Hair Today – Gone Tomorrow!
Paul swiped away the decrepit hand at 6 ‘0 Clock and profered his nearest elbow towards the superannuated cheek at just past 9pm. This nifty manouourvre was needed in order to deflect another amorous octogenarian who had decided to lunge, lip first, towards his unmasked ‘eek.
He needed no kissing.
Not from any demographic.
He wasn’t ageist!
But nor was he a fan of Covid 19. In his opinion it wasn’t a patch on the Chanel version, yet it certainly possessed a heady perfume, and it’s silage was somewhat lingering to say the least. Therefore any maloderorous folk who looked to spray their scent in Paul’s general direction could go stick it up their aerosol.
Neither did he want to listen to disparate conspiracy theories from drunken ignorami, gobbing their gobbledygook into his gob, unmasking a complete disregard for their fellow man in the process.
Keep your shit and your spittle to yourself, he thought. (Though kept his feelings masked.) He wasn’t even entirely sure what he was feeling anymore. He just wanted the whole nasty-virus-thingy to blow over.
He most certainly did not want another lock down. A term which sounded kinda fun in a saucy way yet had proved decidedly otherwise.
The new normal seemed to Paul to consist of a few rather unattractive Draconian laws and an intermittent shortage of bog roll.
He wasn’t sure why he was required to be masked up like a bandit when out walking the dog and miles from anyone, but he did as he was told. Of course, this made going out far less appealing. Most days Paul stayed home and wandered aimlessly around the apartment with his hair in a scruffy and utterly unflattering man bun. The style leant him a stark resemblance to Princess Anne. He didn’t give a royal shit. He had no public engagements in the near future – King Covid had made sure of that. Tours, overseas or otherwise, were most definitely ‘orf ! But a trip to the hairdressers was definitely in the diary. If not for the sake of the mirror that was practically screaming back at Paul’s barnet as he brushed his teeth.
Paul thought his refection a touch Fletcher Christian. But his sub conscious was less bountiful and made sure he was blithely reminded of his similarity to the Princess Royal. It was time for one to take a little jaunt to the peluquería – whether one was amused or not.
Paul had resisted all unnecessary sortees during the pandemic. Masking up, as was the rule in Andalucia, did nothing for his complexion. A quick mooch around Mercadona could result in a mini eruption of ‘Maskne’! Added to that irritating dermatalogical condition he also found it difficult to breath.
His mother had kindly made he an Andrew the necessary face furniture now required, using material Paul had ordered online after some very brief research.
The face wear looked fine, but it felt as if one had a struggling beaver strapped arounds one’s ‘boat race’. As appealing as that might sound to some, neither Paul or Andrew had ever been great fans, and therefore struggled with respiration when venturing out.
So instead, the two of them had become virtually hermetic.
Sealed and sozzled. Sitting out the Corona chaos ‘neath a smothering blanket of narcotics, nachos and Netflix.
A somewhat heady combination.
Paul knew it couldn’t go on forever or they’d both require rehab.
From booze and ‘The Box !!’
It was true that they’d been out to a couple of engagements which had proved most engaging, although the social distancing, which was mandated, made them far less social and feeling a more than a little distant. Paul had luckily managed to leave on both occasions just before he felt his mask slipping.
He had never realised how tactile he actually was.
Now, he’d noticed, after a couple of gin and tonics, he was apt to behave much like a desperate celephapod, attempting to brush his tentacles up against the nearest living creature.
A squeeze of the arm to show understanding.
A gentle shove to indicate mock disapproval.
A back slap.
It felt so difficult to rein in all his limbs once the alcohol had oiled them up.
And he noticed it in others too.
Everyone was more social as the vino flowed. Far less distant. Whenever he saw such behaviour he knew it was the moment to make some distance between himself and the party. Before he or anyone else became out of hand. Or worse – hand in hand! Which was obviously the old normal. At least to him.
A couple of days later Paul had received the royal look of disapproval from Andrew one too many times. At one point he was likened by his partner to the vagabond who begged for change outside the local Supersol. Suffice to say t’was not a good look, so he headed, sharpish, for the chopping block. Princess Anne had to be dispatched pronto, and so it was off to ‘Scabinillas’ and off with her head. He wanted to look like a commoner again.
