Talk of the Town

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“Talk about life, talk about death, talk about catching every breath, talk about when, and talk about why, talk about do, and talk about don’t.”  Don Williams

Does everybody talk to me when they’re in the chair in front of me at Kameryn Rose? Does everybody talk into the mirror on the wall that is in front of us?

Yes, they do, unless they’re the silent type. They’re not allowed to turn their heads, because I’ve got sharp scissors in my hand, which is why both of us talk into the mirror, unless they just don’t want to talk.

What do they talk about?

It depends on what day they’re having. Sometimes people tell me about what book they’re reading, about a restaurant they were at, about something that happened at work. It could be about the hot topic of the day. It could be about the Cleveland Browns.

“Did you hear about who just got traded to the Browns?”

“It’s off to the playoffs we go!”

When I was cutting the hair of two girls, whose mother belongs to the same Bay Village church as I do, they wanted to know all about the St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown. Brian and I always go because our wedding anniversary is on St. Patrick’s Day.

“Is it crazy?” one of the girls asked.

“No,” I said. “There’s definitely a drinking party side to it, but there’s a kid friendly side to it, too.”

She had straight hair, but said she wished she had curly hair. I told her, as soon as you have curly hair, you’ll want it to be straight again. That’s how women are. But I took off four inches and curled it, anyway.

A lot of women read books, and we talk about them. I don’t read many books because I almost always hate the endings. I hated “Girl on the Train.” It was great until the ending, but the bad guy, the guy who caused all the trouble, should have gotten his ass kicked a lot more than he did. He was awful. He got off too easy. I would have tortured him for a while. When he got stabbed in the face and died fast, that was getting off easy.

I watch murder shows all the time, especially “Dateline on ID.” It always starts with a murder and the rest of it is how they catch the person. There are the background stories, interviews with everybody, the people who were involved, the killer and the victims, at least the victim’s family.

They call us ID Addicts, because we sit at home and watch murder mysteries on TV 24/7.

“Have you figured out how to get away with it, yet?” Brian asked me one day.

“I’m getting there,” I said.

Most murders are made up of the oldest reason in the book. It was a love triangle. Someone is trying to get rid of their husband or wife because they have a new boyfriend or girlfriend. They want the life insurance money, too, so they can live on that with their new lover.

There was a guy in Colorado, married, with two kids, living in a big house, who killed her and his kids. She was a social media darling, people followed her on Instagram and Facebook. She filmed her own life and posted it.

He was a chunky guy, but all of a sudden, he started working out, started jogging, and lost a ton of weight.

“That’s trouble,” I thought.

Sure as shit, he was having an affair.

One of the last things his wife posted on Facebook was her breaking the news that she was pregnant again. His reaction wasn’t the greatest. He strangled all three of them. He claimed someone else did it, but the police said, we know you did it. Then he said he killed his wife because she had killed the children Everyone knew that was a lie. He finally fessed up and pled guilty and they put him away for three life terms and no chance of parole ever.

Or it’s revenge, or it’s money, or they’re crazier than even that.

There are some people who kill because they are rapists and don’t want you to be able to identify them afterwards. There were some kids who killed a babysitter because they wanted to see what it was like to kill somebody. They knew she would be all alone, and they got her out of convenience. Some people kill to see what it’s like to take a life. It’s fucked up, but that’s what they do.

Murder never takes a vacation

We talk about vacations in the chair, places to go, where they’re going, where I’m going, what they did when they were there, what I did when I was somewhere, like Mexico.

“Melanie tells me about her family,” said Meg, looking up from a magazine, her hair in rollers, sitting in a chair next to my chair.

Either we’re telling them about our families or they’re telling us about their families.

“She told me about her husband’s arm surgery,” said Meg. “We talk about our sons and their girlfriends, the ones we don’t like.”

“You hear it all,” said Francie, working at her chair two chairs up from mine.

“We were just talking about the cheating scandal,” said Meg.

“Exactly,” said Francie.

“The college thing,” said Meg.

“Isn’t that disgusting?” I said.

“It’s horrible.”

“I’m sorry, but they all deserve to go to jail,” I said.

We talk about what’s going on in the world right now. We talk about who we dislike in our families, the family dysfunctions, all of that. We talk about recipes, what people are having for holiday dinners, who’s hosting.

“Who never hosts,” said Meg.

“That comes back to the family dysfunctions.” I said.

I have people who have literally sobbed in my chair. Someone is on drugs, or gotten sick, or gotten cancer, or died. You hear it from the happy to the terrible. One of my clients told me that a friend of ours from high school had committed suicide. It was sad. I wasn’t able to go to his wake because I had to work. I couldn’t get off. It was the same day Luke Perry died.

“52, that’s young,” said Meg.

“He was good,” I said. “He wasn’t all Hollywood. The good die young.”

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Click here to see more writing between fiction and non-fiction by Ed Staskus.

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