The girl smirks with each hair twist tangling her dry tresses to a new life of dreadlocks. She likes the boy that’s doing them – his tattooed calf and headscarf, dreadlocks with many years on the doe getting twisted.
She briefly eyes me on arrival. I’m ordering a double espresso and feeling guilty about staining my teeth.
The doe checks me out when I sit across from her at a low black coffee table. She pretends not to see me smile and moves to a separate table in front of the neighbouring barbershop.
Dreadlock man with the beard and flip-flops twists and attempts awkward chitchat. The attempts never last.
Much to my dismay, a West End smackie stumbles off the block. ‘Lookin to buy some marijuana mate!’
‘Sorry mate I can’t help you,’ I said unsure of whether or not he catches my accent. His bleached rattail claims he doesn’t.
The cracks in his glazed eyes match the colour of the dirty outdoor carpet. Dreadlock boy and doe pretend not to hear our conversation.
‘Apparently there’s a hippy here that sells shit, says it comes from Nimbin,’ he says with a screaming glare.
‘Sorry mate, can’t help you,’ I tell him with tense articulation.
‘Yeah sorry. How’s your weekend been so far?’
‘Shit so far.’
‘Well I hope it gets better,’ I say looking down into my notebook, pretending not to notice his rat tail wickedly swish as he turns to walk away.
‘I don’t think it will any time soon,’ he whinges and sooks off down the street.
And that’s when I see the sign.
A man with a receding hairline attached to a bushy grey ponytail and Elvis Costello glasses swoops out of a crystal shop just as another pair of stumblers come in looking to score.
In the mix yuppies on mobiles push baby prams. Dreadlock boy proceeds to twist locks and talk on the phone. When the conversation becomes too personal for his pseudo-hairstyle groupie he wanders away from her and starts to twist up leaves instead of dirty hair.
The girl looks vulnerable and exposed, sitting on a chair with foetal dreadlocks that make her look very white. She wiggles her bare toes pretending to text someone.
The man with the big black glasses reappears before me and I’m fairly certain I haven’t blinked since he disappeared the first time.
‘Aren’t you coming inside?’