Friday, March 07, 2008

Where do you get your inspiration? or The distraction of literature

Yesterday I went to have my hair cut.

I've been wanting a change but I've been having trouble getting my hairdresser to make it.

Me: Well, last time you did agree I should have a few layers at the front, but actually you didn't do it in the end.

My hairdresser: Oh yes, yes, that's what we'll do!

He starts snipping. He says, So what have you been up to? and I tell him, I'm doing a new series of short stories. What about? he wants to know. I tell him about the one I'm writing now set on a train. I tell him about the ones I've already finished, the one about the airport, and the one about driving too fast on the motorway, and one about getting lost with a map, and the one I'm going to write about a robbery.

He snips thoughtfully. He says, I guess you can write a story about anything!

I agree that you can.
I say: Oh. Don't you think I could have some shorter layers than that?
Oh, yes, yes, sure! he says, and gets snipping at the front.

He's thoughtful again. He looks up excitedly, scissors poised. He says: You could write one about a hairdresser! Shenanigans in the salon!

I say I could! Go on then, give me some material!

He says quickly: Or you could make him a mobile hairdresser! All those things he could get up to in women's houses!

And then we talk about the earthquake and other things. He goes quiet. He says: Or the salon. All those things he could get up to in the salon!

I say, Yes, right! Give!

He laughs. No, no I'm not telling you anything!

He says he's done.

What happened to the shorter layers? I say.

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