There’s a Supercuts I like for its grittiness at San Mateo just down from Zuni, set in a sea of asphalt next to a crumbling adobe House of Prayer. Went to see M. there for my haircut today just as the proprietor, a giant man with a shaved head and a moustache of a shade of black not seen, perhaps, in nature, was depositing a young Native American on the sandy concrete sidewalk in front of the shop in the sea of asphalt. Apparently the young man, neatly dressed in clean jeans and a windbreaker, had been panhandling the haircut customers and was so high he could not stand up after the giant had gently escorted him outside the shop.

As I entered the shop the proprietor was saying “Don’t call the cops yet.”

M. and I talked about her parents, who taught on the rez for 40 years. M. herself was born here in Macondo and perhaps on account of such virtuous parents spent her early days in what she calls the party zone. Twenty minutes later, my hair was cut, the young man was still sitting on the concrete outside, and the police had been called. M and I joked about how I am still paranoid, after 40 years, about having a roach in my pocket when the cops show up.

On the way to the car, I said, “Take care of yourself,” to the young man. He was sitting on the sidewalk leaning against the crusty adobe. He heard me and said he would.