JOHN CALE'S HAIR-CUT
Right now, I need a haircut really badly. I haven't washed my hair for a few days, so at the moment it's hanging lank, listless and greasy over the front of my scalp. It's a sad state of affairs, really, and I've only got myself to blame. But the true awfulness of the situation only hit home when I looked in the mirror this morning and, for a second, thought I was Paul Weller. The horror, the horror...
For me, this was a moment of complete metaphysical terror...a temporary breakdown in the nature of reality itself...something worthy of Lovecraft or Kafka: a man goes to bed and wakes up the next morning to find he has turned into Paul Weller. Paralysed by panic and shame, he finds himself unable to get out of bed. He locks his bedroom door and hides under the duvet, while his worried wife, kids, assorted relatives and friends, etc call through the keyhole to gently coax him out from a state of Existential Collapse. We can barely imagine his torment: "Oh God, no, my children...t-they mustn't see me like this..." Don't laugh; it could happen. For men of my age and temperament, being transformed into Paul Weller by a random and unkind twist of Fate is almost a statistical inevitability. We are less frightened by the idea of our own impending mortality than we are of turning into that bloke in a photo-booth in the Hamlet cigar advert.
My perfect haircut would be a John Cale circa 1964...to achieve that is to enter a Satori-like state of Oneness with the universe. It happened to me once, quite by accident, and it only cost me four quid on a sunday morning at Mervyn's Barbershop down the bottom of our road. Mervyn is Strictly Old School: he knew my late father and cut his hair (and probably his father's before him...). How he stumbled on a John Cale circa 1964 is beyond me...it was an accident, I guess, just one of those things. The rush was incredible, though...the sudden realisation that for the first time in your miserable life you've got a decent, inexpensive hair-cut is just mind-blowing. Some people spend a lot of money on drugs, self-help literature, New Age Gurus, Gestalt Therapy, etc and never reach this perfect state of mind. But, like crack, all good things come to an end and the come-down is a complete fucker: a dreadful sinking feeling that hits you like a sucker-punch to the gut the first time you wash your hair...then the floor opens beneath you and you are embraced by The Void: too late you realise that the moment has gone forever and you've got shit hair again.