faces. The lady getting the color raised her eyebrows, the one wearing a crown of multi-colored rods lowered hers in a frown matching Sharon's, and the hairstylists both stopped in mid action. "Have you lost your mind?" Sharon demanded.
Sharon's question reminded Zehira of someone's signature on one of the natural hair websites. It was taken from a quote by Marcus Garvey, it went something like take the kinks out of your mind, not your hair. Remembering the quote she had to smile. No, she had not lost her mind, as a matter of fact she had renewed it. Zehira spared reciting the quote for Sharon and simply said, "No, I have not. I know exactly what I am doing." Her audience, including Sharon all silmutaneously began to slowly shake their heads side to side in a 'poor misguided soul' kind of way.
"Okay, suit yourself Ms. Afrocentric," Sharon responded. Not sounding a bit amused...
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