Histeria

It took me an hour to go twenty five miles yesterday across an Interstate that seems to attract the meanest, fastest drivers the State of Arizona has to offer. By the time I arrived for my haircut appointment, I just needed to have a relaxing time in the chair, exchange some gossip, and then scoot next door to Mary Coyle’s for a banana split dinner.

He was a few minutes late coming to get me from the waiting area, which was out of character. In fact, the receptionist had to go alert him that I was waiting. When he did emerge from behind the metal screen, I could tell in his eyes that something was amiss.

“Oh, I have something bad to tell you…” he began in a voice that sounded ominous.

Before he began, I knew what he was going to say. His marriage of just a few months to a 22 year old Mexican student he met on Grindr had gone south.

With just a couple of introductory remarks about my hair “Take it back a bit?” out of the way he then launched non-stop into a breathless minute-by-minute account of the latest blow-up since Friday, the tears, the broken tvs (two broken tvs?) the pleas, the constant mantra he’s-22-and-I’m-36, the citing of the constant strife over sex (he wants it always, Oliver doesn’t) his family in Mexico, all the money Oliver has spent (is spending) on him, and on and on. I just sat there silent, not even nodding or saying “um hm” and he went on while he snipped and clipped barely taking a breath or asking a question.

When he got to the part in his narrative of buying a car (somehow, the purchase of a car figured into the dynamic of their continued relationship) I did break in with “What kind of a car did you get?”

“Huh? he asked.

I repeated the question. Cars have always been my weakness. He told me but had to add that he got a great deal, hates making car payments, paid cash and then went on again about the money he’s paid out to his husband and he now wants to meet with a divorce lawyer and that his husband does not. He went on at length on that vein for a while and then I opined: “You know, you’re still married.”

He paused and then started up again about if they were ever to get back together again it won’t be the same. Then he took me to the sink to wash my hair. He resumed his narrative but I was tuning it out. I recall him saying that his husband was staying with friends and giving them only his side of the story. I was distracted at this point as water began running down my neck into my shirt. I didn’t say anything until we were walking back to the chair and he noticed that my shirt was wet.

Apologizing, and turning on the hair dryer to dry the shirt collar he said “Why didn’t you say something?” I shrugged and said “It just happened right before we got up.”

He asked me if I had plans for dinner and I acted unsure. He said he was going to his sister’s house and then meet with his mother. I have no doubt what they were going to listen to that evening.

Checking out, I was presented with a list of options for tipping. Usually I tip 20% but tonight I opted for 15%. The receptionist didn’t ask if I wanted to schedule my next appointment, and I didn’t offer to do so either.

The psalmist writes: “They have eyes, but see not; they have ears but hear not.” So it goes. At least I had a delightful 6 scoop banana split.

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