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Barbershop Jabber

posted in Home Jabber on January 14, 2005

Been spending more and more time in Portland.. Yesterday I got my hair cut at Earl's, which I've wanted to do since I moved to the northeast. There's just something about the place that's made me want to call on his services. But every time I walked by, it's packed with black men watching sports, cutting hair and shooting the shit, and instantly I feel like honky incarnate, White Man extremicus, boy wonder of the idiot skin color... and I keep walking, not wanting to walk in and make myself feel more out of place in a post-poor-black-neighborhood, pre-yuppie-infested-new-northwest. Even though I think that it's stupid I feel that way and hate that Portland seems to foster the continued segregation and discomfort and alienation of whites and blacks, I've never had the balls to walk in.

This time, however, I happened to be walking with my brazen Korean girlfriend who stepped right in and asked "How much would it cost to cut his hair??" Simple. Direct. And next thing I know we're listening to stories of what Alberta was like 10 years ago, and how Earl cut hair 24 years ago a stone's throw away from where Soon Bok now lives. Of course this did happen to be the one time Earl was alone in the shop, and I do wonder just how different it would have been if packed with other folk, if we would have been as welcome. Probably. But who knows.

I never got such a delicate and thorough haircut. The man was a pro. Although this is the second time in a row a barber left my balding area unscathed, so I again walk away with a top full of wispy hair. Hey man, I'm not working towards a combover -- hell no! I'm going straight to mad clown froof with no stops, no half-ass balding man solutions, no cover ups or make believes. Fuck it!

Soon Bok and I have been having a blast, cooking a lot of damn good food, including my first attempt at a real enchilada sauce and some delicious buckwheat corncakes. A blast, I tell you. Well, in between dealing with an adopted sore throat, my stomach has hurt from laughing too much. And I revisited Donnie Darko, liking it much better the second time.

Last random note: Willy Vlautin's novel The Motel Life, which I did all the chapter illustrations for some time ago, has been picked up by Faber & Faber out of the UK. Next month I'll be submitting some color art for the cover, so that's pretty damn cool.

3 comments on this entry

can i get an autographed copy (the illustrator's autograph that is)?

yobro 1/14/05

uh, hell yeah. assuming i get a copy! for some reason this reminds me of Aaron emailing me this morning with a link to a used copy of Spiral Bound on Amazon -- when he hasn't even finished drawing the book! very weird. Amazon is now in the business of witchcraft, apparently, drawing non-existent items out of the ether.

nate 1/19/05

whoa! that is freakish about aaron's book! I am glad you are having a good time! Let me know if you ever want to hang out. k

p.s. thanks for the signing of the zine! <3

krassy 1/21/05

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