The Haircutter by Stephen Page

Stephen Page has a Flash Fiction Story published on MONO:

Find a copy of the Literary Journal here:

The Haircutter

            Cati, wearing a surgical mask, cuts my hair, occasionally running her fingers through it in long strokes while Teresa, also wearing a surgical mask, talks to her, rambling on about how the phone arrived at the mattress store by an undefinable man with a mystical voice. Cati keeps stopping to cut my hair to run her fingers through it, sighing, and interrupting Teresa with explicatives, like “Jon, what an intoxicating cologne you are wearing,” and “What, beautiful, healthy hair you have!”

 I catch Teresa glaring at her and me each time she restarts the anecdote about the phone, so I deflect the comments with, “Oh, I just splash on a little cologne every morning after I shower. I don’t even know what brand it is. I probably smell good because my pheromones are around me because Teresa is in the room,” and “My hair is healthy because Teresa cooks healthily for me.”

Teresa keeps retelling the phone account and her glare changes to an out-of-the-corner-of-her-eyes look.  I tried not to notice that Cati, the blonde, blue-eyed, curvy yet thin, enthusiastic haircutter friend who comes to our house occasionally, was pressing her soft nether region into my left shoulder.

            After Cati finishes with me, I go to shower and nap, while Cati caters to Teresa, washing and drying her hair, giving her a manicure and pedicure.

            In the early evening, when I hear through my office door Cati and Teresa exchanging good-byes and the apartment entrance door closes, I step out of my office to made a sandwich. While I was taking the ham, cheese, tomatoes, mustard, mayonnaise, and bread out of the fridge and depositing them on the breakfast nook countertop, moving back and forth across the kitchen floor, I notice that each time I take an item or two out, Teresa keeps cutting me off, checking on the meat she is baking in the oven for Amigo, the neighborhood dog, a mini German Shepard mutt who adopted us and goes every day for late-morning or after lunch walk with me, then waits outside the apartment building until we bring him some meat. 

            I ask Teresa, “Would you like me to prepare a sandwich for you?”

            “Hmmph. I’m not hungry.”

            “Well something else then? A tea, or . . .”

            “I’m not thirsty either.”

            “OK, in just a few moments, we can start watching more of our police series on Interflix.”

            “I’m not watching TV again with you until we return to Malos Aires!”

            She glares at me, then turns and walks to our bedroom. “And put the meat away before it burns!”

            I start to ask her what was wrong, but she slams the bedroom door shut before I can utter anything. I hear the snap-click of the door lock.

            I run my fingers through my hair.


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