I had to do something to get rid of Jose Luis’s horrible haircut. I tried a new tack. My reasoning was this: If I lounged in the sun by the pool without a hat, my hair would grow faster. I don’t know if this did any good or not, but my hair was slightly longer after a month, although sadly, still resembled a mangy mutt.
Max and I had lots of time during my self-imposed exile from the world to reminisce about past experiences in our catering career. Lilou’s story was one of many fond memories. It was sweet to go down memory lane. However, I was getting restless. I called Olympus Hair Salon and asked if Rico had returned yet from his vacation at the beach.
Max and I had lots of time during my self-imposed exile from the world to reminisce about past experiences in our catering career. However, I was getting restless.
“Si, Senora Saltwater,” the receptionist replied.
Music to my ears under the scraggly cut.
“Please,” I begged, “give me the earliest possible appointment.”
“There’s a three-week wait, Senora Saltwater, all Jose Luis’s recent customers.”
The damage against women’s hair in this city was more widespread than even I suspected. Even my neighbor Regina had suffered under Jose Luis’s hands.
But I was determined. This required swift, decisive, no-holds-barred action.
I said tersely into the phone, “I’ll pay double and a hefty tip for you.”
“Tomorrow afternoon at 1:00?”
The next day when I entered the salon, I could tell Rico was back. Energy swirled like a tornado about to happen. Rico’s Demi Gods twirled around seated customers. The whoosh of hairdryers was a sirocco. The lights shined more luminously. The clicking of scissors played like a finely rehearsed orchestra.
In the middle of it all stood Rico, Zeus of Olympus, God of the Scissors. He wore his belt of tools proudly and held his scissors aloft, ready to serve. I swear they hold magical powers. Rumor has it he regularly gets them blessed by a shaman.
He swooped toward me, smothering me in air kisses. “Sylvia, Goddess!” he purred, “what can I do for you?”
Without a word, I snatched the straw hat from my head.
Rico staggered backwards, eyes wide. He made a fist and bit his knuckles. “Darling, what happened?”
“Jose Luis happened!”
“One of my Demi Gods did this to you?” His face was horror- stricken. “Have you been out in public?”
“I’ve been hiding in my casa waiting for it to grow out and you to return.”
“Dearest!” He clutched a hand to his heart. “I knew Jose Luis was troubled but I had no idea the extend of his pain. He was taking his frustrations against me out on my customers. Inexcusable!”
“I didn’t want to blow the whistle on Jose Luis, but this is …….” I couldn’t find the words. No matter. The visuals said it all.
Rico shook his head. “Not to worry. Jose Luis is no longer with us. When I returned from my beach vacation, the phone answering machine had crashed and burned. Clients were furious. I know he’s infatuated with me, everyone here is, and that’s understandable.” Rico sniffed and swiped at his eyebrow with a fingertip. “But that should never get in the way of professionalism. I had to let him go.” He held his head up. “I will never tolerate second rate work from my Demi Gods.”
I got to the point. “Can you fix this?”
“Adored One, of course! Rico can fix anything! Step this way. All will be well.”
I dropped into his chair. Rico flipped an animal print cape, the one with sparkles, around my shoulders. He snapped his fingers at an attendant. “Quick! A glass of wine for Sylvia Goddess!” he ordered.
It was a hefty pour in an elegant long stemmed glass. I sipped. It was sooooooo good to have Rico back!
I put myself entirely into Rico’s enchanted hands. He worked feverishly. At the end of the hour, I had a pixie cut with bangs at the sides and over the forehead with a cute little tuft at the top. He dyed me a shade purplish over chestnut.
Rico whipped the cape away.
“Love it!” I cried. And I was good to my word. I paid double for the privilege of overriding those goddesses who were shifted to new slots. They would have to suffer their pain a while longer. Poor dears. I gave the receptionist a generous tip as promised. Worth it.
My hair anxiety always brings out my dark side. Oh well. Like the Phoenix, I rise from the ashes.