I’m 69 years old and my hair is as brown as it was when I was a teenager. A bit of it, mostly around my ears and the back of my neck, sneaks in as gray, but some Russian barber just buzzes those stray hairs away and I’m back to being a young fella again. I like the Russian barbers. On the Isle of Long, it’s hard to get away from them. I think they’re all related. I move around from shop to shop, but they all say the same thing to me: “You have soft hair, like little boy.” Then they laugh and I just shrug.

“You dye hair?” the last barber I visited asked. He grabbed a handful and yanked it a bit.


“You sure?” Another yank.

“Yes. Ouch.”

“Why it’s brown?” he asked.

“Genetics, I guess.”

“Hmm,” the barber said as he gave another tug.

I try different barbers because all of them think I’m a lying dog. I try to keep moving around, but they seem to get together and talk to each other.