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MPB at 16, hmm. by Ken

I came home from the last day at school. It was a bad day, I'd not done well at school and would probably have to go to summer school. I knew my parents would be angry. I thought of staying out late to avoid the yelling but went home to face the music.

I was right, they were angry, to say the least.

"How do you fail English? You speak English!!"

I didn't say anything, I just sat there and listened to the yelling. I rubbed my head, my hair had grown long, quite long and I liked it.

"And another thing, Mrs. Johnson said you've been poking fun at her son."

I just smiled. He had really short hair, not that there was anything wrong with it, but his head was really large and oddly shaped and it made for an odd look. If anyone should grow their hair longer, he should. I explained this to my parents but it did little to help, and may even have made the situation worse.

"And when are you going to do something with that mop?" my mother asked.

I just shrugged.

The yelling went on for a bit and I'd be grounded for a few weeks, but that's the penalty. I was expecting it. What I wasn't expecting was what came after that.

"Tomorrow, we have an appointment. Be ready to get at 9. Got it?"

I said yes and went to my room. I figured they'd take me for a hair cut, and I was ready for that as well. They were right, it was time for me to get a cut and I was ready for that as well.

The next morning, I got into the car with my mom and she took me to a large plaza.

"What's here?" I asked.

"My friend Mrs. A works here. You remember her, right?"

I nodded. I followed down a row a businesses and we went into a business called laser treatment center.

"We've got an appointment. Got sit down and wait," my mother said to me. I complied as my mother talked to the lady behind the counter. She signed some forms and she led us into a room.

"What's this place for?" I asked.

"Don't worry, you'll find out soon enough. I think you're studies and behavior will improve after this."

Her friend, Mrs. A came in we exchange a few pleasantries. She asked my mother if she was sure about this and my mother said yes, of course. Mrs. A smiled and said she's done this a few times and it works quite well.

"Okay, sit here, please," she said to me, and she had me lay back in the chair. It reclined and I could see the ceiling. "Okay, just sit and relax. We'll be done in about an hour."

"What are we doing?" I asked. Then I got a look at my mother and just kept my mouth shut.

She started took a pair of clippers and started cutting my hair, but she only seemed to be cutting the top. I don't know how long she was cutting it, but I could tell she was leaving something there, which was nice. No buzzing for me.

Then she started to comb the hair on top, and combed it over and over again. It was starting to get a little annoying but then after a little while, it wasn't so bad. I must have been getting used to it. Then she stopped combing but kept doing whatever she was doing. I just sat there and while I wanted to feel how short she cut my hair, I kept catching the pissed look of my mother and thought better of it.

When she was done, finally, she had me sit up and look in the mirror. I couldn't speak. I was bald on top. Smooth bald and the hair on the side, what was left, was long and untouched.

"Mom, what did you do?"

"This is a lesson. You want to make fun of people because of problems they can't help, you need to find out what it's like."

I looked at Mrs. A. "Will it grow back?"

She shook her head. "No, it may in several years, but not now. You're now bald."

I was reeling. How could they do this to me? The next few minutes was a blur as my mom and Mrs. A talked. Then we left.

"Mom, I can't go out like this."

"I know. Don't worry, we have another stop."

We pulled into a salon and went it. Their sign advertised wigs and hairpieces. We took a seat and she talked with the woman behind the counter. There was a mirror in front of me and all I could see is the white skin of my bald head and the hair, my fringe, sticking out. I looked like a clown.

The woman took me back to another room, without my mother, and she said she would help me pick out a toupee. A toupee? Really? I took a seat and she picked out one that was close to my hair color.

"I'll have to trim your hair so it looks more like your hair. Now, this isn't the most expensive hair piece we carry, but it'll do." She cut my hair and cut my hair and I didn't think she'd ever stop, but it was much shorter than before. I looked at my self with my now old man's hair cut. Then she spun me around so I couldn't see. She put some adhesive tabs on the hair piece and put it on. Then she sprayed it with water and started trimming the hair piece. I hoped and hoped it would look good. She combed it and brushed and pressed it. Then she let me see what it looked like.