The visit to the hairdressers was like something one may have experienced in a small Ukrainian village during the Chernobyl crisis. Paul found himself melting down behind his duvet- style mask as his hair did the same beneath the thick layer of bleach that would take him back to his natural blonde state. His coiffeuse, Javier, wore black rubber gloves and a very serious looking visor as he snipped at Paul’s locks at an arm’s length. In the corner his assistant, Anna, was scrubbing ferociously away for dear life at anything in her path. The entire joint was clean enough to donate a kidney. Not that anyone would consider one of Paul’s organs after the copious Corona cocktails that had been flushed through them for the last few months. Still, he considered those concoctions preferable to necking bleach, as some idiot had once recommended. And a far more effective remedy for Covid 19 – Surely!
Paul left the salon with wet hair. He always did. It didn’t matter how accomplished a hairdresser was, they always managed to make him look like a decrepit Shirley Temple by the time they had finished styling him. He would always have to head for the nearest water source to drown the perky little performance on top of his bonce. He really didn’t enjoy anybody fiddling with his hair to be honest. Especially as there was now less of it. Any follicular activity was best consigned to the bedroom in his opinion.
As his curls dried off in the warm breeze Paul enjoyed the cleanliness one can only feel after having their hair washed twenty seven times. It felt good to have lost some of the dead weight. And for once he didn’t mean Andrew. He felt lighter in every way, until he glanced in the mirror and saw a drag race version of Mae West glaring back at him.
He had always abided by the old adage that Blondes had more fun, but how much fun was he looking for? He was fairly sure he could charge for it if he kept the brassy style he was currently sporting. His husband only made things much worse by pointing out exactly why he looked so terrible.
Paul leapt for the phone. He then realised it was Monday – the salon would be shut – he would have to live on in his peroxide prison for another day. The loose strands that were falling over his face in an unnervingly ‘Stringfellow-esque’ fashion would have to be endured a while longer.
He aimed to avoid all mirrors until after he’d revisited the barbers. It was the wisest thing to do or he knew he could suffer an attack of the nail scissors again. The last such incident in northern Thailand, a few years back, had not ended well for anyone – least of all Paul’s coiffeur – so he was attempting to eschew all scissor-happy thoughts and this time leave it to the professionals.
He had no wish to awaken to a huge pile of ringlets and regret.
The current situation was challenging enough without having to get through endless bad hair days on top.
He didn’t want it to be his straw-like that broke the camel’s back.
A fews day later and, thankfully, the hair situation had been remedied. Paul no longer resembled an ‘over-tanned, over-bleached, long haired faggot’, as he had once been described by a famous West End agent, some years back.
An interview he had never forgotten.
It was true he had no longer been in his ‘Juve Lead’ prime at the aforementioned meeting, yet he had considered, even then, the agent’s comments to be a touch harsh. Camp with a capital ‘C’. Paul had been fairly sure what the ‘C’ had represented and so had not taken up the ‘gentleman’ on his offer of representation.
But he had cut his hair.
And had dyed it the dullest shade of Camel.
He ended up the split of ‘Mrs Brown’ – without the career!
It had been an unhappy few months.
There was bound to come a time where blondes didn’t always have the monopoly on more fun. And Paul knew he was grasping onto every last bleached strand for dear life, but he wasn’t quite ready to let go completely.
Not back then.
And certainly not now.
It was bad enough being compelled to wear a bloody mask by the powers that breathe. It made every aspect of life far less compelling. Apart from sex. Social distancing was, however, certainly not conducive to that particular activity.
Nothing was as fun as it used to be mused Paul.
Even writing a sentence felt like serving one!
Still – it would all blow over soon.
It had better do or he and Andrew would never have an audience again. The smell of the greasepaint was of no use without the roar of the crowd. Unfortunately it was the roar of Corona, King Of The Virus, that was making more of an impact at present and the crowd had well and truly been dispersed.
But Paul was most confident they would return.
Just like in the musicals.
Well – Some of them!