Imagination on razor’s edge

“Made in Japan”—labeled barber’s shears, specked with hair trimmings, lie inside and outside a segmented box on the shelf before me. The mirror on the wall behind it reflects my wide-eyed gaze. Elsewhere on the wall, fake roses hang in cascades of...

Settling in to unsettling experience

It was a very nondescript parlor tucked away in one of the many dark alleys off the bustling main street. It seemed as good as any. In the heat of the night I checked my watch: half past nine. Well, I wasn’t sleepy yet, and the city never sleeps. A good time for...

The smoky haze of coffee and community

The place is always dimly lit, an arrangement that works to foster an atmosphere of intimacy. During the day, the sunlight filters in from the alley through the wide open doorway. At night, the lightbulbs emit a low glow that mixes well with the blues or country or...