A Barbershop Job!? #8 (The Homeless Kid) by Jonathan
"Hey, bro you got a dollar?" asks David.
"Oh, ok I think so," I say.
"Cool, thanks bro," says David.
"Sure," I say.
My name is Caleb. People call me Cue Ball Caleb because of my shaved head. I'm 16 and I work in the Port Barbershop.
David is this homeless kid I met at the beach. He's only 17 years old and homeless! I'd seen him around and never really got to know him. He's kinda mysterious and mostly hangs around with the older homeless guys. It's probably for protection and all. He's tall and big for his age. He's really good looking and I bet if his life were different girls would really flock after him. The thing is I notice they still do! He's got long sunbleached hair that's kinda wavy. He's dark skinned Italian or Mexican? I detect no accent when he speaks.
Weird thing was one day after seeing this kid around he stopped me one day and tells me he's found Jesus. A man from the church gave him a gospel track and he's telling me how to get to Heaven! That's when I became friends with this guy. He's calm and mellow. I listened and liked what he told me. He gave me one of the extra gospel tracks.
A few days later I run into David again. He's eating a sandwich alone on a bench.
"Hey bro what was your name again?" asks David.
"Caleb," I say.
"Oh yeah Caleb, you're bald," he says.
"Yeah, I shave my head at the barbershop I work at," I say.
"Cool," says David.
David told me about Jesus and his whole life story all in one afternoon. The guy likes to talk to me. It's weird because I never thought I'd meet him and now he really trusts me. He tells me he's from Arizona and lived there with his mom. Then last year she died of cancer. He lost touch years ago with his real dad. He came here to California to live with his uncle. Somehow it didn't work out and his uncle kicked him out. He told me it was really hard being homeless at first. After 6 months now he's gotten the hang of it.
It's a sad story and every time I see him I buy him food or give him money. He likes to tell me all the things he's been doing. I think I'm a comfort to him. I just can't imagine being homeless. He's only one year older than me! At first he scared me a little because he's so big. I trust him now. I'm naive and I realize it. I guess if he was going to hurt me, it would have happened. When he talks he seems so calm and friendly. I'm hoping he gets his life back on track again.
It's a Sunday night and I'm at the barbershop working.
"Caleb we're clearing out all that junk in the back room tomorrow," Mario my boss says.
"Do you have any friends that can help lift all that junk out of there?" he asks.
"Oh yeah Mario I bet I can find one of my buddies from the beach to help,"I say.
"Cool, Monday morning around 8:00, o.k. ?" asks Mario.
"I'll pay you guys for helping me haul it into my truck and take it to the dump," says Mario.
I'm not sure the reason but this shop has two big storage rooms in the back. Ones used for barber stuff and has a lunch table. Then there's the bathrooms. This other storage room is just filled with old junk. I peaked in there and noticed a couple old barber chairs that my have value. The other stuff needs to go though.
I think about going to find my new friend David after work. I know he'll do it for the money. I bet he's gonna get teased about that long hair by these barbers too. I'm sweeping up hair after a long day. I'm trusted to lock the shop up alone at night now. I've worked here 7 months now! I love this job still. The haircuts I get to watch, the people and the money I make is great for a 16 year old kid.
Soon I'm heading to the beach. I suddenly spot David. He doesn't see me right away. I notice he's with his older homeless friends and the sun's going down. I watch him walk as his long brown sunstreaked hair bounces in the sunset. I run to catch up with him.
"David, David!" I yell.
"Oh hey bro what's up?" David asks.
"Do you want to make some money tomorrow?" I ask.
"Yeah cool where at?" he asks.
"My boss at the barbershop needs help moving some stuff," I say.
"Ok, I'll do it," he says.
"Eight o'clock at Port and 5th Street," I say.
"See ya there," David says.
I go home and get dinner and watch a little t.v. I'm tired and can't wait for my bed.
I wake with a start. Seven o'clock already! The night is gone and here I am on Monday morning already! I've got to eat, dress and get ready to go. I want to be early in case David is there. I quickly get out the door by 7:30 and head to the barbershop.
I realized it's too early and wait outside the barbershop. Really David to help, but know in my heart he may not show. I see Mario at around 8:10 pull in the parking lot.
"Morning Caleb, where's your friend?" asks Mario.
"I don't know, hope he's coming," I say.
"Oh well let's get started," says Mario.
