There is a smell of moss and lumberjack permeating the studio. I dribble in late, sinking quickly into the black leather stylist chair.
“I’ve never seen your hair down” I comment. An ocean of aqua marine locks drape over Siddal’s right shoulder. They reach her waist.
Suddenly I’m sitting on the porcelain bathtub of my grandmother’s apartment precariously teetering as she incessantly detangles my three feet of thick brown hair.
“Owee, das tut weh” That hurts, I shriek recoiling from the tines of her black comb. She loves my long hair. It reminds her of childhood, her mothers urgent fingers braiding simply and quick before guest arrive at their Berlin based bed and breakfast.
Sunday bathing is the cornerstone of an old week greeting the new. Each downward stroke is an eternity of minuscule knots letting go of their hold on yesterday. White fingered I plunge my hand onto the hair near my head, creating a dam between me and the pain. The floor is wet, trapping a mossy sweet smell of the cheap American shampoo my mother send us from a suburb of somewhere.
I like to look at my grandmothers golden hair, perfectly manicured and colored every strand in a perfectly assembled march through the day. At night she slides sandy colored pins into the peak of each curl to further refine their shape and stamina. Occasionally they slip out as we sleep and wiggle their way across the small bed, onto my pillow and into my blanket of hair. My collection of pins is small, her placement nearly infallible. Hidden treasures uncovered during my school day.
Spinning towards the mirror I remember my hairdresser and look up. A glint of something sparkles between her lavender dreadlock and falls to the slate floor. There is no sound only an impulse to look down. One of the other stylists bends down retrieving a miniature scissor charm.
“Is this yours?” she asks us. Siddal shakes her head yes.
We find ourselves in the secret garden of the things we hide.