brewers baseball and things

the first breath again

9 Comments

the old barber shop,
with a red, white and blue twirl outside and
a chair i had never seen before inside.
i was too small so the barber laid a board across the arm wrests to raise me up.
there was a mirror in front of me.
there was a mirror behind me.
i could see myself repeating for infinity.
the barber gave me a bazooka joe bubble gum when he was done cutting.
the wind felt right as I walked away.

i don’t look at the mirror much anymore.
it reminds me too much,
of what’s been lost,
baseball’s four divisions
and before that,
the two leagues of my grandpa’s time
all spring summer season long they played for
only one winner per league,
one playoff called the World Series,
all those games for nothing i love that,
no wild cards,
no inter league play,
no money sponsors commercial,
only strange named relievers and hot dog wrappers.

i like the smell of a vagabond.
i like the will of a can collector.
i like the runaway train determination of anyone doing what they love to do.
i cut my own hair these days.

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Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

9 thoughts on “the first breath again

  1. Thanks for the barber shop memories, Steve. Mine had a big ol’ jar with Bazooka Joe, Tootsie Rolls and lollypops—the ones with the stick looped back like a wire fly-swatter handle—we got to pick what we wanted.
    Ω

  2. I don’t remember my FIRST haircut, but my parents have in their photo album a series of photographs of me getting my first haircut. It’s a very funny series of photos, all in black and white of course (I was born in 1960, and I guess color film was a luxury in the early 60s.) All I’m doing is crying the whole time, and the barber looks indifferent, but if you look carefully, you can see in his mind he wants to belt the little brat who’s crying.

    As for haircuts that I actually remember while growing up (as in going to the barber by myself), all the barbers were native Italian, although sometimes I’d get a haircut in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn right down the block from my grandparents. His name was Jerry, as I recall, and he kept an accordion in his barber shop and even played it for me once. A Jewish barber, born and raised in the USA. Nowadays, it seems, the Italian barbers have all disappeared, the guys who spoke Italian to one another in the shop and talked about the Mets with me. Most of the barbers, at least in New York City, are Jews from Uzbekistan. I don’t find them nearly as friendly as the Italian barbers of my youth.

    Glen

    • i’m always amazed by your attention to detail Glen, in this case the ethnicity of barbers and the general scene you describe. I think there’s a Spike Lee movie about barbershops or maybe it’s some other director? I think there may even be a follow up movie as well. I saw the first one and enjoyed it.

      • I went to a black barber once. He did a good job on Whitey’s (that’s me) hair, even though I asked for a regular white guy’s haircut. And that’s what he gave me. Maybe if I had gone in there with burnt cork on my face (like Al Jolson) he might have put some corn rows in my hair. But I didn’t. I came in looking like me. I’m a white guy. He was also a baptist minister or maybe he said he was a Pentecostal minister. But I didn’t leave there speaking in tongues. All I said while leaving was, in clear English, was “Nice job, Sir. How much do I owe you for the haircut?”

      • That pitcher for the Reds and then Red Sox, among other teams had corn rows…Bronson Arroyo. He took a lot of snickering for it, but I think he looked good.

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