I go to a hair place in “Boystown,” which is what we call Chicago’s gayborhood in Lakeview, one of two areas of Chicago where gays are overrepresented as a percentage of the residents and visitors compared to our numbers in the general population. For many years the corner of Roscoe and Halsted therein has been the epicenter of the Chicago Gay Bar Scene. Those who have been involved with The Scene know exactly what I mean – and it’s not really geographically bound. It’s the same in any city anywhere – a fun world where I burned through many disco cards years ago. My current level of involvement tends to be avoidance.
My hair salon is right there in the thick of it. I chose it after having quite a bit of trouble finding a hair person I liked upon moving to Chicago; I needed to take the plunge and go to a real salon. So when we moved to our current condo about nine years ago I needed a haircut one day and set out walking to look for one and I stumbled upon a grand opening.
When I walked in I found the music loud and the stylists stylish. And hot – totally hot. From the guy behind the reception desk to the owner to the stylists they definitely looked the part. But they were all very friendly, and within a year I settled on one guy. Over the years I would often ask him who the singer was that was set to the latest techno remix playing through the A/V system. They have a flatscreen showing videos, of course, just like all of their alcohol and dance themed neighbors. To say I know nothing about the latest techno remixes is an understatement – as the years went by it just got worse; the names of the singers became increasingly unknown to me, and the music often sounded repetitive and a little dull.
My main guy moved away earlier in the year, and I’ve been trying to settle on another. They’re all good stylists – I’ve never had a bad cut, and I’m having trouble choosing. I’m also having trouble being interested in the music anymore. These days I focus on the art that rotates through the space.
Yesterday’s guy was nice enough. He told me he was going to Lolla this weekend. “Lollapalooza?” I said. “Yes,” he said, he wants to hear Eminem, he said. “Oh, that’s good.” I said, not remotely knowing enough to mean it.
Thanks for reading.