For nearly 11 years I saw it as just an alleyway. It was a place to go sneak a molecule of clean air; free from the sticky fumes of hair spray and gossip. It was my work place, and after so many years there, I no longer thought it special. It was Friday. As usual, I took A moment to regain my composure before I told yet another elderly lady with loose confidence that “it looked great.” Great was that word I threw around the way most use the word interesting. It was years I did that smile and forced my hand to use my scissors in a way that didn’t translate even a hint of the artistry I was capable of as a hair stylist. “Oh yes, that looks just like you, lovely”……lovely, I’d think to myself-lovely that you have such a simple regard for beauty… Lovely that I’ve helped you feel pretty again, after all, that is what matters-feeling pretty?
But it was there at the end of a shift that it happened. The sun was setting, an unusual surprise being it was more like February this April. I stepped out in the same way I usually do, sipping my lemon water and draping my neck with a hot Lavender pillow. But when I stepped out back I felt I had interrupted some strange stage show. I was not alone as usual- just me and shadows of the alley; which was usually scattered with peanuts the lady upstairs drops for the squirrels. Instead there was a satiny trail of red fabric leading from the old metal door and just trotting up was an unarguably large well groomed horse with an ivory sash over his back.
Rubbing my eyes letting out an exasperated sigh I was about to call April fools when I looked up at who rode this beast. Geeky glasses and full red lips, in all his goofy glory wearing a felt black brimmed hat was Braden? “Juliet….oh Juliet”…He said. Then the music started and my cheeks grew bigger and glowed with curiosity. Poofs of glitter were being spattered like confetti into the air. Glenna and Ruby who were tending to clients were no longer working inside. It was our song, they played Moonlight Serenade. How could they know? It was then that I knew that my simple life as a hairdresser would be more than I could have imagined.
Thus far I had known just the tip of the love and service I felt I owed to humanity. But Braden…This man had a knack for making a gift out of an ordinary day. And now I could cut his hair until he had none! His smile on horseback behind the Pixie Doll Salon had not a hint of ill assurance. He beamed with an unwavering presence of heart. He held out a hat for me, “the skies the limit,” he said. There he was with hand held out and two ladies propping me side saddle on the romantic beast-“I need me a life rider-Got your boots on” he said? I grinned like a lovesick girl. “You said you didn’t care what we did tonight?”
This new vantage point-the shiny muscular back of this quietly powerful animal, gave me new insight into putting your feet up at days end. It also allowed me to see things, really see things, a little higher up, keeping in check with my ego. I felt a wee bit spectacle in the middle of downtown on horseback. This all proved to be very symbolic; love lessons I may call upon over the years. With only the stars as witness…and Glenna and Ruby in back of the Pixie doll Salon.
The day had come. Trotting through alley’s with my love and his perfectly coiffed hair. Past the windows of those diners who were lucky to see the news first- I was getting married! I was love-able enough to to be chosen and he may have known if first. I leaned in and whispered. “How fast does this fella go,” I asked. “Well, I figure, If we take the back roads and do a light easy trot, no one will ticket us? ” There’s one more thing. “We need to get to the park. There, I will take out one very shiny object and place it on your finger.” ” Well giddy-up!” I think if were galloping we can show them the ring? It does catch every bit of the moonlight on it’s huge surface- yes? His face answered for me. Onward John Wayne. Hang on, Calamity Jane he dug in with with heels, kicked and road with skill I hadn’t known before. “Wait, wait…..He pulled back and nearly tipped us off with his abrupt hault. Glenna yelled “DON’T GO!” – running inside-she came back tossing flowers she had stolen from the bathroom-here, hold these it just looks right! In one hand I caught them- petals floating all around. I nervously clenched the bunch of fresh Spring flowers. “Giddy Up-if we break a law, we just plead we don’t know any better- cause were in love!”