But today, right when I was thinking about making a big change and going for it, I heard a voice in front of me mumble “never cut bangs into your hair, miss…” I looked up and there was an older man hunched over a walker coming over to sit down a couple chairs away from me. He continued, “I was a surfer back in the sixties and I had hair down to my ankles. Now my son comes over and gives me a buzz cut when I need it.” Well, almost a buzz cut. He still had a little bit of his past with him in the form of the ever so ugly rat-tail trailing down his upper back. But on him, it was actually kind of endearing. “All that hair was just too much work. But your hair… your hair is very nice. It reminds me of the hippies when I was younger.” I thanked him, which I guess he interpreted as an invitation to tell me his life story. When he talked a mouthful of decayed teeth presented themselves to me, and he had some trouble enunciating. His eyes were slightly beady, and it looked as if he had had a stroke that left part of his face paralyzed. If he had been sitting outside on the street I would have thought he was homeless, and although when he first sat down near me I was a little creeped out, as he went on to tell me stories of his surfing days in Hawaii, Australia, Indonesia, and all the way up and down the 101 freeway, I could tell he was just an old man looking for a way to relive his good old glory days by talking to his neighbor in a waiting room.
The doctor opened up the door and called my name. I looked at the old man next to me, wished him luck with his back pain, put the issue of Glamour back on the side table, and went into the hallway. Maybe I won’t cut my hair right now, as I’m sure my husband is ecstatic to hear. Maybe I want to keep looking like a hippie from the sixties until it’s no longer age appropriate. But for some weird reason, I won’t forget the old man with a rich history who had an indescribable look in his eyes when he spoke of catching a 14 foot wave off of the North Shore in O’ahu. I should be so lucky to find something that I am so passionate about that I have that look in my eyes forty years from now.