I check my watch. Hmm … she’s forty-five minutes late. I pace around the apartment. There’s a smudge on the mirror, so I Windex it. There. Clean. I hope she’s OK. I check my reflection in the mirror and see the blonde roots coming through the brunette, and it gives the appearance of going bald. The time has come. I’m Cruella De Vil.

The doorbell rings.

“What crazy traffic!” Jade says, and then hiccups. She’s wearing a long floral skirt, moccasins and a beret, slanted of course – the French way.

I want to call her out for being late. I’ve been pacing round the place, Windexing things worrying she’s been kidnapped! But I can’t. I’m getting the sweetest deal. She drives to my apartment and does my hair for — shh — less than what it costs in the Beverly Hills salon she works at.

I keep my mouth shut and pour us some tea.

She sets her large bags on the floor and sways into the table. It shifts over an inch with an eeking screech.

“Oops.” She laughs.

Jade’s hair products have toppled out from her bags and are sprawled out like sleepy workmen across the wood floors.

My hairstylist is drunk.




She asks me the same question for the third time and then she starts applying my hair dye. She’s close to me now. Vodka. I can smell it.

I’m in a predicament. I’m so embarrassed she’s drunk I can’t manage the guts to say it out loud, tell her we should reschedule! If I do, this sweet deal may go away. I feel like a teenager all over again. I close my eyes and reason. I mean, she does work in one of the top salons in Beverly Hills, she is my favorite hair stylist, she must be skilled even if she’s tipsy, right?

I feel the cool cream slide down and around my scalp. I think about the short film I did last week, the one I wrote about a twisted kidnapping. I calm down. I remember the chicken curry I made the cast and crew, the scene in the bathtub, the candles. Aahh. Acting.

“Oh no!” she squeals and shakes me from my daydream. There’s hair dye all down the backside of my shirt.

“How about a sandwich?” I ask.

“Here.” I pull out a leftover cucumber and cream cheese sandwich and hand it to Jade who eats it in a few bites. I put some coffee on. She gulps it down.

I kind of want my mommy. Is that weird?

After a while, she leaves in one piece, and a lot more sober than when she arrived. I’m thinking about house calls. Maybe not the best idea?

Alice can be reached at

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Tales of a Toluca Lake Actress

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