Friday, December 02, 2005

The Dream Team

In a shocking turn of events, my old barber, Boris, may be coming back to work with my current barber, Emin.

Now that you have recovered from your initial surprise, let me explain this story to you. For many years, beginning in my early childhood, Boris cut my hair. He and Emin both worked at a larger shop called Delta Mens' Hairstylists that employed approximately twelve barbers. They were both Eastern European tough guys (Boris from Russia...I think, and Emin from Montenegro), but extremely friendly. Dan and I always showed up with our father and the three Berger men got their hair cut together. It was a fun family experience. We would usually wait for Boris to perform his service for all of us, but sometimes Emin would pinch-hit, so to speak.

Then, some time during middle school, Boris and Emin left Delta to start their own place, called East Side Barber Shop. In our minds Boris was the man in charge because he was the man who cut our hair. But Emin always answered the phone and controlled the chair closest to the window, meaning that our teenage minds may have been deceiving themselves. Nevertheless, our partnership with Boris continued to flourish through the awkward years, although the family element had been lost to an extent. The haircut became a more solitary experience, a bonding session between boy and barber, rather than father and son.

One day, however, I made the usual call and asked for Boris. To my amazement, Emin told me that Boris was gone. So I dutifully made the switch. Emin became my main man. We have now been mostly monogamous for around 5 or 6 years. It turns out that Boris moved out to Long Island to open a barber shop there. Since that time, Emin has opened yet another new place, Veki's Hairstyling.

As I walked into Veki's yesterday, Emin was on the phone speaking a Slavic tongue, which was nothing out of the ordinary. But when he said, "You know who just walked in? Mr. Berger, one of the twins," I knew something was up. Then, Boris and I exchanged pleasantries through Emin and the phone conversation was over. But it was then that Emin dropped the bombshell that Boris may be coming back and opened up a major can of worms for me. If Boris comes to Veki's, do I stay true to Emin or go back to my childhood ways? Would Boris even recognize my hair anymore? I think that I have to stay with Emin, but I know that my allegiances will be strongly tested the first time that I get a look at Boris holding those scissors.


  1. i don't know how i feel about this. as your favored female companion, i think i should have a say in the styling of the hair i run my hands through.. maybe a cut-off can settle the question? whoever can do the tom cruise cut in jerry maguire wins. or a michael vartan-ish look might work too. but then, if you look too good, you might think you could do better elsewhere so i don't know. the point is, just do what i say. ok? kiss kiss.

  2. Good analysis, Rich. Though you failed to mention the even earlier York Barber Shop years. Ah, I remember them like they were yesterday...


  4. you've outlined what seems to be one of the most difficult decisions you'll ever face. godspeed, you prophetic dreamer. think much on this.