He is 28. A barber. Exceptionally good barber. Customers line up for him. I too, when I find him busy, I wait for him.
When I go to the saloon, I crack a few jokes and stories with the barber. It helps both of us to relax. Laugh and get even. Having some little money to drive a car and hold a good phone does not make anyone special. Not even being a CEO of a multi-national. All that matters are your ability to connect to people regardless of their station in life. Consider this: someone takes over your head. You close your eyes. As he shaves you clean. Pulls you up. down. Left. Center. And you accept. Who is in charge? The barber is in charge. And then you want to pretend you are in charge. I stopped behaving in such ‘abstract’ ways a long time ago.
To open the silence, I usually ask: how is your girlfriend? This is a litmus kind of question for me. If someone over 25 years says they have no girlfriend, I quickly know they are either liars or have a problem. I expect someone to say, “she is fine.” Then my follow up question is, “how do you make your girlfriend fine, in these times of data and airtime?” This cracks them up and we start a conversation. Before I know it, the pace is set and the barber boy [I mean man], is in gear five of storytelling.
The money traps.
Yesterday, 21st October 2019. I enter the saloon. I find the barber busy. He runs to me “give me five minutes only”. I say, cool. Do not mind. I will wait.
True to his word, five minutes later, he signals me to go sit. “Have you already sterilized the machine?” Yes, I have. He replies. “Are you sure. When you are cutting and your girlfriend calls, do you even remember which machine you were using?” Laughter.
Anyway, I go and sit.
And the barber goes into the money trap story.
To be continued, see the barber’s regret: money blinded me, part 2.