Barber Tight

I stopped in a barbershop in El Paso this week to get a much needed haircut. It’s always a gamble but the sign on the road said “Voted Best Barbershop” so what the heck.

The young man who cut my hair was named Jesse. He looked like he was in his early 20s. You can always tell an experienced barber by the way they handle the tools, whether it be clippers, scissors or razor, and this fellow’s skill and care seemed that of someone with a lot of experience. He told me he was born in Los Angeles but had grown up in El Paso and he had been cutting hair for a long time, since he was about 16. On the street. He was a street barber in his neighborhood. “But I decided I should get my license, be a real barber.”

He was doing such an awesome job I asked if he would trim my beard and mustache, to clean it up. I told him it’s sometimes hard to get it even yourself in the mirror. “Yeah, we’ll get it ‘barber tight.'”

I went back a couple months later and he wasn’t there. I know barbers move around a lot but I wonder whether he moved on or went back to street cutting.

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