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Задание 16 № 902

According to the narrator the avoidance activity is

 

1) common to all writers.

2) mostly performed in winter.

3) talking to oneself.

4) a trick to postpone the beginning of work.


Avoidance activity

I am in Birmingham, sitting in a cafe opposite a hairdresser’s. I’m trying to find the courage to go in and book an appointment. I’ve been here three quarters of an hour and I am on my second large cappuccino. The table I’m sitting at has a wobble, so I’ve spilt some of the first cup and most of the second down the white trousers I was so proud of as I swanked in front of the mirror in my hotel room this morning.

 

I can see the hairdressers or stylists as they prefer to be called, as they work. There is a man with a ponytail who is perambulating around the salon, stopping now and then to frown and grab a bank of customer’s hair. There are two girl stylists: one has had her white blonde hair shaved and then allowed it explode into hundreds of hedgehog’s quills; the other has hair any self-respecting woman would scalp for: thick and lustrous. All three are dressed in severe black. Even undertakers allow themselves to wear a little white on the neck and cuffs, but undertakers don’t take their work half as seriously, and there lies the problem. I am afraid of hairdressers.

 

When I sit in front of the salon mirror stuttering and blushing, and saying that I don’t know what I want, I know I am the client from hell. Nobody is going to win Stylist of the year with me as a model.

 

‘Madam’s hair is very th ...’,they begin to say ‘thin’, think better of it and change it for ‘fine’ — ultimately, coming out with the hybrid word ‘thine’. I have been told my hair is ‘thine’ many times. Are they taught to use it at college? Along with other conversational openings, depending on the season: ‘Done your Christmas shopping?’ ‘Going away for Easter?’ ‘Booked your summer holiday?’ ‘You are brown, been way?’ ‘Nights are drawing in, aren’t they?’ ‘Going away for Christmas?’

 

I am hopeless at small talk (and big talk). I’m also averse to looking at my face in a mirror for an hour and a half. I behave as though I am a prisoner on the run.

 

I’ve looked at wigs in stores, but I am too shy to try them on, and I still remember the horror of watching a bewigged man jump into a swimming pool and then seeing what looked like a medium sized rodent break the surface and float on the water. He snatched at his wig, thrust it anyhow on top of his head and left the pool. I didn’t see him for the rest of the holiday.

 

There is a behavior trait that a lot of writers share — it is called avoidance activity. They will do anything to avoid starting to write: clean a drain, phone their mentally confused uncle in Peru, change the cat’s litter tray. I’m prone to this myself, in summer I deadhead flowers, even lobelia. In winter I’ll keep a fire going stick by stick, anything to put off the moment of scratching marks on virgin paper.

 

I am indulging an avoidance activity now. I’ve just ordered another cappuccino, I’ve given myself a sever talking: For God’s sake, woman! You are forty-seven years of age. Just cross the road, push the salon door open, and ask for an appointment!

It didn’t work. I’m now in my room, and I have just given myself a do-it-yourself hairdo, which consisted of a shampoo, condition and trim, with scissors on my Swiss army knife.

 

I can’t wait to get back to the Toni & Guy salon in Leicester. The staff there haven’t once called my hair ‘thine’ and they can do wonders with the savagery caused by Swiss army knife scissors.

Пояснение.

There is a behavior trait that a lot of writers share — it is called avoidance activity. They will do anything to avoid starting to write: clean a drain, phone their mentally confused uncle in Peru, change the cat’s litter tray.