Part 1 - morning story When the cold came everyone thought it would be best to let their hair grow. Montana winters were frigid and they needed all the warmth they could get. Forlorn, the barber surrounded himself in a dusty hair pile from mid-summer clients who preferred warm breeze on the back of their necks. There would be no more warm breezes or hair trims for 8 months. He sat atop his hair pile like a stubborn hen squatting on her precious egg. Keep going, they'd say to him, it doesn't get worse than this, chin up. He could die and it wouldn't be as bad as this, he thought. But it was. Follicle crisped on cracked tiles as the cold set in, frowns intensified and the people outside paraded around in warming coifs.
His name was Salvador. He was a 14th generation Sicilian. From Palermo's south side where couscous was more popular than pasta and war holes kept rats cozy. His mother died when he was fourteen and left him to take care of his sister, Anna, who later resentfully took care of him. He enjoyed baseball and poker nights with the great city six - the self professed finest players in all of Montana - 4 aging men with a hankering for soft drinks, especially ginger ale. They were former drunks, former husbands, former fathers, former men who worked in mines and former aspiring fixers of things. Salvador was becoming one of them. He saw it in his reflection each morning while brushing his teeth. The creases on his upper lids, his jowls, his exasperated puffery.