As I stepped across the threshold of the barber shop, a group of men, all wearing white, called out to welcome me.
I stood in the middle of the floor and surveyed the room. It was square, with windows in two walls and mirrors hung on the others. I counted six mirrors in total.
I seated myself before one of the mirrors. The chair wheezed in response to my weight. It was a chair well crafted for comfort. I saw my own face reflected finely in the mirror. Behind my face was the reflection of a window. Also visible, at an angle, was the latticework that partitioned off the counting room. There was no one behind the lattice. The passersby outside the window were clearly visible from the waist up.
Shōtarō passed by with a woman. Shōtarō wore a Panama hat that he must have procured at some point. And since when did he have a woman? I didn't know. They seemed quite satisfied with each other. I tried to get a better look at the woman, but they passed out of view.
The tofu vendor went by, blowing his bugle. With the bugle pressed to his lips, it looked like his cheeks were swollen from bee stings. They still looked swollen as he moved out of sight. I was concerned for him, imagining that his cheeks might look bee stung forever.
A geisha appeared. She had not yet made herself up. With a loose Shimada knot, her hair looked disheveled. She seemed only half awake. The color of her skin was wretchedly poor. She bowed and said something by way of greeting, but the other party was not visible in the mirror.