“What you want boy?”

“Speak up now I can’t hear you from over there.”

“Get on in hear and close that door. You letting all the flies in. Now what’s your name?”

“Is you one of Ms. Sarah’s grandchildren?”

“Yeah, you favor her. Right around your nose. That ain’t nobody but Sarah Cooper.”

“You visiting for the summer? Where you from? Up north I know. You ain’t grown up around here. I done cut every child’s hair within ten miles from here.”

“Oh yes I have! What you don’t believe me?” 

“You callin this old man a liar?”

“I probably cut your daddy’s hair.”

“I know everybody here in this here area. Ain’t nobody. No man, past this here corner that I ain’t taken my clippers to.”

“What you want, one of those fades? Who you like in basketball, I got all their pictures, I can cut you just the same as them. I’ll have you thinking you LeBron James!” 

“You know he come through here before. What you mean no! Get on up out of this chair and go on over there and look at that picture. Who you see in that picture?”

“LeBron James and who else?”

“Me, that’s right! And look at the top of the picture. 449 Colby Street. Step on outside in front of my door. Hurry up now! What you see?” “449 Colby Street.”

“Now come on in here and sit down so I can get to this hair.”

“How you doing wit your schooling?”

“What’s that last class you was talking about?”

“Physics. What you study in that class?”

“Oh boy. That mean you smart. You remember that now. We got enough dummies in this world. You keep going you understand?” “Don’t you stop for nothing!”

“This a great big world. The only way many of us see it is fighting and shooting at other people.”

“What you wanna be?”

“No you ain’t got to have it all figured out. You got plenty of time.”

“You Daryl’s youngest ain’t you?”

“Yeah I heard you momma took you up north. She doing it right. Ain’t nothing here for you right now. You eat your education and then come back and help these poor folks get their lives together.”

“You seen your daddy?”

“You know why he ain’t been around to see you? Cause he ain’t got nothing to give. Right now he ain’t got nothing to show for his life. He need some time to figure things out.”

“Don’t you wait for him. You start living now. He will come back when he ready. A man can’t be empty handed. Let him go.”

“Now I know you ain’t never look this good! Ain’t I right?”

“No you keep that money, buy your momma some flowers for her dresser.”

“How long you gonna be here?”

“Well you come on buy and I’ll give you the broom and mop. You come on buy first thing in the morning and I will have a job for you.”

“Just tell Ms. Sarah you with me.”

“She’ll be alright with that.”
Victoria Dillard

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