On my way to brunch today, I walked past Joe’s Barbershop and, without thinking, gazed through the window. I had been going to unisex salons for so long that I had forgotten what a real barbershop looks like. This one was real in that manly, guy-who-thinks-of-a-haircut as a 3,000 mile-tune-up sense of the word.
The front of the shop was just about as plain brown wrapper as your can get: Metal chairs were lined up against one wall. In front of them were low tables covered with magazines. Four barber chairs ran along the opposite wall, as well as sinks, a counter, and the requisite mirrors, tonics, combs, and other tools of the trade.
The back of the shop was plastered with posters of hairstyles dating back to the 1950s, including enough buzz cuts to satisfy the army recruiter in the building next door. More pictures were taped to the shop’s front window, all so faded by the sun that the models’ hair and faces were varying shades of blue.
That barbershop itself got me to thinking about when I used to take my little brothers, Mikey and Chucky, for haircuts. My memories of those days are populated by old men sitting in folding chairs waiting for their turns at the clippers and flipping through back issues of ... what? Meanwhile, my two brothers would be completely absorbed in Superman comic books.