Jaime Franchi's Blog

Jaime Franchi

Jaime Franchi
New York, US
July 07
Misses Write
Freelance writer living in New York. My work can be found in the NY Times, "Big" Salon, Punchnel's, Fictionique, The Broad Side, and on JedMorey.com, where I am a regular contributor. Follow me on Twitter at JaimimiMama. www.JaimeFranchi.com


Jaime Franchi's Links

MAY 8, 2012 1:08PM

Pandora's Locks

Rate: 22 Flag
I packed up lunches and sent the kids off to school. I fed and watered the puppy, watched as he pooped on the shoots starting to spring from the dusty earth in the backyard.  Cell phone charged.  Money in my pocket.  

I put the earbuds in my ears and set Pandora to play Loudon Wainwright III songs, or those like his.  I was thinking about a song he wrote about missing his dad, about his books still lining the bookshelves, his boots still standing in the closet, waiting for his return.  There's something about the songs he writes that captures the difficulty of our human relationships, that exact thing that makes what should be so easy so damn hard.  
I was in the mood for that.

Instead, I was treated first to Jeff Buckley's rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.  Now we're talking.  I eased onto Sunrise Highway eastbound, the road my daughter calls "the high road," as in, "Oh, I hate taking the high road, Mommy!"  So do I, kiddo, but that's what's gonna get me to Finale Salon, where Lenny will shape this head of hair into something presentable, I hoped.  I know enough not to covet hot-girl hair, but I've been looking at the cover of Norah Jones's new CD and I think I might be able to pull that off.

Two songs later, the familiar chords of Hallelujah, sang this time by KD Lang, began.  I turned it even louder.  Didn't even know she'd recorded this song.  I wished, not for the first time, for the talent to get up on a stage and belt out a song like this.  The guts I have, but my vocal chords won't cooperate.  I belted it out anyway since no one can boo me in my car, not when the kids are at school.  

I wished, not for the first time, for the talent to write something like Cohen's lyrics.  "Maybe there's a God above, but all I ever learned from love is how to shoot someone before they outdrew ya."  Loving the music or not, fantasizing about performing or not, imagining the accolades of having contributed something like this to the world or not, this song is going to affect your mood.  I pulled into the parking lot and stretched my legs, but the melancholy of the cold and broken hallelujah followed me into the salon and didn't come out with the fragrant and expensive shampoo or the temple massage.  

Lenny took one look at me and lifted a wet strand.  He tutted.  It had been almost six weeks since my last visit.  All of his hard work had morphed into a wide, curly mop.  

"What are we doing?"  he asked me.  

"We are going to try to grow it?" I asked him.  I waited for his approval, but it didn't come.  He looked at me from a few different angles.  I fumbled with my phone, googling Norah Jones and coming up with the image from the album cover.

He looked it over.  He breathed loudly.  

He told me we could try it, that it would take some shaping, that the shape of my face could hold that sort of 'do, but that it would take time - time to grow and once it had, time to blow it dry.  He looked doubtful that I could accomplish either of these, but my hope raised when he said that it was really just a longer version of what I had already.  And when I told him that I would probably be back in a few weeks telling him to cut it all off, he disagreed.  Said that I should stick it out.  Give it till September.  

He snipped. And then he blew.  I sat as still as I could, ignoring the pull of my phone and the Words With Friends that silently called to me.  I sang in my head.  "She tied you to the kitchen chair, she broke your throne and cut your hair, and from your lips she drew a Hallelujah." I tried not to move my lips.  

"You look really fantastic with short hair," he said to me when he was done.  Immediately, I wanted to tell him to just cut it then, if it meant so much to him.  I would have too, but there were other ladies waiting their turns.

"I don't have the confidence to pull off short hair lately," I told him.  It didn't mean to come out as a confession, but my voice didn't know that.

"Sometimes how we feel on the inside is reflected by what we see on the outside," he told me, sagely.  

I wasn't paying for swivel chair psycho-analysis, so I said only that I was too young to have Nancy Pelosi hair.  He smiled, but it was a sad smile, and he touched my arm.  "Be happy," he said.

And I am happy.  But when I got into my car, I started to cry.  I didn't stop until I hit the high road, westbound. 


Author tags:

belief/religion, open+call

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
You know Lenny too? Wow...

Hey glad to see you back. Love your writing and
loving pandora too these days (off to start my own
Loudon WIII channel).
But... why the tears?
Halleluyah is as beautiful a contemporary number as I have heard.

And, you're in no writing rut. Trust me.

I knew there had been something missing here lately.

FYI: love the new LW III record. It fits my recent mood, which includes too many contemplations of mortality. Music sure can distract. Yesterday someone had a link to a video of my favorite song, Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," and I ended up spending my next three hours collecting all of the songs that made me happy into one playlist.

So let's see this new 'do.
I am surprised at just how much I "get" this post. That song. The hair drama. The disapproving stylist, who in my case wants me to subject my multi-shaded gray hair to chemicals that would require more frequent trips to the chair. Yup.

well glad to see that this rut of yours has produced such
funny cool stuff.
looking for approval from your hairdresser, you gals
crack me up sometimes. you so COULD pull off mizz jones' hair,
i am sure, although i dont know nothing about women's hair...
except that long is lovely. short is for the pelosi's of this world...
good women, but hard, not soft..

