From Where I’m Calling From

……….“Berlin Light” © Pedro Gadanho, February 2007

Even if subsumed by the domestications of the Facebook era, sometimes one really just feels like… sharing some favorites. So, alongside with a song I was obsessively listening to yesterday, here goes the ending of one of my preferred Raymond Carver short stories…

[…]

The barber turned me in the chair to face the mirror. He put a hand to either side of my head. He positioned me a last time, and then he brought his head down next to mine.

We looked into the mirror together, his hands still framing my head.

I was looking at myself, and he was looking at me too. But if the barber saw something, he didn’t offer comment.

He ran his fingers through my hair. He did it slowly, as if thinking about something else. He ran his fingers through my hair. He did it tenderly, as a lover would.

That was in Crescent City, California, up near the Oregon border. I left soon after. But today I was thinking of that place, of Crescent City, and of how I was trying out a new life there with my wife, and how, in the barber’s chair that morning, I had made up my mind to go. I was thinking today about the calm I felt when I closed my eyes and let the barber’s fingers move through my hair, the sweetness of those fingers, the hair already starting to grow.

Raymond Carver, in The Calm, from Where I’m Calling From, 1988

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