I decided that I should give it a try.
The walls were a deep purple, the floors a slick black tile, and the mirrors clean, but struggling to reflect anything in the gloom. No one else was getting their hair cut, but there were three tall, chiseled men filling the space.
“Hola, buenas días, quería cortar mi pelo.” I smiled brightly and pointed at my head and made a scissor motion at it.
The tallest and blondest had a cape around my neck and a seat under my derriere before I could say another word. His long fingers worked their way under my hair and up my scalp as if he were going to read it. I pulled my neck forward and instructed,
“Solo un poquito, para darlo mas forma…”
Blondie stopped and looked at me. I knew that face. It was one of non-comprehension.
I tried English. All Germans speak English – but not these ones. I tried French. Nope. Italian? Niente. I even waded into my brain and pulled out a few Polish words that might have worked. Nothing.
I hadn’t needed to bother; Blondie was cutting away and chatting in German with his friends. I relaxed and thought of reciting the poem I had learned in Sixth Grade with Frau Turner, “Punkt, Punkt, Komma, Strich…” I contemplating telling them I had a dog named “Lumpi.”
My German thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of another Teuton, this one a patchouli-wearing, hippy-haired German. He put his hand on Blondie’s shoulder, a bit angrily, I thought. Blondie swung at him, brandishing hair shears. Hippy tried to rest his hand on Blondie’s hip. The shears almost made contact.
Hippy stepped up onto a purple chair and almost knocked himself out on a beam. Then he and started shouting (in German, of course) at Blondie. The other two Germans shrugged indifferently whenever Hysterical Hippy looked at them for approval.
The snip-clack of the scissors traced a line around my ear. I suddenly became very fond of and very nervous for my ears. Blondie was snarling in German, reminding me of a guard dog. I felt my neck getting red, and it wasn’t just the razor Blondie was using on it.
Hippy ran around and got a bit in Blondie’s face. Blondie swept the razor up, right past my nose (I was becoming fond of my nose, too) and within centimeters of the Hippy’s face.
Hippy left. My neck was brushed off with a soft brush. The cape was pulled off. Everything went in to its place.
I paid, left a generous tip, and waved to the Brüderlein in the back.
As I walked out the door, I touched my ears and tip of my nose. There was no blood but there would be no return visit for me.