Monday, May 13, 2013

55 Years and Still Looking

You never know who notices you.

Today I was walking down Broad Street past the barbershop where a guy inside has waved hello at me for years.

Ditto today where he waved as I cruised by.

From behind, I suddenly hear a voice. "Good morning! Come here, please!"

I turn around to see an older man gesturing me into the barber shop.

Since there are no customers, I go in and there, sitting in a chair, is the dark-haired barber who waves hello every time I pass, even if he's cutting hair with scissors in hand.

The two men introduce themselves and tell me they look forward to me walking by everyday.

"How long you been coming by now?" the older one asks.

Almost seven years, I tell him.

"I've been cutting hair right here for 55 years," he says, to my astonishment. "After a while, I nickname the regulars who pass by. Wanna know yours?"

The dark-haired one is grinning. "Are you gonna tell her?" he asks incredulously.

"Sure," says the older one. "Legs! That's what I been calling you since you first started coming by here. You got the best legs I ever saw on a woman. To me, you're Legs."

Just so they know, I tell them my actual name is Karen.

"Karen," the dark haired one says. "I saw you at 27 a while back but I couldn't figure out how I knew you. We even talked across the bar, but I just couldn't place you. I woke up in the middle of the night and it hit me. Legs! I'd been talking to Legs at 27!"

He remembered the specific evening - Chef Carlos' birthday party- and that I'd been wearing a dress, something he'd obviously never seen me in on my walks.

"How could you not have recognized those legs?" the older one asked him in disbelief.

Out of context, I guessed. I'd been completely out of context.

Still, it's always flattering to hear that a man woke up in the middle of the night because his brain hadn't been able to stop thinking about me.

Even if it was only my legs.

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