The Hot Seat

Appointment or walk-in, I just roll the dice
Some call me a rebel, I never think twice
A cosmetology license from ITT Tech
doesn’t scare or amaze, or leave me a wreck!

I say “Do your worst! Bring your scissors to bear!
Whatever goes wrong, in the end its just hair!”
But under the surface, not hidden too deep
a growing concern is starting to creep

For this pixie-haired stylist will want to converse
And I don’t have material, no lines I’ve rehearsed
My brain’s running circles. Do I look down or at you?
As you study my locks to decide what to do.

“How short do you want it?” you casually ask.
And confidence falls off my face like a mask
“I don’t really know. I guess just a trim.”
My answer is useless, the details are slim

So you make your decision, and act as my proxy
Alone in your quest to make me look foxy
A slight perspiration emits from my glands.
Will my pompadour fibers be safe in your hands?

Again, you try vainly to strike up some banter
But my social anxiety takes hold like a cancer
Clearly you’re nice, but I can’t quite connect
So I ask pointless questions or try to deflect

Part of me doesn’t know how to respond
The other part asks “Are you naturally blonde?”
“Jesus, who asks that? Was I raised in a cellar?
With conversational skills like a young Helen Keller?”

I said that out loud?! Mocked a national treasure!
Made a disabled joke in a sick, desperate measure
On your face I see judgment framed in the mirror
Can you see that my choices are driven by fear?

But then there’s a change as we race toward the finish,
My deep-seated dread dares to diminish
For I watch as you trim, tickle, tussle and tease
The choices you’re making abate my unease

“How do you like it?” you ask in conclusion
My smile, ecstatic, my response, effusion!
Despite all my fears, my missteps and blunders
You’ve seen past my flaws, shaped a diamond, worked wonders!

As we saunter on back to the counter to pay
My mojo is back and I know what to say!
But then in a flash my spunk is deterred
When I see the red sign that says “Cash Tips Preferred”

I fumble and fidget and look for some green
There must be some cash that I’ve stashed in these jeans!
Nope, not a dollar, a buck, or a bill
Just a visa, an amex, and coffee card, still…

I want to explain and show that I care!
but when I look over you’ve refilled your chair
So, I slink out the door, my lunch hour through
til the next time I’ll visit and disappoint you