On my birthday this year, I paid for a haircut for the first time in over three years. It cost me $4. My co-worker Bill gave me a coupon. Bill’s about 55 years old, and he’s obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. He went to Studio 54 once during its heyday, but he told me he didn’t look cool enough to be let inside, so he never saw the inside. When Bill talks about his roommate, he only refers to him as “Houseguest,” so one day, I asked Bill what Houseguest’s name was, and he said his name was Bill. Houseguest isn’t Bill’s boyfriend or best friend or anything, he’s just someone that Bill ended up letting move in with him a few years ago after falling on hard times. One time Bill left a Salem cigarette on the mantle in his living room, planning to smoke it on a special occasion, and Houseguest got drunk and smoked the cigarette himself. Bill tells me that I shouldn’t be too nice to people, because all they end up doing is taking advantage of you, and years later, down the line, you have nothing to show for your kindness. Last week, I pointed out a Hawaiian shirt that I liked, and I asked Bill what he thought of it. Bill said that it was all right, that he had gone through a Hawaiian shirt phase once too.