I go there to do their hair.
So for five years..
for five whole years,
this is my Friday morning....
"HI MISS JOSIE " I say, greeting my first client.
"Oh hi" she stares at me.
"Are you here for me?" she asks.
"YEAH, I'M HERE TO PULL ALL YOUR TEETH" I say "I'M THE DENTIST".
"HUH???...what's wrong with my teeth?" she asks.
"NO, I'M THE HAIRDRESSER, REMEMBER ME, I COME EVERY WEEK TO MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL". I remind her.
"Oh yeah, where do you want me?"
I begin waving my hands like they do to guide an airplane into the hanger.
She follows my lead, pushing her walker.
"Where do we go? she asks.
"IN HERE, FOLLOW ME, BACK THIS WAY, FOLLOW ME, FOLLOW ME" I wave her toward the shampoo area.
She makes her way into the small room and up onto the big black shampoo chair.
"Do you want my glasses?" she asks, every week for five years.
'YUP" I say.
"My hearing aids?" she asks.
"YUP" I say, holding out my hand.
"My sweater?" she asks.
I let her fumble with the buttons of her sweater, and take it off herself.
She is, after all, a grown up.
"Anything else?" she asks, sounding a bit tired of giving up her things.
"IF YOU'RE NICE, I'LL LET YOU KEEP YOUR UNDERWEAR" I tease.
And every week for five years she laughs at this same corny joke.
"This paid for?" she asks before I lay her back to shampoo her pretty white hair.
"YEAH, YOUR SON PAID FOR IT" I answer.
"HE'S A GOOD SON" I add.
"Yeah" she says " a good son."
"This paid for" she asks while we wait for the water to heat up.
"YEAH, DON, YOUR SON, PAID FOR IT" I answer.
"My son paid for this?" she asks.
"YEAH, DONNIE PAID, YOU'VE GOT A GOOD SON" I answer.
"Yeah" she says "a good son".
"I don't have any money" she says.
"YOU DON'T NEED ANY MONEY" I say.
"This is paid for?" she asks.
YEAH, ALL PAID FOR. YOUR SON PAID ME TO DO YOUR HAIR...BUT HE USED YOUR MONEY" I say (as her family instructed me to).
"He's a good son" she says.
I agree and for a moment she forgets that she forgets that her hairdo is paid for.
"That's enough" she says when I scrub her head a bit too long.
She was an independent woman who did her own hair, she remembers that she doesn't like it being done, but she doesn't remember that she used to do it.
'LOOK HOW NICE YOUR HAIR LOOKS" I say, spinning her around to look in the mirror when I've finished combing it out.
"Yeah, that's nice" she says " but I would like it better if it wasn't so white".
"YOUR HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL" I say "BUT IT WOULD BE EVEN BETTER IF IT WASN'T SO WHITE".
"You took the words right out of my mouth" she says, laughing.
"SEE YOU NEXT WEEK" I say.
"Thank you" she says, then turns back to ask...
"Will I see you next week?"
"YES, I'LL SEE YOU NEXT WEEK. STAY OUTTA TROUBLE, OKAY!"
"That won't be hard to do" she says as she maneuvers her bulky walker around the corner.
Suddenly she stops...
"What do I owe you?" she asks.
"YOU ALREADY PAID ME, IN KISSES...DON'T YOU REMEMBER?" I yell to her.
"Oh good" she says and walks toward the dining room for lunch.
Miss Josie and the rest of the gang enjoying a snack.