"Sometimes how we feel on the inside is reflected by what we see on the outside," he told me, sagely. ...

this is actually true...

and takes some time to sink in...
in other words, mine,
"what you see in the mirror could be what you expect to see:
the miserable self image
you have constructed ..."

all in the eyes..
bright eyes , happy and confident, always see beauty,
in self and others..while dull eyes see ugly...everywhere...
especially in the hair..i know this...for, i am my own hairdresser...
i have been since i was 15..
i just cut it.. waiting for it to grow..
"There's something about the songs. . . . that capture the difficulty of our human relationships, that exact thing that make what should be so easy so damn hard. "

I partially quoted you, but I do so understand this. Glad to see you back- good as before.
Sweet post, Jaime. So good to see you back. I am a huge Pandora fan, listen to it walking to and from Port Authority and in the car too. xo
OMG, I am writing a post(in my head) for months about Hallelujah and Leonard Cohen( I met him- posted about it a long time ago.)


Some song. I think it might be the greatest song ever written.
Loved this. So glad you are back, and you are out of your rut, mija!
Your hairstylist is so much wiser than hairstylists I've known.
More, please.
The stylist's chair is as the confessional. You just confess things there, it happens. Sometimes you surprise yourself.

Shall I whack Lenny with a pair of hot straightening tongs? He doesn't seem too sympathetic. I really would enjoy whacking him with the tongs.

k.d. Lang's version of "Hallelujah" is stunning, isn't it? Have you
heard her sing "The Joker" ?

Oh, you'll look beautiful with long hair too. I love the Rufus Wainright version of Hallelujah...there's one he does with his sister Martha that's really sweet. Great post & song. :)
I thought this was fiction for some reason. I think you look terrific. Sometimes it's all in the mind I guess.
Intense. I have lived moments like this, too. And I hope you're feeling better after the cry - I hope the unhappiness isn't something from deep inside.

It's great to see you back here posting again. Hope all's well.
Hey Trig - glad to be back. And thank you. As for the tears, who knows? As soon as someone tells me to be happy I want to cry. As soon as someone says, "Don't cry," it's over. You know how in the Frosty the snowman song, when they say, "Don't you cry I'll be back again someday"? I got choked up just writing that. Hope that answers something.

Lenny sends his regards. xoxo

Jonathan - Isn't that song just everything? It's new to me everytime I hear it. And thank you, my friend.

Hey Crank - Yes! I remember we bonded on FB over Loudon. I've seen him at least 5 times. I laugh and cry at the same time. Love love love him. And I downloaded spotify just for your playlist. Thanks!

Lezlie - I'm not surprised. I always get you - across time, space, country. Might even be your daughter-in-law one day ;)

James - you so get it.

FusunA - aw thank you. I hope I can get it back, this writing thing.

Erika - Hey girl. I could picture you, earbuds in, groovy haircut of your own. What's on your Pandora? Is that too personal a question?

Miss Fernsy - Of course you're constructing a complimentary Hallelujah post. Isn't that how we roll, soulmate? Can't wait to read that post! I have so many questions, but I'll read it first because I'm sure you answer them in it. Just impatient. xoxo

V. Corso - I'm about to look up KD's version of the Joker right after I read Fernsy's post about LC. Her Hallelujah rocked. As for the confessional, I don't know why! Maybe because you're trapped there by a man weilding sharp weapons. Makes the truth come out.

Clay Ball - Hey now - bringing it right back to the Wainwright family with the same song! Holy, right? I love the whole lot of them, but even though Rufus is more popular and well known, his dad holds top billing to me.

Wooo Scanner. Why thank you kind sir for the compliment. The hair is still short, we'll see how long I can go without chopping it all off. I'm probably not destined for Kardashian hair.

Alysa - thanks girl. Don't be too disturbed. This was just a surface cry. It happens when people tell me to be happy, especially after that song combo.
Nibble, nibble......yum, yum!

Glad you're back!

Yeah, short is great!!!

I had to look up the video- it's just not my style of music, but I'm all about good hair. Hope it grows well for you.
I had never heard Hallelujah until I heard one time on The West Wing -- a great song.....great piece that is a reflection of your life.
The music ALWAYS tells the story. This is great Jaime. You had me the whole way.
the high road will get you sometimes and set you right on your heels. this is one of your best, jaime, a 'cold and broken hallelujah' ringing hard in the background. beautiful song you sang here, girl.
I can totally relate!! Welcome back!
ShyPixie - I had a feeling you might prefer a pixie cut. :) Thank you!

Toritto - Ha! I'm no man, but I play one on Fictionique sometimes. It is with regret that I inform you that they took down the drive-in years ago. Next time you're on the high road, look me up!

phyllis - Thanks! what floats my boat might not float yours. Different strokes. What is your style of music? Did this link work? I can't figure out how to embed videos..

Marty's Husband - I actually wrote about that Westr Wing episode in the original draft of this, but it didn't seem as relevant to the rest of the piece so I edited it out. But yes I remember that one - when Mark Harmon was shot in the grocery store. So sad.

Roger - thank you! And bravo on your EP. Great, great piece.

Candace - thank you. A song like that permeates.

Brazen Princess - great to be back! Thank you!
glad you're back to sharing your work