Eye Of The Beholder

Eye Of The Beholder

You walk into Eyes Of The Beholder salon down the road with high hopes and aspirations of a harvest of compliments all week long. It is Saturday and your upkeep day. After walking a few kilometres, you happen on to the salon because it is the only one that has a generator. A group of girls mill around the front. They are all busy. But you know salons always have space to take one more. You appraise quickly and see Madam in a corner. You know her because she is different. Her hair is well done and she is smiling. You smile back, hoping she has time for you. But someone shows up from behind before you have a chance to speak. The first thing you notice is her bad hair.

“Madam, wetin you wan do?”
You look at her with a side eye. Your heart is slamming against the sides of your ribs.
“Ah, she fit do hair, the Madam calls. She will handle you well well”.
You’re not too sure, but you submit your hair and the prospects of your week long admiring glances to the mercy of this ghetto queen. You follow meekly as a sheep led to slaughter to the wash basin.
From the start, you find out this is going to be a tough ride. Once your head has been plonked down into the basin, you know there will be trouble.

W-H-A-M, W-H-A-M comes the ice cold water which then trickles down the side of your Mac powder.
“What is this”, you scream.
“Sorry madam”, she whispers, wiping your face and glancing furtively at her real madam.
And she proceeds to wash. The stimuli of the sharp acrylic nails scraping at your scalp bypass your brain and send a direct message to your neurones. You bite your tongue and squeeze your eyes tight to stifle your rage. And after another W-H-A-M, W-H-A-M, water trickling down face and a hasty sorry madam, the bath is over and your hair is wrapped up in a towel, turban style.

Now to locate a seat. You want one that is in full sight of Madam. You figure if she keeps an eye, not much can go wrong. You get one. Madam smiles. Your reply is weak. Your stylist asks for your style. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. A two hour internet browsing session has prepared you. You tell her what you want. Layered look, tapered at the temples, volume at the back, side bang swept off the face. Taraji P. Henson. You tell yourself that if she doesn’t understand, that surely she will say so. And so, when she proceeds to start without another word, you relax.

She hands you a magazine. Eyes Of The Beholder salon does not stock Vogue, Glamour or Essence. A frayed three year edition of City People will do. You glance at the headlines. Turai Yaradua’s assets are worth twenty million? Snort.
Occasionally, you look up to see how things are going but your hair doesn’t seem to be taking any recognizable shape or form. What was it you said again? Layered look? Do you keep quiet so that nobody will say you are a noise maker or do you say your mind? You decide to say your mind, but she is ready for you. She has seen your kind before. Mind sayers.

With a smile, she tells you to be calm. It’s all working together for your good. You think that has to be a Scripture, but maybe not…
Madam glances your way every now and then but when you try to catch her eye and give a pleading look, they move on before you’ve had your chance.

At last, you see that all the weave is gone and there is no space on your head.
You look up to behold yourself in the mirror and … and …
You feel the tears pool at the back of your throat.
For three hours lost. For human hair already shredded. For 2, 500 you know you must pay. For, for… Because not that it is particularly ugly. You see, you are pretty and you cannot possibly look so bad. But…. But… There is that but… and only you understands.
There are no layers, nothing tapers, nothing bangs to the side. And then, it hits you. Eyes Of The Beholder. You turn around.
The cries of ‘Madam, you hair is fine’ fills the air.

26 thoughts on “Eye Of The Beholder” by Berry Feistypen (@berry)

  1. hahaha. this happens in a small way to men too. nice.

    1. Yeah, I imagine it does… When they give you a shin cut indtead of a slight punk.. and there can be no going back! :D

  2. I love this Berry! It is really funny except I do remember crying coming out of the hairdresser a couple of times.Great job!

    1. You actually cry?? really? ;)

  3. Hehehe…Salon ish…

    1. Lol… it’s really funny to see how writers switch up their vocaubulary from formal to informal… I don’t believe you are saying ‘ish’.. Ray.. but then again I am saying ‘lol!’ :)

  4. @ ekwe how does it happen to men?

  5. Pele o……lol. As some consolation people in the salon are already throwing the glances that you so much want.

    Your non fiction stuff is getting better with every write.

    Well done!!!

    1. Thank you Ope… I am trying my hands at a whole lot of different styles.

  6. Nice.

    Small error.

    “Ah, she fit do hair, the Madam calls. She will handle you well well”.

    No punctuation to show when the madam stops/starts talking.


    1. Thanks a lot, Seun.. Punctuation error noted.

  7. Yes, your hair is fine~ that’s their usual line even when its obvious they’ve done a bad job. Nice one Berry.

    1. It was only after writing this that I found out that is a usual policy for them… I just wish they would invest more policy making energy into making the hair actually fine. Not a bad policy, don’t you think?? Let all hair made be fine!

  8. LOL Berry, this is really good. I love how “Eye of the Beholder” dawns on us in the end.

    A little observation though, In the beginning part of the piece, it took me quite some time to know who exactly was “madam” maybe a slight adjustment such as referring to one as “ma” and the other as “madam” may have helped, but then it isn’t really a major issue anyway so no worries.

    Another minor technical error:
    “The stimuli of the sharp acrylic nails scraping at your scalp bypass your brain and send a direct message to your neurones.”
    It is the other way round, the neuron (nerve cell) transmits information to the brain and not the brain to the neurons

    All in all it is a pretty good job.

    1. Hey, Festus..thanks a lot. And yes, I must have got carried away and thought every body was a salon regular… I’m sorry.. People who frequent salons know these things..

      And also.. the receptor pathway was mixed up… Of course.. It’s brain to neurones not the other way round. :(

  9. Nice story line here…the kind Xikay will fall in love with….LOL

  10. LOL! All ladies in the house who have experienced such, please raise your hand *both hands high up*
    Berry, this is so real!

    1. Thanks Lade, real it is .. because it is ell.. real! :)

      How have you been? Se nkan yen ti se le? ;)

  11. I liked the flow. I think i am begining to fall in love with this second person writing style it gets the reader deeply into the story.

    1. You like second person, right?? It’s cool.. but only to be used in very rare case… Such as now, when you want the reader to feel the same way the character is feeling..

    1. One liner qualifiers such as this always make me smile.

      Thank you. :)

  12. Good stuff, FeistyBerry, complete with the usual wit.

    Not quite sure I that I got the ‘Eye of the Beholder’ reference in the end, though.

    1. Thank you , T.O..

      Eye of the Beholder is the title of the piece and the name of the salon. I wove it in as a symbol/pattern to show that the eye of the beholer is what determines where beauty lies. And so the salon people will tell you the hair is fine… because er… they think it is.. and … ahem .. they are the beholders!

  13. I am surprised this piece is still generating comments since last week…Cos…

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