Nonfiction | January 31, 2014

My husband and I have lived here for forty years, and this is the craziest thing we have ever seen,” Jodi, a seventy-five-year-old cosmetology instructor from Midland College, says from an adjacent chair at the Chrysalis Salon in Midland, Texas. Mechanical rollers travel slowly up and down my spine, and my feet are submerged in a footbath that resembles a mini-hot tub. They soak like two pork tenderloins as Jodi continues, “I always ask people, ‘You know what goes with a boom, don’t ya?’ and most of the young people don’t know you’re supposed to say, ‘A bust.’” The young woman filing Jodi’s calluses nods along. “This one just feels different,” Jodi says, and her gray bouffant bobs slightly. The hair on the back of Jodi’s head has been cut to less than an inch in length. I can’t tell if her choice in hairstyles is aesthetic or medical, but her hair frames her face in such a way that it reminds me simultaneously of a lion’s mane and white petals circling the eye of a daisy.

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