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Back to the Future with Jack by Manny


I smiled at myself in the mirror. My hair looked perfect -- the exact style I aimed for, like I'd just stepped off the pages of a Tommy Hilfiger add. The mane of glossy blond hair in the mirror's reflection was extremely long on top and full all over. I smoothed it in place with the brush and picked up a hand mirror to admire the back. The pampered locks fell liberally to the base of the collar.

This was the longest my hair could get without looking shaggy. There was an unclear dividing line between groomed and sloppy that could sneak up quickly. At this length, however, my hair was in its full glory. I was fortunate to have such healthy, attractive hair.

I had quite a historic love affair with my hair. From a small boy, my mother would praise my locks and keep them trimmed into a full, floppy bowl cut. Among the boys in my class, my hair was always the longest. The thick bangs would always hang to at least mid-eye length. The curtain of hair added to my natural shyness. Nevertheless, people found my naturally highlighted locks irresistible. Even complete strangers would find a reason to stroke the locks of the "precious towheaded tyke"! They were never quite sure, unfortunately, if they were dealing with a little boy or little girl because my mother tended to dress me in gender neutral colors.

Only once had a substitute stylist taken the initiative to snip the bangs off quite short. While my mother was chatting with another lady, I watched helplessly as Trixie's shears went 'snip, snip, snip' at mid-forehead length and for the first time in my life half my forehead and eyebrows were exposed. Snip, snip, snip went the shears around to the back, and my bowl was whacked off well above the collar. My mother was hopping mad and virtually inconsolable. Trixie was never allowed near my hair again!

Many of the other boys in my class were subjected to summer butch cuts by their fathers. A few liked the streamlined look and feel, but by the mid-80s when short hair and home haircuts were huge taboos, most of us felt very sorry for the boys that were made to look like geeks. My blond hair rocked longer than ever! On the occasions that I was mistaken for a girl, I felt momentary pangs of embarrassment. Secretly, however, I delighted in knowing that my hair was as beautiful as a prissy girl's.

There was a time as I was going through puberty when styles started going shorter. The daring, bold boys even did crazy things -- like getting flattops and buzzcuts! I was appalled and clung to my long, silken strands, even though I started becoming the target of taunts like "little Miss Sunshine".

One day as I was being driven to the stylist, my mother suggest that we try something new -- a bi-level bowlcut. I was just beginning a new school year and she said it was a good time to experiment with a new hairstyle. She explained that the sides and back would be clipped to the scalp all the way to the crown, and then the top be cut along the lines of a pudding bowl -- right across the top of the eyebrow, and just above the ears, all the way around. She referred to an "undercut". She said it would make me look more grown-up

I had never had a clippers taken to my hair and was quite intrigued. It was a frightening, exciting thought. I agreed, noting that lots of the boys were getting shorter haircuts.

When we got to the salon, we learned that my normal stylist was sick. My mother was adamant that Trixie would not get near my hair. They sent out a fellow named Jack to lead me back to the chair. I had never had my hair cut by a man before. And he was going to use clippers on me! My anxiety and fear were heightened. I imagined myself being dragged back to the chair by a no-nonsense male barber who was eager to thrust an electric hair clippers into my pampered locks. In addition to the fear, I felt a strange sense of excitement....like I wanted an aggressive shearing to take place.

Jack was much rougher with me than the lady stylists. The cape was fastened very tightly about my neck, almost to the choking point, and he yanked his comb through my hair. There was no fawning over it. I could tell he disapproved of boys with girlish hair. After my mother finished giving her elaborate instructions and went back to sit in the waiting area, Jack said only loud enough for me to hear that if it were up to him, I'd get a "high and tight". He would make me look like a real man.

Jack took the clippers to me for the first time in my life, and I almost exploded in the chair. The sensation of the metal teeth on my scalp, being pressed close was overwhelming. What was happening to me?! My thick, silken hair falling away in sheaves and sliding down the cape was a fearfully awesome site. Jack commented that it reminded him of the shearings he witnessed at the hands of the military bootcamp barbers. He joked that his hand might slip and leave me clipped down to a butch-length recruit baldy. He told me it would look a lot better on me than the ridiculous bi-level bowlcut my mother had decided I should sport.

