In the barber’s I’m all good fortune, as just as I’ve taken the one waiting position, in through the door after me come three – four – five men. I’m amazed they all take a seat, surely knowing there’ll be such a wait ahead for them. There’s one barber, and he’s not one for rushing. But I guess this is the thing on their list for today, and waiting comes with that. I have an uneventful haircut, and as I’m leaving I hear the old boy after me say to the barber as he takes to the big chair: ‘I’ve let it grow longer than I usually do – for reasons I will go on to explain…’ I don’t hang about to hear the tale, but I’m impressed by his narrative conviction. Anecdotes are one thing – but announcing them?
I drive past – more of a slow crawl in traffic – an old-fashioned pillar box at the end of someone’s driveway. It’s their box for their incoming mail, not a public letter box; and they clearly need to police this, or have had to, as the ironwork body is plastered with notices emphasising its private nature. This obviously detracts from what I imagine was the whole point of the novelty; becoming something more ill-tempered than pleasantly, characterfully, vintage. As the traffic picks up again I move away wondering if there’s a life parallel, a metaphor, to be drawn: how we’re all of us presenting these breezy ideals of our Self to the world, whilst at the same time… But the thought slips away, and to be honest I don’t much mind.