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Not all suckers are equal.
I feel bad for a number of random people who have had the misfortune of crossing paths with me lately. Mostly innocent folk that were in the wrong place at the wrong time when a large, bearded man inadvertently spilled grief all over them.
Yesterday, I got a long-overdue haircut at one of the large strip mall chains. It had been two weeks since Kara passed, and I was a month beyond needing a trim then. I looked gross and depressed and needed to make an effort. So an effort I made. Halfway through the haircut, Blue Oyster Cult’s "Don't Fear the Reaper" began playing overhead, which was perhaps Kara’s all-time favorite song.
I politely interrupted the talkative young hairstylist to let her know that I was probably going to cry. It didn’t take long. Soon after the first few clanks of cowbell, I began a lip-quiver that escalated quickly into a full-scale ugly cry. Boy howdy did I blubber. And good lord did this poor woman have no idea what to do other than battle quickly through what should have been a run-of-the-mill number 2 clipper on the sides blended into finger-length on top.
She hurriedly finished trimming and attempted to blowdry the freshly-shorn hair from my head, but instead, a not-insignificant amount of hair pasted itself to my tear-moistened moon face like a grief-born gorilla mask. She let me smear it around with a towel before offering me a sucker on my way out the door. It was all she could think to do at that moment. And all I could do was accept.