She had Mother Mary tattooed on her left bicep. Jesus and his crown of thorns wept blood on her right forearm. A flock of trumpeting angels swarmed across her shoulders and down underneath her halter top. Piercings hung from both eyebrows, her lip, the left nostril, and up her ear lobes like glittering spiders.
“You need haircut?” she said.
I sat down in the chair. The placard taped to the mirror said her name was Guadalupe Maria Lupita Rojas.
“I am Maria. How you want cut?” At least I wouldn’t have to endure the usual barber chitchat. She was a stone.
My haircut is always the same. A #1-1/2 up the back and sides, and blend in the top. The Nordic Warrior Queen likes it longer, but this delivers a nice balance between fashion and economy. And it’s easy. Helen Keller could cut my hair.
I told her what to do. It had been a few weeks since my last cut—I only needed a trim.
She picked up the razor, grinning like Hannibal Lecter with a new steak set. “I cut half-inch,” she said.
Boy, she wasn’t kidding. I thought she meant a half-inch off, not remaining.
She took a big swipe with the trimmer, carving a two-inch wide path from my hairline to the back of my collar.
“Is short enough? I can do more,” she offered.
My scalp gleamed whitely. “Looks great,” I said. There was no turning back.
She went to work, levitating the razor across my head like a bladed hovercraft. Within minutes, I was boot camp ready.
I tipped her three-dollars—she was efficient, if nothing else—and walked next door to the grocery store. The Nordic Warrior Queen wanted broccoli, and The Sister Wife needed more beer. The produce guy was busy racking artichokes. He took one look at me and began to chuckle. Two old ladies smelling cantaloupes stopped to point. The checkout girl stared.
“Is there a problem?” I asked
“No, not at all,” she said, and smiled. “That will be $15.78.” I handed her a twenty.
I walked to my car. Maria Rojas was parked next to me. She sat astride a black and pink v-twin with custom pipes, and wore leather chaps and a jacket with Our Lady of Guadalupe embroidered across the back.
“You like haircut, Meester Kip?” I could barely hear her over the roar of the motorcycle.
“Yes, thanks Maria. Thanks a lot. Drive safe.”
I have to buy a hat. My scalp is sunburned.