The barber on the block

I try not to be actively rude to people. I try to give people a chance, not judge a book by its cover, etc. (This is not due to some innate goodness, but is more selfish, like paying into a karma-based bank that probably doesn’t exist but is psychologically comforting. Anyways.) There is a barber shop on the block where I work that has the old-timey striped pole outside, one old-timey chair inside, and you can get a lathery shave and all that.

The barber himself is probably mid-60s and stands outside a lot to smoke cigarettes, so every time I walk by he stares at me. Like in a creepy up-and-down way. I accidentally smiled at him once because he smiled at me and I smiled back reflexively. And so then I had to actively look away and not smile when he tried to initiate a repeat of the smile exchange. At one point, he was so aggressively stare-y and conversational that I started crossing the street or going the other way around the block to avoid him.

This has been going on for 2+ years, ever since I started this job. And then last month, a sign appeared taped to the inside of the glass door, “Closed due to Medical Emergency — will re-open ASAP”. This stayed for three weeks. Then someone folded over the bottom part of the sign so that it just said “Closed due to Medical Emergency”.  (A co-worker said: It’s probably his dog. He was always talking about his dog.)

Now today, in blue ballpoint scrawled above the type on the sign it says: “Not re-opening”.

So maybe he died. Probably from smoking cigarettes with only a dog for a friend.

So much for my karma.

2 thoughts on “The barber on the block

  1. So,I kind of felt similiarly about our landlord. And then he died last week. Like he was sort of nice, but often abrupt and not really listening. Kind of weird when that kind of shit happens. Because you feel bad but then you feel slightly relieved too, you know, not that he died, but that you don’t have to be eye raped anymore.

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