Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 29 The lavendar fauteuil

The idea of 31 more days stretching out ahead of me sends waves of pleasure shooting through my body. Like on the last day of elementary school when you knew you had the whole, hot summer ahead of you, a whole eight weeks to do nothing but play.

Today I had my hair cut. Barbara found a salon on via Europa in Calimera that impressed her. She'd been going elsewhere in the town but they didn't handle very short hair too well. But Stella did a good job at Cerise Parrucchieri.

Stella and her business partner Isaura opened the place less than a year ago.  It's going well, she said, better than they’d expected in so short a time.  

Stella did, in fact, do a stellar job on my cut. But the piece de resistance was definitely the shampoo experience.

Imagine you sit down on this sleek lavender fauteuil, a few shades darker than the walls. Isaura puts a towel around your shoulders and invites you to lie back. As your neck settles into the little grove in front of the sink, she flicks a switch and the chair comes to life. While she messages your scalp thoroughly in the course of two shampoos and a conditioning treatment, the chair does nice things all the way up and down your back.

Then Stella took over. We chatted as she snipped away with a pair of feathering scissors, snipping no shorter than I'd asked her to, by the way. She told me she's something of an anomaly in these parts: unmarried but living on her own. Her leaving created a real family scandal, she said.

Her mother didn't understand about wanting independence, and refused to have anything to do with her for two years.

I told her about the first time I left home. I was 21 and just out of university. A girlfriend and I decided to sublet an apartment together in downtown Montreal, where I then lived. My bone-deep Italian immigrant mother was not in favour, to put it very mildly. At that time, proper Italian girls, proper daughters, did not leave home unless they were, you know, loose.

As I carried out my few plastic bags to a car waiting for me at the curb, my mother stood inside and gently banged her head against a wall in time with innovative lamentations aimed at the Almighty.

By the end of the summer my friend and I were at odds and I returned home. A few years later when I left for good, I think my mother was secretly glad to be rid of me.

Stella says her mother has come to terms with her departure and quite pleased to see she's set up a nice life for herself. Stella yearns to get to New York for a professional course she wants to take next year.  But she can only stay one meagre week, she says regretfully. Can't close the salon longer than that.

Stella co-owner of Cerise Parrucchieri salon starts work on her next customer

1 comment:

  1. You are getting to know Lecce quite well. Have you gone back to the deli with the wonderful sandwich fixings yet??