It looked like a hair piece, and a cheap hair piece at that. You could see the line of short hair as it went across my forehead. It didn't quite match the rest of my hair, but was pretty close.

"It looks like I'm wearing a toupee," I said.

"It does, but it's better than being bald on top, isn't it?" she said.

"I guess so."

"Now, remember, when you go for a hair cut, you'll have to tell your barber you wear a hair piece. They'll probably have to take it off for the hair cut so they don't damage the piece."

I went out and my mother said "Now, that looks very nice."

"It looks like I'm wearing a hair piece," I said.

"Yes it does. But that's okay, it looks nice on you."

I looked at myself in the mirror. I touched the hair piece and it felt fake. But I was stuck. It was either go out with my mpb head, or wear the hair piece.

We left. I got some reaction by people who could tell it was a hair piece, but that was just tough. I got used to wearing it, putting on in the morning and taking it off at night. There was no sign of hair growth on the top, but my fringe kept growing. And that mean hair cuts. Growing it long was no longer an option. It would be short hair cuts for now on.

I went with my dad for my first hair cut with the hair piece. I went to the salon I always went to. I climbed into the chair and the young lady asked me what I wanted?

"Just a trim, but I have a hair piece. So, be careful."

"Yeah, I could tell. I'm going to have to take it off to see where your hair line is."

I took it off and could feel the tapes as I did.

"Wow, you're really bald."

"Yeah, it's why I wear a toupee." I held the hair piece under the cape as she trimmed my hair. She was very careful and did a great job. Then she took my hair piece and put it back on.

"We have quite a few guys with hair pieces who come in, so we're used to it." She brushed my hair and hair piece and got it to blend it. But you could still tell it was a hair piece.

It took a few months, but I got used to it. I started saving money from my part-time job, in hopes of buying a better hair piece. At least one that looked better than this one. When I had what I thought was enough money I went back to the salon for one last trim. I'd been getting the same girl but this time, she made a suggestion.

"What about shaving it?" she asked. "A lot of guys do, even young guys like you. We have clippers that would take it down to the skin. It would be better than the hair piece, right?"

It was a thought I'd had myself, but never really felt like I could do it. "Okay, let's give it a try. Do you think people will know I'm bald on top? Even with it shaved?"

"Well, the part with hair, even though it's shaved, won't ever be as smooth as the part that's bald. But it's worth a try."

"Okay, let's go it," I said.

And at that, she took the hair piece off and proceeded to shave my head to that skin. It didn't take long as I only had a small fringe of hair. When she was done, I looked at myself in the mirror. You could clearly tell where I had hair and where I was bald. I was sick looking at it.

"What do you think?"

"I wish I still had the fringe," I said.

"I think you're right."

I left and went back to the salon where I first got my hair piece. I had the hair piece and wanted to see about a full wig. The same lade from before helped me. She agreed, shaving it was a mistake, but she could help me with a wig that I could wear until my fringe grew back. She put a wig on and trimmed it and brushed it. It still looked like a wig. It was hot outside with the wig and couldn't believe I was looking forward to wearing my toupee again.

It took a month and a half until my fringe grew back to where I could wear my toupee again. I went back to where I used to get my hair cut. I took off the wig and went in with my toupee. The lady who shaved it, my regular stylist, cut my hair. Then she put the toupee back on.

"Yeah, that's better," she said. "I didn't think I'd ever say that toupee looks better but it does."

I looked at myself in the mirror. I nodded. I'm going to be bald forever, and maybe some day, years from now, I'd shave it again, but for now, I liked the toupee. Even though anyone looking at it knew it was a toupee. Someday, a better toupee, maybe, someday I'd shave it, maybe. But for now, I'd put it on the stand next to my bed at night and put it back on in the morning. And I was quite happy with that. Yes, indeed, I was very happy with that.

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