Archive | December, 2014

Never Mind the Color

25 Dec

I met Patricia Clarkson at a craft fair where I was selling handmade books for a friend who makes them. Yes, Patricia Clarkson, the redheaded actress. She approached my stall in her casual way, as if she didn’t care that she was famous, or didn’t care if anybody else cared. I acted cool and she asked how much for a brown leather covered book. We made eye contact when she handed me the money for the book, and she said, “you would make a great redhead.” Then she slipped me a small scrap of paper with a phone number and some other numbers scribbled on it and told me where to go to make it happen. I nodded, speachless.

The next day, I found myself sitting at a long farm table in a hair salon-like place among some other people. I didn’t know anyone there, but they were all as charming and friendly as Patricia had been. I didn’t realize how long my hair had gotten until everyone at the table started talking about it. They were all in awe. I might have blushed. A receptionist, or maybe she was another stylist, came over to the table and stroked my hair the way hairdresser’s do, assessing it. She told me it would have to get bleached before I could become a redhead, that the process would take a very long time. Patricia came over and agreed, saying it would take two whole days: one day for bleaching, the next day for the color. I felt like I was forgetting something, like i had somewhere to be. Like, how could I spent two days getting my hair done. I got anxious but I couldn’t say anything because this was Patricia Clarkson, who was apparently also a hairdresser. And she was really doing me a favor, even though I didn’t know I needed or wanted the favor. But, as if on cue, because she is an actress after all, Patricia smiled at me with her whole face and I realized there was nowhere else I had to be. I was just intimidated by her, and excited.

She took me up some modern-in-an-eighties-way stairs to the actual hair salon room and sat me in a chair. She stroked my hair the way the other woman did, and talked to me like we’d been friends for years. It was comforting. I like when I don’t have to say anything to fill the space. She took a wide flat iron and pulled it through a piece of my long hair. As she pulled, the hair turned blonde. I watched in the mirror in shock. I said, “I thought this was going to take all day sitting around with tinfoil wads on my head.” Patricia laughed her throaty laugh and said, “no, honey, this is how we do it now. Isn’t it amaaaaaazing.” She did my whole head in less than ten minutes, long bleached blonde hair through my fingers and around my shoulders.

When the bleaching was done, she walked me to another table and ordered a bunch of tiny pancakes. Apparently there was a restaurant there too. She told me to eat up. Some of the other people came to the table to eat the tiny pancakes with us. I asked her for her email address. I always ask for emails because I like to write to people, but nowadays you’re creepy if you ask for someone’s home address. She said she had about ten emails so she just gave me a few of them along with a code to give to the building guards on my way out, so they wouldn’t be suspicious of me. Since she was famous, she had to be extra cautious with people. My hair was bleached blonde and we didn’t talk about the next phase into redheadedness. I guess she thought it looked good as it was. I didn’t ask and I was glad for my new look. I just wanted to stay in touch with Patricia Clarkson.