The scissors sit impatiently on a small table beside the entrance. It’s about time. The speech is nearly at a close. Whispers surf through the crowd as the anticipation builds. This is what you and all the others have been waiting for. This is it. The spotlight is blinding, and the scissor blades reflect the brilliance, producing a magnificent halo of light. The anticipation continues to escalate as people shift and young children tug anxiously on their parents’ arms. Finally, the scissors are lifted, and with a triumphant snip the ribbon is parted and the library is officially declared ‘Open’. The congregation erupts in a sound cheers. You hardly remember it happening, as though your hand were controlled by some unknown source. It’s the scissors’ moment of glory.
The classic bob. You know what it’s meant to look like. You have a rough idea, in any case. You pick up the hair scissors and begin the process. Snip. Strands of hair float down around the salon chair. This bothers you. Hair is fickle: you make one mistake, and you can’t go back and fix it. Once the hair is gone, it’s gone. But the client looks relaxed. Her associate recommended you. She trusts you. Snip. The hair continues to cascade down and rest on the black smock draped over the client, not unlike a large winter coat swallowing a small child. You think it’s strange that such a thought would occupy your mind at a time like this. You haven’t lost your composure though. To you, you’re doing splendidly. The scissors cause every practiced movement to feel natural. Instinctual, even. After what seemed like only seconds, your hair masterpiece is complete. You step back to admire your handiwork. But you catch a glimpse of your client’s face in the mirror.
You thought she would like it.
You were wrong.
Best out of three. The atmosphere is tense. The assembly will soon depart in an expression of respective cheers and groans. Only one will win. Only one will be the reigning champion. But it’s not over yet. The temporary referee displays the score with his two index fingers: one to one. This is a crucial moment for you. It’s all or nothing. Your palms are sweating. Perspiration dots your brow as you prepare for the final play. You feel good about scissors. You can’t quite explain it. Something just feels right. However, in the last few seconds before the play, a niggling doubt slinks into your mind. Snip. Will you ignore it, or change your course of action?
Scissors beats Paper; another win.
But you didn’t play scissors.
That was me.
The scissors have failed you more than once. Why not again? The bladed edges gleam in the lighting of your craft room. The bright red plastic handles stand out against the off-white of your craft table. They beckon to you. The invitation is enticing. Snip. The blades snap hungrily. Or at least, that’s what you think you see. You blink, and the image is gone. It doesn’t matter. You soon forget about it as another thought enters your mind: You need those scissors. Why? Because they complete you. They’re a token of your grandfather. They’re a memento from your days of kindergarten. They’re a souvenir from a pawn shop. And there’s more. They’re a keepsake from the grand opening of the library. They’re a reminder of the first hairstyle you botched. They’re a relic from your high school ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ tournament. You think they complete you. But the truth is harsh.
They won’t complete you; they’ll complete me.