Yesterday I got my hair cut by Jazz at Dramatics, NYC. I have had my hair cut at Dramatics, NYC four times, by a different person each time: Sunshine, Eagle, Justice, and Jazz. I think it’s the worst thing ever that they don’t even let these people have their own names.
But the reason I go to Dramatics, NYCa serviceable but by no means excellent salonis because I am terrified to go back to the place I used to get my hair cut.
When I lived on the Upper East Side, I went to Eve’s Hair and Nails, on 92nd and 1st. Eve was an East German post-operative male to female transsexual. She was the only one who cut hair there and she took forever. A simple cut took at least two hoursshe would cut a little bit, talk on the phone, cut a little bit more, do some crystal meth, cut a little bit more. My friend N.C. and I went there together oncehe to get his hair highlighted and I to get mine relaxedand it took her four hours. I don’t know how she kept the place open; I assume it was a front for a lucrative drug-dealing business.
After I saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a show about another East German post-operative male to female transsexual, I went to get my hair cut and asked her what she had thought of it. “Ach, I hated zat show,” she sneered. “It vass not an accurate representation off my life.”
She gave me the best hair cuts I’ve ever gotten. But she was so glamorous and cool that whenever I went, I was so keenly aware of my own inadequacy as a gay man it was almost unbearable. Next to her, I felt about as interesting and compelling as a Necco Wafer or a plastic-covered living room couch. This feeling would persist for hours, sometimes days, after a haircut.
It was a cruel dilemma I faced yesterday: have fabulous hair and lose my already tentative grasp on my sense of self-worth, or maintain some shred of self-esteem but have boring hair?
I think I made the coward’s choice.