Yesterday (Thursday) was the clearest day Richard has had since surgery. He started the day out saying, “I feel great! I am thinking clearly.” He was as sharp as my best kitchen paring knife. As the day progressed, he tapered to be more like a nice quality butter knife, but he still had a cutting-edge wit.
At bedtime, we talked about plans for the next day. He offered to give me a haircut since I was looking a bit shaggy. He has been my primary hairstylist throughout our 35 years of marriage, so I said, “Let’s plan on it.”
Today, Richard sat up in bed and said, “I’m cloudy today.”
I instantly thought – do I want a brain-damaged man taking a sharp instrument to my head? Should I let him give me a haircut?
I voiced my reserve at the breakfast table. My children were so consoling. They came to the comforting consensus, “Dad won’t do anything that a buzz-cut can’t fix.”
They all offered to do before-and-after pictures to document Richard’s prowess with the scissors. I was afraid they were really thinking of making a bizarre Power Point to post on YouTube. I declined the photo documentation.
After breakfast, Richard asked, “Well, do you trust me?”
How could I say “no” to such a sincere offer? We chatted further, and I agreed that the children were close to correct in that even if Richard failed I could have it repaired elsewhere.
I smiled a weak smile and resolved to sit in Richard’s stylist chair. He draped me with the barber’s cape and set to work. I closed my eyes, as was my usual, to keep hair chaff from flying in. Snip, snip, comb, part, snip, clip. Soon he was finished.
I loosened the clamp on my eyes and peeked out. He was smiling a wide silly self-satisfied smile as he held up the mirror for me to inspect his work. The mirror only reflected the barber’s cape. I reached up to try to reposition it, but he kept tilting it down. He didn’t notice the mirror’s angle. He was grinning with pride at my haircut. I couldn’t see it very well, so I said it was fine as I scampered off to the shower for a wash.
After I was out of the shower with squeaky clean hair and with a wall-mounted mirror I could utter the verdict – PERFECT. It was one of the best cuts he had given me in at least five years. I gave my stylist a big kiss and “thank you.”
“See,” he declared. “Your brain-damaged husband can still cut hair. It is only the communication I have a problem with.”