Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merman: a poem

On a whim, out for a walk,
I decide to get a haircut.
It's been too long.
My hair keeps falling in my eyes
and I'm constantly brushing it back
and this makes me self-conscious,
like people will think I'm 
some vain hair-obsessed guy,
when the truth is that it's just
annoying to have hair in your face,
and I rarely think about haircuts.
Like my beard, I let it grow 
until it gets too long and uncomfortable
to ignore.

So I pop into a barbershop
which has the look of an "old timey"
joint, even though it just opened last month.
It's got the old school barber chairs
and vintage posters of people 
like Elvis Presley and Humphrey Bogart.
Men with nice, classic hair cuts.

There are, as far as I can tell,
three options when it comes 
to men and haircuts:

1.) Do it yourself at home with clippers
and probably end up with a "buzz"

2.) Go to a salon and get your hair
washed, cut, and styled in a modern style.

3.) Go to a barber shop 
and get a nice, classic hair cut.

There's an air of masculinity
about this barbershop:
a pit bull leashed to a barber chair,
and the barber is a big, tough-looking bald dude.

One modern element to this barbershop
is the flat screen TV hanging from the ceiling.
There is a show on called 
"Mermaids: The New Evidence"
which is about a few "scientists"
who found a weird humanoid skull
in South America and determined
that it belonged to a mermaid,
or, more probably, a merman.
The show is presented documentary-style
with interviews with the "scientists"
and digitally reconstructed scenes
of merpeople swimming about.

"Do you believe that bullshit?"
the barber asks.

"No way," I say,
"Those people probably aren't real scientists.
They're probably actors."

When the barber asks me what 
kind of haircut I want, 
I point to the clean-cut host
of "Mermaids: The New Evidence"
and say, "I'll have one like that guy."

The pit bull is sleeping on the floor.
For some reason, every time I look at the dog,
I notice his balls.
They are weirdly-shaped and large.

The "scientists" blather on
about non-existent mermaids
and I wonder,
Why do mermaids get all the press?
They're just half of the species.
What about mermen?
Disney is probably to blame.

I want to write a movie called
"The Little Merman"
It's about a little merman who is 
constantly struggling with his masculinity,
because he is part of a species that 
is generally lumped together
into the category, "Mermaids."

The little merman looks at the tough-looking
sailors who sail the seas
and dreams of being one of them.
After many difficult soul-searching years,
the little merman
comes to terms with his identity,
and learns to accept himself as he is.

The barber asks me if I would like pomade.
"Sure," I say, and he styles my hair 
into a sleek pompadour, so that
I look like a bearded Morrissey.
He wheels me around to the mirror
for the big reveal and I say,

"Now that's what I'm talking about."

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