Random stories,  Short Stories

Hair affair.

Dedan is looking away because he is mad at me. He simply can’t take in the betrayal as I cross the street in the CBD to go do my hair.
I can almost hear  him say, “I didn’t fight for independence for you to put their things on your head. I did not live in the forest for you to be so weak and confirm to their ways Glynis.” Then he would look down and an ugly crease would form on his face. “You are not Glynis, who lied to you and made you think you’re Scottish? You are Wanjiku, you don’t even use that name! What has become of you. Have you forgotten why I fought so much. So that you are proud to be you?”
Then I’d feel bad and take a picture of him walking away and continue my trip.
I have never done my hair at the CBD I have not reached that level of financial establishment, so when my mother offers why not?
I walk up to Sanlam where I take a left turn into a building I’ve never quite paid attention to. It’s nice, compared to where I go at Kenyatta market. There with every step you take someone is about to poach you into their salon and you have 3 to 4 people on your head at any given time.
I walk into the salon. The driers are on the ceiling, (hello America) the ladies working there are slim thick speaking fluent English and in their short tight dresses and bulky wigs.
Okay life!
Women having their hair done are on their phones (read gigantic phones) and the wifi is faster than my campus wifi will ever live to imagine. So I say what I want and the guy in charge tells me the price.
Putting some horse hair on my head is costing me not just an arm and a leg, but a kidney as well because it is Njaaanuary and my bank statements are not are their healthiest. If my mama bear wasn’t coming through I’d probably have to leave.
I sit pretty grab my phone and continue reading ‘We’re Gonna Need More Wine’ by Gabriella Union. (Such a good read)
However, when you make your ancestors angry, the universe always follows in line. Coincidentally I’m reading the chapter where Gabby is struggling with her natural hair until she decides to embrace it.  I look at the mirror see that beautiful Dedan Kimathi afro and for a second time I consider leaving. Dedan must have been at ancestral duty that day.
Before I change my mind one lady calls me to wash my hair. I have it done, then it has to be blow dried, for the first time in about 4 months, and the pain is probably equivocal to child birth.
I think Dedan was right, but I’m halfway through, why not? I have never had my hair done by a guy so let’s just see.
It’s 8:30pm when my horse hair is being fixed. The guys is short and not fat, what’s the word, stout? Probably not, but he has a beard, a goatee actually. Does that make him more qualified with hair?
He’s not Kenya, probably Congolese, I don’t know, I can barely tell a Luhya from a Luo. So he’s from wherever else. He listens to some ancient African Pop music while doing my hair and sipping his beer. (He’s probably the most unhurried person on planet earth. I try to start a conversation but his accent is worse than trying to converse with a nduthi guy when he’s moving at 100Km/hr on Mombasa road.
It’s 9:15pm, still not done, my mum is calling, I stall and look at him on the mirror, he’s still dancing and changing his music on YouTube and somehow his sense of peace just makes it all okay. He sips his beer again and finally finishes fixing the hair.
How he straightened the hair or my hair (I don’t know which is which) and curled it is a gift from God all through dancing to his Afro Pop. There I understood why he’s so undisturbed.
He doesn’t rush through your head with a curling iron like at mama nani’s beauty shop and burn your ear, he takes all the time in the world, but does a pretty great job. Its like the difference in working for government and corporate. In gava ‘maji ya dispenser ni ya wakubwa,’ they not only provide soap for you to wash your hands, they add vaseline lotion to moisturize on the side!
Would I go back?
Only if my salary is 6 figures.
Have a great weekend.

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