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A Barbershop Job!? by Jonathan


I'm Caleb and I have had long surfer hair as long as I can remember. I'm 16 now and it's my second year of high school. I go to Harbor High. I live in a small one bedroom apartment with my mom and stepdad. I sleep on the living room couch. I'm kinda cute and girls like me. My hair is in my eyes now. That's always been my cue it's time for a trim. I honestly could not tell you the last time I had a haircut.

You see there's this thing. On the way home from school I walk by a huge barbershop. It's called the Port Barbershop. There's like 10 barber chairs in there. I have this fascination about haircuts. I don't tell anyone. I don't know how I think about it. I just keep it a secret. On the way home from school I often sit and watch people get their haircuts. Yes, from across the street on the bus bench. I walk by and look in the window something really slowly. A couple times a week I'll sit and look in the window from that bus bench.

The old place has gigantic plate glass windows and you can see everything thing in there. It's like a giant fishbowl! I like to watch who goes in and try to see how they cut their hair. My favorite thing to watch is when guys get their heads shaved. Oh when they go in with long hair and come out bald! That's the best!

I have this fantasy in my head about getting my own head shaved. I doubt I'd ever be able to go through with it. I have the kind of surfer hair girls love. It's down to my shoulders and sunstreaked. I'm not sure how I'd even look bald. Watching someone else's head getting shaved is good enough. I pretend to be waiting for the bus and sit there for 30 or forty minutes sometimes seeing who goes in and oUT of the barbers. I just live around the corner from the Port Barbershop. I like to walk home alone now. This way I can watch the haircuts and not tell a soul.

One day when my hair gets longer I might go in there to get a haircut. I've just moved here about a year ago. It's really only been about 6 or 7 months that I've become obsessed and had this haircut hobby. I used to get my haircut at this style place. Mostly longer regular haircuts or trims, nothing too short.

It's Friday afternoon and I'm watching the barbershop from the bus bench across the street. I see a kid like me go in the shop. He's got long surfer hair just like I do! My eyes are peeled into the barbers to see how this kid will get his hair cut. Suddenly my phone rings and my mom says come home now. My grandmother is there and she wants to see me. I'm really bummed out I don't get to watch this haircut.

When I get home my grandmother makes a comment on how long my hair has gotten. Nothing mean, she just noticed. This really reminds me that time for a haircut might be here. She gives me forty bucks! She tells me to spend it wisely and not buy junk! I put that forty dollars away in my wallet.

I am heading to the beach around 10 o'clock that Saturday morning. Of course I walk by the Port Barbershop. Not many customers in the place yet. I sit across the street killing a little time up before I head to the beach. My eyes are fixed on the shop. About eight people must be in there. I notice the bright flouresant lights shine around the long wall mirror. I think back to yesterday when that kid with the long surfer went in there. I'm hoping someone like that goes in again right now!

Suddenly it hits me. I've got the forty dollars in my pocket. I could go in the barbershop right now and get a haircut. I get this uncontrollable urge to go in and say I want my head shaved.

"No Caleb, you're crazy!" I tell myself.

"Do you know what it's really like to be bald with no hair on your head?" I ask myself.

The urge won't let up. I wrestle with myself. I stare at the open glass door. It's like it's pulling me in. I want to get up and walk right in there.

"Go to the beach!" I think.

I get up and head to the barbers! I walk across the street. If I go it that door it's too late!

"Caleb go in and sit down," I tell myself.

Once I go in there's no turning back. I walk closer and closer. There, I'm through the door. I am so nervous and about to pee my pants right now!

"Can I help you?" a Latino barber around 30 asks me.

"Yeah, a haircut," I mutter.

"Right over here kid," he says.

That was so fast! I didn't even get a chance to wait and think about it. There's about 8 barbers in there and it's not even that busy yet. I walk over and sit in this guy's chair. I'm caped quick. It's too late to leave for sure.

"How do you want it cut?" he asks.

"Shaved," I blurt out.

"A one or two or all off?" he asks.

"All off," I say.

"All around bald, right?" he asks.

"Yeah," I say.

What am I doing. I didn't say that! Did I? Is this really me or just something one I'm watching from that bus bench across the street! Whirrr go the barber clippers. Oh its really me alright! Before I know it I feel the slicing vibration of the clippers shave straight across the top of my head. The barber is taking huge chunks of my once thick surfer hair and flipping them down on the floor with his hand. He is shaving all the top of my head. He is standing right in front of me. There's no stopping this guy! Did I really tell him to do this? This is crazy!

He puts his warm hand on the top of my now bald scalp. I feel him tilt my head to the right side. He holds on to the top of my head and pushes my head more to the right. Then he digs the clippers into my right sideburn. He shaves it off clearing a path to continue toward my ear. The clippers vibrate along the side of my head. This guy's hand is still pushing flat on the top of my head. He continues to shave off huge chunks of my hair. He then flicks them onto the floor.

His warm hand feels weird on my now bald scalp! I've never felt this sensation before! My head is feeling much lighter too. Hair is falling all around now. He still continues to flick big chunks of my surfer hair onto the linoleum floor. I'm going to be bald! Oh man, why did I do this? The shaving stops! Is it over?

I hear him click something behind me. Biizzz, a much louder and high pitch set of clippers start up. They sting as they are much sharper. He clips around my ears with them. They bite into the back of my neck as he clippers any hair left. Then those sharp little things buzz over my head getting any surviving bits of hair. They turn off!

"Hey kid, I've seen you around haven't I?" he asks.

"Yeah I live around the corner," I say.

"What's your name?" he asks.

"I'm Caleb," I say.

"How old are you?" he asks.

"I'm 16," I say.

Oh no! He's seen me spying on the shop. What if he's mad? I didn't break any laws! I can watch a barbershop. It's a public bus bench.

"Would you like a job?" he asks.

"Well yeah sure, doing what? I ask.

"Well we can't pay you much, you'd be sweeping up hair and odd jobs around the shop here. The other kid quit yesterday," he says.

I could not believe what I was hearing.I knew my mom would say yes. She was just telling me the other day to start asking around for a small part time job. I figured I'd be paid under the table, but that's fine.

I was so excited, a barbershop. I'd get to spend hours in this place watching haircuts and sweeping up hair. Oh how lucky! I was so excited I nearly forgot my head had just been shaved bald! This guy finshed off my haircut. Then uncapped me.

"Four o'clock to seven on weekdays. Eleven to six on weekends. Don't worry if you can't come everyday. If you have to leave early that's fine too. Go ask your mom," he says.






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