The Haircut

I received a haircut today, the first in two months. It was a few weeks overdue. My hair is losing its presence on top and my forehead keeps pushing my hair line back. Hair grows thick and heavy on my sides and back, and still falls in waves of curls. The whole thing can become an unmanageable beast, fighting me about what I want it to do. It won a few times this week. I finally acquiesced to a growing need to deal with it.

Part of my reluctance is the pandemic protocols. We’re in a small town. Not many barber shops, salons, and stylists are among the businesses. Our town is oriented toward college students and tourists, translating business needs into drinking and eating establishments – pizza, restaurants, and beer, wine, coffee, and pastries. Scattered among them are gas stations, grocery stores, clothing boutiques, and bookstores.

Places catering to hair are less frequent. Almost all closed on Sunday and Monday. Most close early on Saturdays. The windows to get a haircut get perilously small. Pandemic closures meant less people working in these places. Appointments are the norm, and they’re precious. I was turned away because nothing was available at three locations in the course of five attempts spent over three days.

An appointment for a haircut. That blows away my youthful memories of walking into quiet establishments, taking a number, and waiting ten to fifteen minutes. In my military days, aka my youth, I had more hair to cut and more frequent needs to cut it to meet regulations. But the prices were better. In the beginning, we’re talking $1.10 for a haircut. Slowly it went to two dollars…five…ten…

Today, I spent $30 with a tip to trim my silvery locks and tame my curls. But I put the $30 haircut into context with coffee. I used to spend fifty cents to a dollar for a cup of coffee. I spent $4 on a cuppa today. Filling my car with gas cost six dollars for a time back then, compared to the fifty I just put out. Yeah, bread was two dollars a loaf, and it now runs $7. It was white bread back then, and now it’s multigrain, and I buy it cheaper at Costco, which wasn’t around back in those days. Cat food was a quarter a tin. Now it hits a dollar each. Hell, I remember spending $7,000 to buy a new Firebird, an expense that took a deep breath to decide after hours of calculations and days of mental wrestling. Good luck finding a new car, loaded, for seven grand these days.

I’ll just put in a mention about real estate. We bought our first place for half a million dollars. Family, still used to lower prices, were stunned. It wasn’t a large place, a sixteen hundred square foot condo, three bedrooms, three baths, two car garage, three stories. My family was more astonished when we sold that place after a few years for three hundred grand more than we paid. I was astonished, too. That was almost twenty years ago.

Context. It all costs more now — houses, cars, air fare, food, clothing, and yeah, haircuts. I look good, though. Young Megan, probably in her twenties, did a good job.

I think.

The Divorce & Money Dream

My wife and I divorced. We then went on a vacation together, where we stayed in a mid-range luxury condo. Her sisters were there, in adjoining places, along with their children. We were all younger than in RL by thirty years or so. My wife – B – and I had dinner and then attended a presentation on the environment and climate change in a huge, packed auditorium lit with golden chandeliers. The speaker was a good-looking man with a gold tan who had bestselling books on the subjects. My wife met him after the presentation. They fell in love and married.

I went back to my condo. My wife came to visit. We could see into her new husband’s place, as it was next door. Large and modern, it featured realms of glass. Golden lights lit it inside. B told me that the home was enormous, taking up two entire floors of the luxury townhomes next door, and that her new husband was dying. He passed the next day, leaving everything to B. She announced that as part of that, she was receiving over $13,000 a month in royalties.

I was happy for her but startled by that amount. We’d been there for almost a week and I needed to leave soon. I didn’t have reservations to fly out but had a day and a half left before I needed to get back so I decided not to make reservations yet. I was very busy at that point. The condo had become a little cluttered with piles of coins. My nieces and nephews began collecting them and taking them to my sisters-in-law and wife, who kneeled on the carpet divided the piles of coins among themselves. This didn’t worry or bother me because I’d discovered large caches of cash which belonged to me. I was happy for them to take the coins, but every time I turned around, I discovered another pile of coins.

Then, oh no, I was late for leaving and I hadn’t made a reservation! I chastised myself, thinking if I had made reservations, I wouldn’t be late because I would have had more structure. I succeed more with structure.

A man came by and informed me that I needed to leave, and that if I didn’t I would be fined. I laughed at the threat and noted that I had cash on hand and my ex was receiving $13,000 a month in royalties. The man left. I told the rest of my party that I needed to leave and would be departing shortly. My ex-wife said something back about the need to take care of her new inheritance. She was to go into her ‘new place’ to inventory its contents. I asked her about the hold up, and she said, “There’s a lot of places,” and held up keys. One key ring with keys were hanging on another key ring of keys. “He has places all over town. And you should see the cars.”

