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Ebony and Ivory Tale

There’s a difference between me and my barber.

From Kyrghystan (a country whose spelling I can never be certain I’ve mastered), comes Yuri, my barber. Lucky me, because before I found him I was at the mercy of less capable hair cutters who sometimes caused me to note with gratitude that hair grows back. Happily, Yuri has gotten it right every time for years.


When he makes conversation, his words are expressed with an excellent passion both forceful and animated consistent with his native language. I expect the rest of his clientelle was born somewhere far away from here.

He and I  have discussed his love of soccer, which he coaches. We’ve compared families and philosphy and experiences and find common ground.

For some reason, he asks me each time where to terminate  the sideburns. It’s funny, because there are no sideburns with a beard. It’s just hair from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin and in my case it’s more white than grey.

Yuri’s hair is still black, as my beard once was. He’s  a fit man the same age as me and I’d lay bets that he could never grow a beard for fear of looking old and will never let the world see  white hair on his head. He treasures his virile youth. Even if he outlives me he will look younger right to the end. We’re different that way. It isn’t that I don’t value a strong manly appearance, I just don’t mind when it comes with the patina of age. While I roll comfortably with advancing years unconcerned about the grey hairs, I get the impression he would rather die. Or did I spell that wrong?

If people must have differences, these are the right sort.

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