I'm disappointed and wish David had come. No sign of him. Then all the sudden I hear,"Bro, bro are you in there?"
"Cool, you came," I say.
David, Mario and I lift load and load of old moldy junk into Mario's truck. We drive to the dump and unload one load. It suddenly becomes apparent we'll need to make at least two more trips!
"Hey kid, what's with your hair?" asks Mario.
"What do you mean?" asks David.
"Well when was the last time you got a haircut?" asks Mario.
"I dunno," David says.
"Well you want one free for helping?" asks Mario.
David laughs and scratches his head. His hair is really matted from the salty air at the beach. It must be hard to take care of long hair like that and be homeless. I never wanted to cut David's hair. It would be fun, but it never dawned on me.
"Cue Ball Caleb can fix you up when we get back to the barbershop," says Mario.
"Whoa really he can cut hair?" David asks.
"I only shave heads, it's my one haircut I know," I say.
"Well, maybe when we get back," says David.
I hope he says yes. He seems like a hair lover. I bet no way he's letting me shave that mop. It's down to the middle of his back. It would be impossible to imagine David bald. I wondered what he'd look like?
Soon we're done and Mario gives us 40$ each! I remind David about that haircut.
"David did you forget something?" I ask.
"Oh, what bro?" he says.
"The haircut!" I say.
"Oh yeah that, well you're really gonna shave my head?" David asks.
"Sure, why not!" I exclaim.
"Oh dude, I don't know if I can do it," says David.
"Well just think, no more salty hair to deal with anymore. And back come anytime and I'll shave it again free for you!" I say.
David stood there for a couple of seconds thinking. Then he say yes! I was a reluctant yes, but a yes. I decided to be up front and tell him it was going to all come off, bald! I didn't want to trick him like Charley. Charley is still mad at me a little for messing up his hair, then shaving it.
"Alrighty David come in the store room," I say.
"Take off your shirt so the hair doesn't get all over it," I say.
I notice David has what kinda looks like a homemade tattoo of a cross on his left shoulder. He's got large biceps and he's in decent shape. I'm surprised he doesn't smell at all. Sometimes his long hair looked great but other times like now matted and messy. It was soon coming all off. David sat still, compliant and appeared slightly anxious.
I decided to snip off most of his long sunbleached mane off with the scissors. I grabbed the fringe up around his forehead first. I couldn't believe I was doing this!
Scrunch, scrunch went the first cuts. David shook a bit and looked like he might cry for a second. That feeling went quickly away. He chuckled nervously a bit next as I snipped away his bangs down to the scalp.
Next I cut all that I could off the right side of David's head. It revealed a slightly large nice ear. I hacked away at his left side next. Then off I cut those nearly 15 inches or so from the back!
"Are you alright David?" I asked.
"Yeah, no problem bro, " he answers.
I now noticed all his long hair all on the floor. He seems to look so young with it gone. The head is smaller now. I see a choppy hacked mess of uneven dark brown hair left. Gone is that long flowing mane. I feel a slight sadness looking at him like this.
Next I know it's time to finish up the job. I flick on the clippers, claacckk. David whinces nervously a bit when he hears these. I feel a little guilty for doing this to him. It was Mario's idea after all!
"Am I gonna be bald as you bro?" asks David.
"Pretty much!" I say.
"Ok," he says.
I decided to run the Oster clippers straight across the top of David's head first. Zip a long bald white stripe across the top of his head. He sits really still. Two more stripes, then three then four. The top's gone. Up the right temple I decided to shave next. The hair is effortlessly snipped off around his large right ear. I fold it down with my finger as I carefully clip around it. Then I do the left side. The back of his head still has awkard clumps of hair on it still. Effortlessly the Oster clippers finish off that too.
David now looks tense and wanted this over with. I could feel his body language as I finished shaving his head. He looks youngerror but tough. Kinda like a gangster. He's really handsome though without hair. Really attractive too.
"Almost done dude," I say.
"Ok, cause I gotta get going bro," he says.
I shave over David's head once more to smooth it out nice and bald. It's finally done. He rubs it a couple of times. Then a third time with both hands and folds down his ears as he rubs it.
"Whoa that feels weird bro!" David says.
"I gotta go Caleb see ya around , thanks," he says.
He looked once quick in a mirror and walked out the back door. I clean up that enormous amount of David's hair!