Minding differences

There was something particular about the sound made when cutting a specific type of hair.

Kim spent a lot more time in life focused on visual and tactile necessities. Smell, of course. Much less for taste, because tasting hair had nothing to do with anything he involved himself with. The sounds as he worked were simply what he knew. Which was why the sound of his equipment on Chikwan’s mane stood out against the rest of his work.

It almost stood out against Chikwan’s voice. For the flighty centaur who loved to talk, it was quite a feat for anything to ring out more than his voice. Yet the snipping of his hair did. Perhaps it was because Kim was listening for it. He wasn’t sure if he liked the noise or hated it. Similar to how he felt about Chikwan, sometimes.

“How have you been?”

“Awful! Do you know they built the new convention center with steep steps and small elevators? I can walk up any flight of stairs, thank you very much, but do I like to? Not at all! I prefer a ramp or a large elevator. Of which they give me none!”

It had more to do with the fact that what a centaur considered large and what a human considered large were two very different things. However, the designers should have kept that in mind. It was not as though the population of nonhuman people was small. Centaurs were not the only larger beings to be accommodated.

“That is unacceptable. Someone should have caught that in the planning stages.”

“You know it, darling! I can’t believe that places that have been around for years now are doing their best to open the way for convenience’s sake, but newer buildings are forgetting all about it! It’s simply terrible!”

Kim once again fought the impulse to ask what it was like in the centaur’s lands. Chikwan tended to completely talk over those questions as though they had never been framed. No reason to make him more worked up by bringing something up he didn’t want to talk about. Kim didn’t know if that was just Chikwan’s tendency or whether all centaurs were like that. He didn’t have the opportunity to talk openly with any others.

Snip. Snip. The rest of Chikwan’s coat was longer, but he wouldn’t be cutting that. He’d gotten a stripper for the undercoat. Chikwan tipped him enough last time that it seemed sensible to buy one. With the upcoming summer months, Chikwan wouldn’t want to deal with that. He obviously preferred not to do too much of his own grooming if he could pay someone else to do it.

Perhaps Kim didn’t mind. He brushed out the last of it and pulled out his hairdryer. Chikwan continued to talk, though it appeared to be mainly to himself as the loud machine kept Kim from hearing him. Back to the brush.

“What do you think?”

“Once again, you’ve done a magnificent job on my difficult coiffure, my dear.”

Kim smiled. “Glad to hear it. Let’s work our way down now.”

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