In the morning, John went off to retro-fit trucks for debris hauling. (Welding was another of his many in-demand skills.) The Rock Stars headed into the city. I cut my hair.
One of my prized recoveries from the day before was the battered old Superman lunchbox that contained my hair clippers. I hadn’t had a haircut since the storm, and—though it might seem like a trifle—my unkempt ’do weighed heavily on me, adding to a general sense of raggedy, homeless malaise. (I was not alone. Many of my city-mates—fellow members of our shaggy, limp-locked diaspora—told of similar tribulations: grown-out roots, fervent attempts to track down beloved barbers, and horrific coifs at the hands of unknown stylists in far-off cities.)
As the clippers whirred and the shorn trimmings drifted down into the tall grass around me, I felt a renewed sense of vigor, strength to tackle the task at hand and take the first step down the long road that lay ahead. I was ready.*
* My bullish optimism was somewhat diminished by my subsequent attempt to cut up the tree that lay across the driveway. My hands-on experience with chainsaws was minimal, but I had good intentions and a moderate grasp of the guiding concepts, including an emphatic belief in the foremost principle: don’t pinch the blade in the trunk. Within two minutes, despite my caution, I had pinched the blade in the trunk. It took a crowbar, a chisel, and a lot of effort to remove it. I let the tree be.