Two days a week my three-year-old, Bryce, goes to day care. He spends the other days with us at the office, but those two days are my window for doing things like… getting a hair cut.
Still, it’s during the work week, so it’s great that I found a salon right across the street from the office. I popped over this morning for a trim, and realized that even beauty salon gossip is better in New Orleans.
Sadie fit me in while coloring a beautiful little redhead. Last time I was there, wine was flowing freely at 11 am and an Elvis impersonator held my small son in his lap and had his photographer practice some tricks with the camera while the girls worked on his hair – and drank wine. It was Mardi Gras, so none of it was surprising at all. Just another day at the office.
Today, though, was very cool. While the redhead sat to the side, waiting for her new, brighter red to take hold, I was in Sadie’s chair, describing how my hair should be cut and highlighted to make me look ten years younger. Since she and the redhead are in their early twenties, she had no idea what I meant and did the same layers and highlights she always does.
Now the redhead was in a chair beside us, hunched over a black journal, reading intently. Sadie asked, “What’s that? You’re keeping a journal?”
“No,” she answered. “I found this journal on the streetcar.”
We all gasped and turned toward her. A secret diary?
“Read it!” we all shouted. Everyone in the salon was dying to know the private thoughts of the journalist who left her journal on the streetcar. Wine anyone?
“It’s a HE,” she told us, and proceeded to read aloud, as if from a text in one of her college courses.
The content of the actual journal was a bust. He was a guy on a diet, journaling each meal and every exercise, just like a girl. Then there was a tiny bit of “smut” about a girl he was going on a second date with… he felt he should make a move.
Sadie said, “Yeah, he has to get to a “base,” I guess.” We all agreed that he should get to a base, and Red kept reading.
To make a long journal short, he didn’t kiss her, then regretted it, then texted her to come back out of the house, then did kiss her, then regretted it.
And that was the end. Our journalist lost his notes on the streetcar, and women in a salon read it and got inspired.
Left with not much content to chew on, we decided it would be fun to start a journal. The redhead wanted to start a journal, then leave it somewhere on purpose; perhaps after plotting a killing or having a great affair with a politician within its pages. It would be read by some unknown person, like us, and perhaps shared. Then what?
We decided it would only continue to be interesting if the person who found it continued to write it, then also “lost” it somewhere. So we debated where she should leave it so it could be “found” by the right creative mind. It was decided that the cafe in Pirate’s Alley may be a good choice… but how to convey to the finder that he was to play a role in our game…
It fell apart from there, since we really didn’t know how to play this game without telling people it was a game. Besides, how would we know the outcome?
We gave up on it after all, little redhead girl got shampooed and blown out and went away looking twenty-something and carelessly beautiful and bohemian. Sadie made an appointment for my Bryce for Thursday, and we all went about our day.
Because that’s what we do here. We meet strangers, share these quick little moments of intimacy (even if they are someone else’s) and we move on, a little inspired and knowing that we have small conspiracies around us at all times. I go back out into the bright sun, looking exactly the same age – but feeling lighter.