Visceral Pleasures

As unlikely as it may sound I now become anxious whenever I am due for a haircut.  Last autumn I got it into my head that I would adopt a new style. Over the winter my attendances upon the stylist in South Carolina were characterized by ups and downs.  Essentially mid-way in the growth process the stylist forgot what I was attempting to do so we had to begin anew almost from scratch.  Ever since I have been wary of trusting stylists to draw conclusions on their own; and as a result I prep myself before each visit for what I anticipate to be a showdown of sorts as I tediously prepare to explain again what I hope to accomplish.  This would all be too preposterous for words if I hadn’t derived such a charge out of the exploit in spite of its setbacks.  The bottom line is that I’m having fun with hair something which normally has not been even a remote indulgence.  I recall once at law school (over forty years ago) I tried to instruct the stylist to create a certain look for me.  It was nothing short of a disaster and until lately I had never again attempted anything like it.  This latest effort however has met with some degree of approbation from both myself and a few others (those who have the cheek to comment upon one’s appearance).  Let me put it this way, I can now understand what Samson was all about!  Other than that mop at law school I can’t recall ever having had a head of hair of any length.  Now frankly I amuse myself to be aware of it at the oddest times, in bed, in a wind and sometimes when just passing my hand through my hair.  Considering the months of fuss which have surrounded this act of pure selfishness it pleases me greatly that I am able, as I did today, to surface from the washing bowl and salon chair with a satisfactory cut.  While the air outside this morning was dry and cool with a discernible ray of sunshine making its way through the clouds, it wouldn’t have mattered if it were drizzling and blowing (which in fact it did later in the day).  My hair has become an extension of the weather whatever it may be and I am rejoicing in this trite correspondence!

As our cleaning lady was scheduled to make her regular visit to the apartment today we instinctively vacated the place and planned to be out of the mix for the greater part of the day. We quickly determined to lunch at our favourite haunt, the Socialist Pig in Gananoque. Our ambitions were not disappointed. We had what was unquestionably one of the better lunches we’ve ever had, a superb homemade tomato soup and tasty whole grain rolls, a grilled brisket and cheese sandwich accompanied by a small leafy salad with a very desirable vinaigrette, all washed down by hot green tea.  As appetizing as the lemon squares looked we had little trouble avoiding the temptation for fear of spoiling the most satisfactory effect of the soup and sandwich.

The unspoken background to this delightful day was the beautiful Eastern Ontario landscape, the ancient Town Hall of Gananoque (directly across the street from the restaurant) and the pleasure of driving our fine automobile (which for the most part sustained its shininess after the routine morning lather). Sheepishly I confess to the secret gratification of my new bit of bijouterie as well. The tactile thrill of it is unsurpassed, the density of the metal and the smoothness of its edges.  It is after all a work of art whose merits are not lost on me!  Surprisingly I am equally eager about fine plastic which I know may sound an oxymoron but in the hands of the Italians a pair of spectacles can be a cogent object.  Add to this a highly refined pair of lenses and the depth of enchantment is all the greater.

Wallowing in these instinctive diversions causes me a degree of public shame. But privately I concede that one hasn’t always the privilege of doing so.  More often than not we sad humans are overwhelmed by the cerebral and psychiatric  strains of life, the intellectualism of it all.  Occasionally it is a relief to capitulate to purely visceral pleasure.