On February 21, 2007, I ventured into a little barbershop close to my house for a haircut and a shave, since I hadn’t had either for close to six months. Two hours later, I emerged, feeling like a new man, and I’ve been going to that same shop every single week since that date.
I was a 450 pound man who didn’t drink alcohol or do drugs, had only had sex with one person, his wife of 6 years, and hadn’t stepped on a stage since he was in high school. My weekly visits to Capp’s Barbers were an indulgence, but one that provided a nice relaxing break in the day. As a (giant woodland) creature of habit, I would only allow the owner, Cori, to take care of me, and as a result of sitting in her chair week after week for years, we became friends. She and her significant other would come to parties that my wife and I would throw, we would talk for an hour each week about life and work and all the responsibilities of owning a business, and she would yell at me for not getting my eyebrows (and nose and ears and everything else) waxed enough.
She and I both ended our long relationships within a year of each other. She moved out of her house and I moved out of mine. I lost almost 200 pounds, and she started doing those tough mudder mud runs that stupid people and crazy people do. She started booking more and more makeup and effects work for movies and commercials on the side and I started performing stand-up. We both started dating, swapping stories of bad experiences or great sex. Every week, as long as one or the other of us wasn’t out of town, I’d sit in that chair and we’d talk about our new lives. And then we started going out and getting drinks and getting drunk and hanging out and going to strip clubs and having fun when it wasn’t my time in the chair.
And when her best friend in the world passed away in her sleep, she asked me to preside over the memorial service. Her daughter is getting married, and if I hadn’t been booked for another friend’s wedding the same day, I would have been officiating the wedding. I invite her to my parties, and she came to the very first comedy show I ever produced. Last night was her birthday, and she invited me to join her, her boyfriend, her son, and her daughters and their boyfriends, out for dinner to celebrate. For a few hours, we ate fondue, laughed and talked, and everything else in the world just sat this inning out.
You never know who the important people are going to be in your life. They can come from any situation – a failed date, a chance encounter, a weekly barber appointment, an ad hoc office set up at a strip club, or even just a random conversation with a former stranger. They’re all around you. Your future friends. Your new tribe. Your found family.
So, basically, put your fucking phone down sometime and talk to the people around you. Yeah. That’s the moral of the story. Had I never spoken to Cori at the barbershop or Chana at Tijuana Flats or Sylvana and Lanie at Walgreens or Lisa at Dancer’s Royale or Claire at The Other Bar or a hundred other people at a hundred other locations, I would have missed out on some of the best friendships, greatest adventures, and coolest times I’ve ever had.
So, maybe the moral is actually that you should add me on Facebook so you and I can be friends too. Yeah, I like that one better. Because I’m on my phone a lot, so it might be a little hypocritical to judge others for that shit.
This is part of a series in which I will attempt to write something every single day of 2016 here on Avitable.com. Will I be able to do it? You’ll only know if you subscribe using the form below!