"A summer haircut, please" I said as I placed my glasses on the counter and settled into the seat.
This barbershop that I have been frequenting for a few years seems less and less active anymore. When I walked up, there was only guy at work, in contrast to the three that sometimes have been there trimming and cutting away. And even that one guy was reading something on his smartphone when I walked up.
I suppose because he hadn't had any customer until me, or perhaps because he is a tad familiar with me by now, he started talking way more than ever before. I love small talk, especially with people who are very different from me, and there is no better place than a barbershop. Further it is not as if I am ever in a hurry anyway--no "chop-chop" guy I am!
"Only a couple more years and then you won't have my business" I joked pointing to my balding roof.
"Oh, you have plenty more years, dude" he replied. The guy is a decade older than me. He refers to me as "dude." Well, this dude also abides ;)
"It seems like only yesterday I had a head full of hair, and it was black, and now I am all grey with a balding head" I said.
He leaned against the counter. "Isn't it always the case. Happens fast, doesn't' it!"
"That's what happens when you have children" he joked. A good chunk of small talk is about talking about serious life stuff, but as if they are all light and fluffy comedy themes.
"I can't blame this one on my daughter" I laughed.
The guy took a step away from my head. I saw a fuzzy reflection of his grey beard and a thin grey top in the mirror as he seemed to think about his life. "True. In my case, it was not the children but three ex-wives and now I am into my fourth marriage." His frame shook as he laughed.
I recalled how once at the doctor's office the nurse said "your blood pressure is all back to normal after a brief blip up." "What happened?" she asked. "The divorce happened" I replied, and we both chuckled.
Laughter is the best medicine they say. I have come to believe that the reference is not to laughter that results from listening to a joke or from watching Bugs Bunny's antics. Instead, it is the laughter in everyday life. It is the laughter about our own misfortunes. The laughter from an understanding that the whole world and our own existence is a big cosmic joke.
It is funny that we don't always see it that way!