qing qing: Do you think I should get my hair done with poofy dreadlocks like hers?Hairdresser #1 (blowing dry my hair): Will your old man let you?! qing qing: Sure! Why not. Hey, hey (yelling to Guiming, my hairdresser), what do you think about me getting a hair bomb dread lock style? Guiming: Uh, yeah, sure, maybe when you graduate. (dismissive)
My hairdresser envisions that I grow out my hair, above-waist length, straight and shining black. He's hip and somehow paternal. He's probably between 27-32. We could never date because he says I'd be too independent for him. Well, maybe it's just we can't marry because he says he has to be the man of the house. I once dated somebody who said "of course I'm dating you so we can get married someday. I mean, isn't that the point?" and I was stunned to death.
The stereotype of the southern Chinese man - dark, short, not good-looking, industrious, and spoils his wife. Today must have been the 50th time that I've seen a boy with a girl on the back of his bicycle, and I wondered, just a little, if I could be like that, ever. I ride my bike like it's the end of the world, looking like a 小子(punkass boy). I'm close to getting to ride it with no hands. I believe I wear heels only to curb whatever wants to break out of me.
Hairdresser #1 today says I'm lucky. I think I see it in the eyes of a lot of people after they learn I lived in America for the past 10 years. But he... he didn't really care for green cards. He shrugged about America, and says,
"you're lucky you can go to school. A lot of people can't afford to go to school these days." "Do you mean college?" "No, I mean all of it." "In cities or rural areas?" "I mean everywhere."
And for a moment, when our eyes bumped in the mirror, I wondered if he wondered that I wondered if he didn't get to go to school as a kid. Their eyes make me feel spoiled sometimes. Here, in the land of haves and havenots, where fake brands sell across the street from 3000yuan Levi jeans. I'm the kid pampered by mum and dad. I have a laptop and speakers. I... I don't know. Social classes suck. I don't want to feel like I belong in the upper-middle strata. Is that stupid?
One of the guys at the hair place who never does anybody's hair, but like, say, today, he ordered somebody to do somebody's hair, and he opened the locker with my bags in it when nobody else could... I think he's the boss. I am fairly very attracted to his face. He's not good-looking, no no. Rather, he always looks somewhat miserable, agitated, half-hearted. His eyes would scan the place in intervals, but never resting, like he wants to go somewhere but he's perpetually shut in this box. I'll give him an age between 30-35, to be kind, and yet, yet yet yet, along with the great sorrow that aging may wrought upon us, his chin curves gently, and his eyes are soft dole black stones. In another day and age and different circumstance, he can probably pass for a introverted intellectual, poems by candlelight and candlelight by mood, but today he is impatient, today he is waiting for something to happen. That's when I catch his eyes, looking at him looking at me looking away.