After my evening of meeting Brenda, I could feel the rhythm of change inside me begin to beat at a hyper pace. The turbulent air was constantly swirling around me. I would no longer feel like an ordinary boy. It was as if I had seen the light and now my sun rose and set with a new purpose each day. There would never again be a calm moment for me. I began to squeeze out every possible waking moment, and everything I needed to do seemed so urgent. This pattern would emerge early in my life and still is happening at this very minute. It was all I could do to try and get some rest and sleep as I always felt that I would miss something if I slept. I felt I could get much more completed if I stayed up all night. Fatigue and body needs always won out. I would fall, totally exhausted, into heavy sleeps and in my dreams I would still be running like a crazy man.
The change in me was very noticeable to my parents. I planned innumerable tasks each day and found it miserably hard to sit still and even eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. It was an utter annoyance to my parents but I would not allow anything to break my focus and soon found myself spending quite a bit of time totally alone. It served me well to be without interruption. Most people were kept at a distance and were only allowed in my silent world pending my daily frantic schedule. I knew that I had to provide the necessary monetary needs to procure some of my ideals. The small allowance would never suffice for the things that I wanted. I knew I had to derive a plan to deliver the funds that would get me the things that seemed so necessary at the time. In those moments of thoughts it occurred to me very recently that I had asked my secret genie for a wish and as usual the universe delivered what I had asked it for.
It all happened quite by accident and it would become the start of a sustaining life career that took me way ahead of the rest of the kids my age who would have trouble deciding what career path their lives would take. I can't recall ever thinking of college as it seemed that I had discovered the exact path I would excel at.
Not quite ten yet and having had a few opportunities in helping my Mother with her hair I knew that I realized that the many trips to the hair salon with my Mother and the knowledge and skill that I learned from her hairdresser, would soon be put into good use and would become my ticket to monetary paradise. That summer of 1962 would thus begin my foray into a lifelong career that has served me well and provided not only monetary results but also invaluable lessons in people skills.
I would realize just how handy my natural hairdressing talent would be for the many young teenage girls in my neighborhood. My first "client" would be my brothers long time girlfriend , Linda. Since he had to have me tag along, much to his chagrin, I sat watching her one summer day as they talked teenage love mush. I watched her struggle to set her hair and as I sat there being ignored, I suggested that I help her with the set.
My poor brother was embarrassed that I would do such a thing and after a lot of cruel remarks about being a sissy, the guilt surfaced and she said I could give it a try. She said it with an attitude that expected an impending disaster, but a few minutes later her demeanor changed in my favor. With my trusty comb and Dippity Do setting gel, she was overwhelmed to see the end result. I explained in no uncertain terms that it was a no effort process and I could tease it out and finish it. If she liked it she could pay me two dollars and if not it would be free. I told her to come and find me when it was dry as I did not want to stick around while they continued to gush over each other, as I had other things to do. It was a summer date night for my brother and it was necessary to have the style that would turn heads and welcome comments, and I had no worry that I would not succeed.
I had to prepare for the worst outcome and then work backwards to reach the positive conclusion that I had already seen in my mind. If this turned out all wrong I would not be able to live with myself nor with my obnoxious teenage brother who already had it in for me to lose. I had no fear of what the results were to be, it was always the taunts from failure that I hated the most. In my preparation for my finale I located my metal teasing comb that Miss Bea had given me and that I had previously used on Mother's hair, I felt it to be my one saving grace to proper hair heights.
Later on that summer afternoon my skills would be put to the challenge of teenage criticism. She arrived with such uncertainty of the outcome of the hair issue that I had to remind myself over and over that it was her insecurity and not mine. I had asked my Mother to stay for support and if things should go awry, I knew someone was on my side. Out came the rollers and fastidiously I brushed the set out and began to tease her hair as if I had been doing it all my life. With my trusty can of Aqua Net hairspray in the Blue can for hard to hold hair, I swiftly molded that hair into the style of her preference and in less than fifteen minutes I was finished. With the last rattail comb lift and one last hit of spray net I handed her the hand mirror so she could see the results I had finished.
My Mother was completely surprised at the result. There was even a bit of fear about whether she would like the styling or not, she confessed to me later. In that final moment as Linda looked in to the mirror my brother appeared to see what I had done.
Silent panic swept through me as I awaited some sort of judgement. She finally stood up, I froze with fear, and she gave out with a big "I love it and can't believe you did this". My brother once again shrugged it off with embarrassment that his weird little brother, pulled off such a success. She would be my best advertisement that night on their date. It would start a maelstrom of girls at my door to have their hair done regularly and I could feel my bank account grow as I began my descent into my Hair-port. While the beginning of this situation appeared quite bleak,
I never let it sway the outcome that I knew it could be. I was not aware of what I could or could not do but I realized that through any unseen turbulence you might encounter along the way you will always have to descend in order to have a smooth landing. That day I landed on the runway toward my future.