I left there with a very short bi-level mushroom cut looking quite ridiculous. There was a patch of my beautiful bond hair right on top and then lots of shaved scalp. I especially hated the very short bangs he had left me with. My Mom scolded Jack about how short he had cut my hair. He just shrugged and smirked. She told me that I would not be getting any more bi-level bowlcuts, that I would go back to my old style. But that awkward little mushroom cut would be preserved for posterity in my junior year school portrait!

The fear of being seen by others without my flowing long hair was scary -- and thrilling.

From that point on, I started developing a fantasy of being taken to a traditional barber shop and being forced into getting a "high and tight". I constantly was on the lookout for men with military style haircuts and leafed through magazines and books looking for them. I took to wearing a cap that covered all my hair but let the clipped sides and back show. It looked like I too had gotten a summer butch!

In time, my thick hair grew back -- longer and more pampered than ever. Externally, it made me look like a pretty boy male model and very confident. Internally, I harbored an increasingly intense desire to feel the clippers shaving it off. Jack's words that, if it were up to him I'd get a 'high and tight', constantly resonated in my ears. For years and years. I wanted a barber to shear me -- to give me a brutal makeover from pretty boy to marine recruit.

When the internet opened a new world, I spent hours watching homemade videos of men and boys with great hair getting "my first high and tight" or other such drastic cut.

I knew that one day I would be one of them. It was only a matter of time....

....and the time was TODAY!

The trigger was a story in the newspaper about a barbershop in town coming under new ownership. It was in the neighborhood where I'd grown up and had been slated for demolition after being vacant for several years. But, right before the wrecking ball hit, an offer to purchase it was made by a certain Jack O'Malley. The middle aged man in the photo was undeniably the Jack who had first brought the clippers to my hair. The article did mention that he had worked at the salon we had used right after graduating from cosmetology school.

As I sat there staring at the photo of Jack, I knew I would have him take the clippers to me again -- that very day.

I looked at my thick, pampered hair in the mirror. I would not see it again when I came home from my little trip to renew my acquaintance with Jack.

My heart pounded rapidly as I planned my visit. I would take the photo of me with the one he had cut nearly twenty years previously!

My hands trembled as I searched through an old photo album. And, voila, there was the photo I so clearly remembered. The school picture taken the day after Jack had made me look ridiculous with the very short bangs and bi-level undercut bowl of hair.

He would butcher my hair again! My cool, sophisticated Tommy Hilfiger model look would fall to the cape! I would leave the shop looking ridiculous.

I drove quickly to the shop. It was a small, stand alone building in the old neighborhood with a few parking spaces on one side. The red and white pole swirled, calling me in.

I rolled past it slowly and got my first look at Jack. He was clad in a royal blue tunic, sitting in the big barber chair near the window, looking out aimlessly. His salt and pepper hair was clipped into a very short crewcut. I circled round the block and pulled into the small lot. There was only one other car -- possibly Jack's.

I felt totally consumed with nervous energy as I walked up to the door and pulled it open.

Jack stood from where he was sitting as I stepped into the shop.

"Hello," he said curtly, eyeing my hair style.

"I'm here for a haircut," I said, explaining the obvious. I looked at myself briefly in the mirror. My lovely hair....

"Take a seat," he said, business like.

He proceeded to cape me in silence, eyeing my silken, stylized hair. "Has it been a while since you've had a haircut?" he asked.

"Yes, and it's been a very, very long time since you cut my hair. In fact, it was almost twenty years ago, back when you were first getting started," I said.

Jack broke into a bit of a smile for the first time. "No kidding? You remember me?"

"How could I forget a fellow who gave me this haircut?" I said, pulling out the photo.

Jack exploded in laughter. "OMG! I did that?!" he laughed. "They should have taken my license away immediately!"

"You had wanted to give me a 'high and tight' but my mother insisted on the bi-level bowlcut with an undercut that made me the laughing stock of the school," I replied.

"A high and tight back in 1995 for a school kid would have been pretty radical," Jack noted.

"But I've wanted one every since!" I said, staring at the barber.

