Hello. I’m so pleased that you’ve finally decided to come by — you’ve been watching me from across the street for weeks now, yes? And I’ve been watching you as well, and you’ve been watching me watch you, and now it is time. Please, come in, sit down.

I know that to you the colors outside indicate something other than what you have come for, but please do not worry. We are exactly what you think we are. I also know that you understand nothing I say. There is nothing wrong with that, and again, there is no reason for you to worry. I will guide you. I am small, yes, small and thin, perhaps smaller and thinner than I appeared from across the street, but my hands are far stronger than you imagine. It is all right if you do not believe that just yet. You will believe soon enough.

Follow me now, and realize that you are unable to guess my age. It doesn’t matter. I am fifteen or twenty-eight or forty, and it doesn’t matter at all.

Sit down, here, beside the mirror. This towel I am spreading across your shoulders, it is only for show. Now hold very still. The bottle, a mixture of shampoo and water: a drop, massage, a drop, massage, over and over until your whole head is solid froth. There. And not a bit spilled anywhere — you see what I meant about the towel?

Stand now please, and follow me farther in. Now sit. Lay back. Your neck in the crook, please, and your head on the cushion. The water is the perfect temperature, yes? Yes. Wait now. The water, yes, and my hands, just as I told you, yes. Wait. The towel is necessary now. There.

And again you will stand and follow me, now to this chair that reclines. Lay back. Close your eyes. Feel my hands again, their strength, feel how they work into you: shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, shoulders, neck, temples, neck, shoulders. Think of nothing. Feel.

Now you are ready. Come. This chair here, yes, and this young man, thinner still than I am, his hands not quite as strong as mine, but deft and careful, quick and precise. Do not worry. I will be sitting over there, watching you. Trust this man, his hands and scissors and comb, his razor. I will be watching.

Are you satisfied? Yes, this is the best you have ever looked. Yes, I know. Yes. But we are not yet finished. Back to the water now, again the perfect temperature, again my hands. There. Again the towel. Back to your chair again, and the young man again, the careful young man. He must be allowed to finish, yes? He must finish: the razor again, the scissors and comb, certain hair products, and teasing. There will be teasing, yes. Do not be afraid of the teasing. It will not make you less of a man.

All right. Now, yes. Now. Four dollars please. Yes, I know. But that is what it costs. Four dollars. Thank you. And come again soon, please. Come again soon.