This is Drake.
He’s been my hairdresser for eight years and one day. Precisely.
I’d tell you how I found him, but the truth is, Drake found me and we’ve stuck by each other ever since.
St. Patrick’s Day 2010. MrWI64 and I went to a 7 p.m. movie and then crossed the street to a pub. We found a booth and, to mark the day, ordered Irish whiskeys. The pub was fascinatingly busy, full of leprechauns, characters and over the top volume.
We were taking in the vibrancy and the greenery when moving through the crowd, we spotted two green striped hats – a la Cat in the Hat – on the heads of a largish man and a smaller man. We watched with some fascination as they made their way, purposely, it seemed. And then, there they were. Standing at our table.
Hi, said the smaller one. I’m Josh. What’re you drinking?
We told him.
Oooph, he said in dismissal. I’ll get you something better, and away he went.
His friend sat down next to me and introduced himself.
Hi, I’m Drake, he said. Who does your hair? I told him and he proceeded to tell me what I really needed – less volume here, some layering there, all in all something sleeker and more flattering.
So you’re a hairdresser? I asked.
I had a hair appointment booked for March 19. I’d cancel it, I told him, and come to him instead.
Meanwhile, Josh was back with a drink. Something white.
I should point out that at this time, Mr WI64 was a politician. Wise and respected. Noted for his oratory. Statesmanlike, yet cool in a square way.
Josh perched himself close to MrWI64. Very close.
Here. Try this. Josh offered MrWI64 his drink. You’ll love it.
We chatted for a half hour or so. It’s hard to remember what we talked about in all the astonishment.
Two days later, I was in Drake’s salon chair and he’s been in charge of my hair ever since. When Drake’s heart has gone on the fritz – he’s had a few heart attacks, each time, making his own way to hospital – Josh has taken over. I trust my head with them both.
Drake quit drinking a few weeks after we met, but his beautiful big heart has been troublesome. In December I received a text that said simply In hospital, awaiting open heart surgery.
His heart is on the mend, and this St. Patrick’s Day, I met Josh and Drake in a pub downtown where leprechauns were lined up before noon at already busy establishments.
We toasted our eight-year friendship – Drake with a 0% beverage. They talked about exploits – some in drag – and showed me pictures.
Women generally value their relationship with their hairdresser. It takes time to be cultivated, for trust to cement. Often I’m asked how I found my hairdresser.
He found me.