23 to 63 - part seven by Titan
As Sean focused on the mirror before him a smile creased his lips.
Turning his head from one side to the other he was indeed an older looking man. Now he could be in his mid fifties.
A thick, dense carefully crafted beard and moustache hid much of his former youth, and now it was a silver-gray colour.
It matched the remaining horseshoe of hair around his head, the crown still smooth and totally hairless. The grey hair was now much thicker than before.
He was looking very mature now as Clyde helped him light his pipe. As he puffed on the huge briar he looked even more like the man he wanted to be. Older, wiser but handsome. All thoughts about how young he should be, erased by his time with Clyde.
How could the barber achieve this he thought and in such a short period of time. Well Clyde had used a few of his very secret additives.
He added some of his testerone infused hair growth cream to Seans remaining hair and beard. He added more to the ends of his beard and moustache.
His already generous beard would gradually gain even more length and thickness as Clyde told him to rub his special formula into his whiskers at home. Then he bleached everything to add the silver grey colour.
Clyde had also instructed Sean to take on the guise of Uncle Seamus, Seans uncle visiting from out of town to avert any suspicion from the neighbours or friends, though he didn't have many!
There was still a loose end of course; that nosey tobacconist! Brian could go to the authorities with all he knew. A plan was already formulating in his devious mind.
* * * * * * * *
The next week, despite his anger at the barber who desecrated his thick head of hair, Brian returned to Clydes barbershop unsure why.
"Looks like the hair is starting to fill in." Clyde lied as he examined the bald pate he'd used his electrolysis needle so expertly on.
"How long is it going to take? I mean that toupee is pretty uncomfortable and people seem to stare at it all the time." Brian said slightly comforted by news there was new hair visible.
"Look Brian. It's going to take time." Clyde returned with a sly grin on his face.
"But surely there must be something you can do?" He pleaded. "I don't think the toupee looks natural."
"Of course it does. You're just self conscious because it covers most of your head. No one else knows your balding except for me." Clyde said with a sinister smile forming on his face. "Then again, you could always stop wearing it."
"Surely there is something that will help grow my hair back quicker." Brian stated with a desperate edge to his voice remembering Sean's miraculous hair growth.
"Well actually there is a new shampoo that has produced some great results."
"Whatever it takes!" Brian said quickly knowing what it did for Sean.
"As long as your sure. I personally think the mpb is a good look on you. You have the whole maturity thing happening now, especially with your pipe."
"Well its a style you may love as it seems most of your customers end up looking more like you." Brian added pointing to Clydes head.
Clyde remained silent, a frown now replacing the smile on his face as he worked the new hair formula thoroughly into Brians scalp. Soon he noticed Brians eyes relax then he started to use hypnosis to work on Brian's new persona.
"You want a real change don't you Brian. Something less like me and Sean. A whole new look, created by Clyde. You trust me. That's why you've come back Brian. You love everything I'm doing to Sean. You get off on it, don't you. In fact you want some of the same. Except you don't want to go the grand, old gent. You desire to look completely different."
And so Clyde continued brainwashing his customer. Steering him to being a different man. Clyde couldn't believe how good he'd become at this hypnosis. He felt invigorated by his work on his latest customers, the further he went the more he craved the transformations especially the one he was designing for Brian.
"There you go Brian. All finished for now." Clyde said cheerfully.
"Oh! Have you finished already?" Brian sheepishly answered as he gazed ahead in the mirror.
"You fell asleep again. I don't know, I must have the touch. So many of my customers fall asleep in that chair."
That would explain why he was having trouble focusing.
As he stared at the mirror before him he realised nothing had changed. Everything was the same! Even the toupee that hid his baldness.
Seeing the confused look Clyde added, "keep applying this shampoo whenever you shower and give those little hair follicles time. You should have a new head of hair in no time."
Clyde left the shop feeling a little disappointed. Didn't he go in there for a different look? Returning to his shop he passed a fast food joint and felt a strong need to go in. He didn't normally go for all those burgers and fries but from now on that would be his staple diet, along with cheap beer and spirits.
One of Sean's neighbours passed the stranger in the hall. "Good afternoon Keith." The stranger said.
Keith responded noting the man seemed familiar. "Good afternoon sir! Ah...em... lovely day!"
Sean smiled at hearing himself being addressed as sir. "Certainly is my boy!Keith didn't want to be rude, his memory wasn't always the best, but how did this man know his name?
Keith Brockfeld had lived next door to Sean for the past six months. They rarely spoke except Keith, a freelance web designer, had taken a liking to his young neighbour and recently he'd been chatting more often.
Keith was single and gay and at 32, felt life was passing him by. He like Sean, kept to much to himself. He was skinny and only of a short stature with a receding brown hairline making him appear older.
He wasn't sure if Sean was gay but he wasn't surprised his neighbour rarely spoke to him. He knew he wasn't much to look at.
"Do...do you know Sean?" Keith asked noting the man produce keys outside of Sean's door.
Suddenly realising with a start he no longer looked like Sean he went for his cover story given to him by Clyde. "I'm...Sean's...ah uncle! Yes his uncle Seamus." Stammering, he offered his hand.
Keith took it noting a strong grip. "Keith Brockfeld. I live next door though you seem to know who I am.
"Yes....yes you are the young man from next door."
"Very nice to meet one of Sean's family." Keith added, coughing a little from the pipe smoke he added, "well he likes the same tobacco as you I see."
Keith had been amazed at the changes in his neighbour recently. First there was the new and constant pipe smoking then the shaved head and handlebar moustache and finally the weight gain. When he saw him last night he noticed the stubble growing in around the sides while the crown was shiny, smooth. He never noticed Sean's hair thinning out like his. It was all a shock to Keith as he always liked the 'old' Sean.
"Well, he does love a good pipe too. Yes...I'm...just minding his place while he is away."
"Oh! I didn't know he was going away. I had only spoke to him yesterday evening. He never mentioned it."
"Well he left first thing this morning. Called me out of the blue. Something about a girlfriend having family trouble. Didn't even get time to cross paths. He left before I arrived." Sean tried to sound convincing.
"Girlfriend trouble?" Keith couldn't remember him having a girlfriend. He thought Sean was also gay, maybe just not know it.
"Yeah, well he didn't really fill me. He left before I arrived this morning. But he is like a lot of youngsters today, always on the go." Sean nervously added not knowing what to say.
Keith thought that didn't sound like his neighbour who spent a lot of time at home.
"I didn't know Sean had an uncle let alone one that looks so much like him. You could double for him." Keith noticed the similar look despite the age difference straight away. Even their voices sounded the same. Suddenly it dawned on him. Didn't he say he was from a foster home? He was sure Sean had mentioned that when Keith had told him he himself was orphaned at a young age.
"Yes....yes well like two peas in a pod everyone keeps saying. I...ah... must be getting along now."
"Certainly, didn't mean to hold you up." Keith said as he stared closely at the man before him.
"No, no...you're not holding me up. It looks like you've got some business to take care of yourself." Sean said pointing with his pipe at the cylinder under Keith's arm.
"Some of your art?"
"Showing them to a gallery downtown."
"Well good luck then."
As he looked at the closed apartment door a thought struck him. He only told Sean about his recent return to painting yesterday. When had he time to tell his uncle if they had missed each other this morning.
Maybe Sean had spoken of him to his uncle on the phone. Suddenly he felt uplifted as he approached the elevator. Sean had talked about him; well that was a start.