My scissors clipped at long strands of hair, falling slowly to the floor while my subject cringed in hopes I wouldn't take too much off. It was a few minutes before we were relaxed enough to allow the story-telling to begin. Haircuts—whether at a barber shop or in an apartment's kitchen—carry on a strange societal tradition of the cuttee talking as though he or she is on a shrink's couch. Floodgates open; thoughts fall out of a person's mouth in an uninterrupted stream of consciousness. I trimmed and combed while listening. Hair shorter and stories told, another wall breaks down. A foot takes one step forward. Breath comes just a bit easier: We're all going to make it.