Calvin Clay Jr., 49 

What I do

I've been through a lot. I've been in Church Hill about 30 years. I cut hair. But I won't say how many cuts I give on a day because I don't know that myself. It's all I do. I love it.

Cutting hair wasn't always my profession. I used to wash cars.

I spend my day just trying to maintain, to maintain. If you want to speak on what I see on a typical day, mostly it's customers. But then I see a lot of things — that I either do or I don't, you know what I mean [lights a Newport cigarette, exhales]. I don't like anybody coming in here thinking they can just sit around cussing and communicating in a stupid way. If you get to know the neighborhood you'll know what I speak at. It's hard to explain.

I don't know where I see myself in the future. I got good hindsight. My foresight ain't no good, OK. I got good hindsight, but my foresight ain't nowhere. I might be dead. I might be in the penitentiary. I might be anywhere. The only thing I want to do is play the game fair, keeping things square, no more, no less.

I'm never going to be satisfied until I get to where I think I need to be, not to where I know I'm going. You see, the way I look at it, the book has already been written. I haven't gotten to the end of the book yet, OK. And whatever happens in between birth and death ain't always got to be accepted for the stuff that's in it. But it's already been written. I've got to accept the things I can't change. So that's how I live.

There are things in my life that for real — for real — I did. I did. Getting caught with drugs, doing five years then 12 months for DUI. Six years.

You ask all the questions you want. But I don't know nothing about your past, what you did, but you learn a lot about mine, OK. Now I can take that same microphone and turn it back to you and ask you the same questions. Would you answer?

I'm doing the best I can. I'm trying to survive this cruel world [smiles]. Making mistakes comes along with living. I look at it like this: If you haven't been a fool you haven't lived. That's the bottom line. That's just like this floor when you step on it. It's the way it is, all right.


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