Saturday, 19 September 2009

If they dare touch a hair on my head


I am - hopefully - nearing the top of the bell curve, wracked as I have been with terrible pain over the last few days. My worst fear is now not dying, but that the pain will never stop; that I will be forever trapped in some living hell of a never-ending cycle of agony. Or worse.

Based on some extremely unscientific research, there is a strong possibility that alcohol may be a trigger for the headaches' onset. Though it has been revelatory to have a clear head for the past week or more, I would like to be able for at least one evening to enjoy a glass of vino. Ah well. These things are sent to try us I suppose.

At least this morning I was invigorated by the Turkish Cypriot head doctors down the road. I am not known as a smartly dressed person, and whatever I wear seems to tend rather too easily towards scruffiness, however hard I try. So when I say that I enjoy the 'sharp' feeling of a proper haircut, I don't mean 'sharp' in the model sense. It's simply that the edges are neat, the angles well trimmed, and all the bits of unwanted shag removed from the various orifices. The barber who usually seems to cut my hair is small and bald with bottle glasses. He moans in a disturbingly sexual sort of way as he passes around his punters, but one quickly gets used to this and soon accepts it as entirely normal.

The barber's seats have fancy sliding ashtrays set into the arms (though smoking is of course no longer allowed in the salon, which is why a table and chairs have been set up outside the window) and one is always offered a tea or coffee by the old man who sweeps up the hair. As I was being attended to by the moaning man today, the hair sweeper began to recount a story to his two companions, and I watched their reaction in the mirrors.

"Before I came to this country," he began "Back in the 50s. My nephew, who was a young man - a single man - was on his way to work when he saw a young woman lying on the floor. Someone had hit her, and all these people were coming up to her and speaking to her, but she could not understand them." The two companions nodded, listening intently, and the old man went on. "My nephew, he got off the bus near the factory and he went over to the woman. 'Are you all right?' he asked the woman in Turkish, but she said nothing, so again, in Greek, he asked if she was all right, and she said 'No'. My nephew spoke Turkish and Greek you see. He said to her: 'These people are asking if you want to go to hospital..."

Just then, a man came in waving a Turkish newspaper.

"Do you think I could make this picture bigger?" he asked, pointing excitedly at one of the pages. There were lengthy exchanges about the internet and print shops, and the old man's story of the beaten woman was quickly forgotten. I never found out how the story ended.

No comments: