Slightly hunched in identical raincoats, the two women tightly together might be elderly nuns from the same order, a lesbian couple, a mother/daughter pair of recluses. They sort themselves − older, younger; taller, shorter. Then, sort again: one with movement in her face, with a voice, officiates; the other, with immobile face − gripped, guided, steered to a chair by the mirror. The shop hasn't been swept. Patterns of hair under the chairs, a skunk strip of black clippings shiny over a layer of grey; hair along the bevel of the mirror. The hairdresser looms over the one with the Franz Hals face, dwarfs her with a hyper-femininity from long curled fingernails elaborately decorated to the thick leather belt cinched so tightly she seems a balloon animal of exaggerated breast and butt. Beneath the voluptuous strivings of her stylist, the older woman's androgynous impassive gaze is thrown into relief. Despite its palsied asymmetry, a distilled intelligence lives there in the glass.
tapping a gold ring
break the surface