Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Angered Client

Thanksgiving was upon us again. Richard, my favorite Vietnam vet was in my chair, going on & on about how the Government was lying to us about the war. How the administration wasn't helping the vets with medical & emotional problems. I could smell the scent of pot on his clothes & hair, & it disturbed me. I really liked Richard. But he was so angry, & I really didn't understand why.
"That's why, I'm going to that rally tonight," he was saying, "We have to educate the public about the truth!"
"Do you think your group will be able to?" I asked
"Well, we're going to give it a hell of a try, CeCe. We need to get our boys out of that country. We need more people to drive the new draftees to Canada. There's a lot of people that don't want this war to continue, just not enough strength to fight the Government on it. We have to be more active, more anti-war. That is the important step to save our boys!"
"I heard that a lot of guys are going to Canada." I was blow drying his hair now. "How are they getting there? How is that being arranged?"
"We have an 'under ground' group that receives calls from these kids, or from the parents of these boys, begging us to take their sons to Canada. The 'group' makes arrangements to pick the guys up somewhere, it's a bunch of boys in a van or station wagon & we drive them to Canada. The parents or the boys donate some money to cover gas & expenses for the group. It's strictly volunteers doing the driving there & back. I do it once a week. But we need more people to help us. These guys are from all over the country, & we can't get them out of here soon enough."
"Wow," I was removing the cape from around Richard. This is such a undertaking I was thinking to myself. "Isn't that illegal, Richard?"
"Yes, but if it's done carefully, it's doable. I've been doing it for a long time now. Even got to know some of the guys at the border stop."
Richard pulled two fifty dollar bills out of his pocket & handed them to me. When I looked down, I saw that he slipped a folded piece of paper with something written on it between the money. When I looked up, he winked at me, saluted & left the salon. I slipped the paper into my jean pocket with my tip, & went to my next client.
It wasn't until the end of the day, when I was counting my tips, that I read the piece of paper.
"CeCe," it was in Richards hand writing, " Here is the address of our meeting place tonight. I'd love for you to come & listen to what is really going on in our country.. Meeting starts at 7PM, we serve coffee & dough nuts. I'll look for you there. Bring a friend if you want. The more people the better. If you can't make it, I'll see you next month for my haircut. Your devoted client, Richard.

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