Silence reigned in the barber shop.

He combed through my long hair, eyeing it like he was a tiger ready to pounce and my hair was his prey.

"And that's why you came back to me? To finally get a high and tight," he asked in an affirmative tone.

My mouth felt dry. Of course, I wanted to blurt out 'yes' but looking at my lovely hair in the mirror, I felt tongue-tied.

"Or did you want to get another bi-level bowlcut?" he laughed.

The suggestion pierced my courage like a bullet. I would be the laughing stock at work. I squirmed in the chair, thinking of my mother, deciding my haircut for me.

My heart beat wildly. My mouth felt dry. My cock stirred at the thought of the barber humiliating me again, this time as a grown man. Then I blurted it out. "Yes, that's why I've come back to you. Just like this, I said," pointing to the photo.

"If that's what you want.... I don't think I've ever given a grown man a bi-level bowlcut," the barber said with a doubtful look on his face.

"Would you mind if I recorded the haircut with my phone?" I asked.

"Only if you promise to NOT upload to my barbershop website," he said with a laugh.

I reached over to the counter and propped up my phone.

He began combing my long hair straight down over my face. The bangs stretch to almost my lips.

"Ready?" he asked, probably hoping I'd give up on the insanity. I assured him with a nod.

Then I felt him slip the cold metal blades through the shimmering locks of gold. Crunch! Crunch, crunch! He began chopping through my bangs at mid-forehead level. My stomach churned. Chop, chop, chop! Clumps of my hair accumulated on my lap. He snipped all the way around my head at the same level, decimating my sexy style. I was on my way to total humiliation at the hands of a barber. And it was being done at my own instigation!

Jack worked in silence. I couldn't believe how just a few snips with the shears could totally change my look. I was beginning to look like one of the three stooges. The clumps of my hair on the cape were piling up. I squirmed at the thought of what I was putting myself through.

Finally Jack finished snipping the contour of the bowl around my entire head. He smiled discretely as he reached for the clippers. Then he held them up in front of me, displaying the rigid metal teeth with a flourish.

Then he taunted me, saying, "Mommy's not here today. How about we turn you into a real man? A macho-macho man!"

The high and tight I had long desired was just itching to happen.....

I gripped the armrests of the chair and steeled myself. "Yes, do it," I said in a low, steady voice.

There was no further communication. Jack's comb lifted the heavy bangs from my forehead as simultaneously the clippers sailed over the plastic teeth and sent a large chunk of hair to the cape. I felt exhilarated! Free from the burden of pretty hair.

In a quick flow-through action, Jack set my world into commotion as he ran the clippers straight down the top of my head from forehead to cowlick with a 0000 length. In a dizzying display of divestiture, shanks of my thick, shiny blond hair peeled off the scalp, falling to my shoulder, and leaving a swath of white scalp in the wake. He was shaving me bald!

"I thought you were going to give me a high 'n tight," I gasped involuntarily.

"No, I'm taking it all off, every shred of mommy's pampered mane!" he laughed. "The feel of the razor scraping away the stubble will be unforgettable, so just relax." He paused briefly and added, "Maybe this will help you." Slowly, he swiveled the chair away from the mirror.

I took Jack's advice and concentrated and sensing the progress of the clippers as he methodically stripped my scalp of hair. Vast amounts collected on the cape. I felt secretly giddy about my total divestiture and anxiously awaited the shaving cream and razor. "I think you've got a new regular, Jack," I murmured.

"That's fine with me, Baldy," he chuckled as he dusted his hand gently across the stubble. "In fact, I'm very happy! You're quite handsome now that we've gotten rid of that girly-boy look." He withdrew the cape, shook off all the cut hair, and then re-fastened it around my neck

Jack recline the big barber chair and carefully placed my shorn head into the specially designed sink. After getting the water to the right temperature he gently rinsed my head, conditioning it for getting skinned. I felt like I was in paradise. Jack massaged in the lather. "I love giving a man his first cueball," he purred into my ear.

"Do it, Jack!" I urged softly.

The razor began scraping me clean and I shivered with delight. I would never again run a brush through my thick, beautiful blond hair.....



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