I was overdue for a haircut. The last had been in early December. So on Saturday morning, I Googled “Philadelphia walk in salon” because this is my problem—I have never planned ahead for a haircut and never gotten one in the city.  Week after week I failed to find time to deal with the question of where to go and never did.  I have a similar problem with my health insurance forms, which I’ve never submitted.

That haircut in December, a treat from my dad when I stopped over at home before going on to Denver, was at the salon my mom always went to—before the chemo. The receptionist recognized my name, and remembered her, though they don’t know why she’d stopped going.

At the pre-4th festivities Mom said it might be time to give them a call again. Which is great, especially if the stylist trims out the parts that she has dyed with sunless tanning liquid. Apparently it’s the only kind of color that will stick in such chemically traumatized locks. I know I’m not in a position to judge, but it comes out very yellow.  I tease her a little, and what I don’t exactly say is “You’re fighting fucking cancer and winning, so why worry about hair?” She, however, will have none of my criticism.

One of the first hits I got was for a salon in Chinatown that reportedly gives head massages with the shampoo. Sold.

The head massage was great. And although my stylist, if she didn’t know how to say what she meant in English would talk to me in Chinese, gave me the best drastically new haircut I have ever gotten.

The last two times I went from relatively long hair to something quite short, I was upset about it for at least 24 hours because either it was necessitated by lice infestation (India), or I had actually only wanted a trim (Korea) and got the life thinned out of it.

And although I only communicated chin-length and that layers were OK, the angled upward, shaved at the back style that she executed is somehow exactly what I wanted.

Today I bought many cleaning liquids at the dollar store. Additionally, a pedicure kit. One of the cleaners came unscrewed in my bag while I was looking at bedsheets at the Valu-Plus, and leaked all over my butt. The woman who was kind enough to give me paper towels from behind the register to clean myself up with, told me how great that cleaner is for getting out stains. Well, good. I then spent the afternoon making couch cushions out of bed pillows and a set of cheap linen curtains with my grandmother’s 30-year-old sewing machine that I have inherited.

Ventured out again in the evening, to Walgreens, feeling snacky. Purchased Breyers sorbet—they donate some of their money to saving bees now, that’s cool—and wondered about the other people who are wandering around a convenience store on a Sunday evening alone. Maybe they don’t have AC either.


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