Dream end

Thursday’s Theme Music

Ah, today is Thursday, May 26, 2022. Sunrise came around without much surprise at 5:41 this morning. Clouds have strung out a thin haze on top of the blue sky. Today’s sun is weaker, thinner, milder. It’s 70 F outside. The high will probably find 76 around my house before the sun takes it light and moves on at 8:36 PM.

Today’s song emerges from many different things, partly from interactions with cats, but also from news and politics. The song is “Maybe” by Janis Joplin. Janis didn’t write it but did a great job of delivering it. My mind was full of maybes, you know, maybe this will happen, maybe people will wake up and changes will grow roots and places. Ultimately, I’m an optimist, always looking for the arcs of justice and freedom to bend toward equality, and for humanity to come together and find and develop solutions instead of whining, bickering, and backstabbing. But also, I went outside at 11:30 last night. The cats were out; Papi, aka Meep, the ginger blade, is usually out back. So I popped the door open and waited for him to arrive. Nothing.

The air was cool, the sky was clear, dark, and quiet, and the stars and planets and galaxies were up there, enticing me to step out and take them in. I was out there, breathing in air and admiring heavenly bodies, when I heard Papi’s familiar mewing. I called him; the mewing grew louder but more frantic. Although dark, I can usually discern his pale body. I couldn’t. I called again; louder and more urgent answers were returned.

WTF, over. I turned on the patio light to find him. Walking around, we engaged in call and response. And finally, thinking I was hot on his trail, I speculated, “Maybe he’s up in the tree.” He then looked down at me from the gutter attached to the roof about five feet above my head. Anyway, he got down fine on his own once I walked over to where the height difference between the fence and the roof was lowered to three feet. He jumped down there, no problem. I imagine that’s where he went up but that he became disoriented.

But that maybe, along with the other maybes, had stirred up the neurons. By this morning, “Maybe” was playing in the morning mental music stream. Yes, the song is about personal relationships, but I was hooked on that chorus – “Maybe, maybe, maybe.” Now, of course, I had to find a video or recording of it. Luck was with me as I found her on Ed Sullivan belting out “Maybe” in 1969. Love it when a plan comes together.

Stay positive, test negative, and enjoy this music while I enjoy coffee. Have a better day. Cheers

Ah, Another Military Dream

I was a younger man, actually my age when I retired from the military in RL. I was dressed in a common uniform of the day, the woodland camouflage battle dress that I often wore.

I’d been invited back for a visit. In most of my assignments, contact was limited to a dozen people in a unit; I worked in a command post, one to three people to a shift, locked in a vault-like space. No windows, one door, eight to twelve hours a shift. People weren’t allowed in without proper clearance, previous approval, and a reason to be there. We were often armed, in case someone who didn’t fit those parameters broke in.

But there was one unit where I worked regularly with aircrews, the training staff, admin, etc. Everyone had access to me, and me to them. This was the unit where I felt closest to my co-workers.

These were the people I was back visiting. We’d been a covert intelligence unit back in the day, but the Berlin Wall fell, the USSR collapsed, and our mission ended. I went back to the US to Space Command. Many in that unit went on to special ops, gunships, or on loan to do drug interdiction on behalf of the DEA. It was this last that was going on in the dream.

We were outside in a large field. I was back by special invitation to watch a military operation, and people from then were back by invitation to see me. Several came back and told me what they’d done since we’d last seen one another thirty years ago. One of the last, Capt. Z, said, “I think it’s time for me to go.” He was hesitant to speak. I said, “No, you’re too young. You still have more to give.”

He shrugged. “I think it’s time. I don’t have a choice.”

He left. The operation progressed. An officer said, “Now Priscilla will explain how the unit coordinates with other agencies to intercept and track illegal drug activities.” Priscilla began leading several squadrons of personnel in military uniforms across a wide street.

As I watched that, I realized that it was Priscilla, a RL friend from my current era, a college professor who had never been in the military. I thought, why is she here?

Dream end.

Floofvision

Floofvision (floofinition) – 1. An added layer of telecommunications visible and audible to animals but beyond human comprehension.

In use: “Boo and Oliver enjoy sitting by the television, watching floofvision, which brings them up-to-date infloofmation about animals, new floofnology, and general enterfloofment.”

2. Formally, an organization founded by a woman to end animal abuse.

In use: “Raven tells everyone everywhere, whomever and wherever she meets them, about Floofvision and her goal of a world free of animal abuse. Humans are starting to pay attention, but the animals are beginning to flock toward her as a new Floofsiah.”

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