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A visit to Enzo by Keepitshort
We had finished breakfast and were about to head upstairs to our room as we still had a few hours to spare before getting ready for the wedding we were attending later that day. As we rose from the table my wife remarked ' you could do with a haircut , just a bit of tidy up around your ears and neck' As I felt the back of my neck there was a thin fuzz of hair creeping down onto my collar.
' Now you mention it , I could do with a sharpen up you go on up I' ll find a barbers , I shouldn't be too long" I replied, but as I turned to go she reached up and traced a line with her finger in front of my ear whispering
' remember , make sure you get the sides and back nice and square, the way I like them OK?'
I nodded my understanding as I made my way out to the street and knew how she liked everything including my hair always neat and tidy. As I stood on the steps of the hotel deciding which way to go ,the friendly concierge asked 'can I be of assistance sir?'
'Ehm yes possibly? I answered 'I'm looking to get a haircut and wondered if there was anywhere nearby?'
'Is it a modern salon or traditional barber shop you prefer sir?'
'Oh a barbershop if there is one nearby?' I replied.
'There certainly is.Enzo's is less than 200 yards away and a lot of our gentlemen customers pay him a visit. Be sure to pass on my regards and tell him EXACTLY what you want and you won't be dissapointed' and with that he pointed me in the direction of the shop.
I soon found the shop and was delighted that it held all the trappings of a sixty year old barbers, cracked sinks, wooden straight backed barbers chairs and the proprietor himself , neatly trimmed moustache , slicked back hair and a red nylon tunic with scissors and comb peeping out of his breast pocket. He quickly introduced himself and had me securely caped in the wooden chair when the conversation began:
' how you want I cut you hair?' Enzo said in broken English as he combed through my locks. I cleared my throat
'ehm a general tidy up please. Thin the top more than cut any length off, nice and neat around the sides and back' As he combed and studied my hair he more or less talked to himself as he asked ' nicey and short back n sides, yes notta too much ofa top yes?
' yes I nodded '
' you wanna back ,eh nat- u- ral or ehm how you say blocka ?'
I reached from below the cape and made a chopping motion with my hand stating ' straight across the back please ' then adding ' same with the sides'
He nodded enthusiastically ' OK Enzo know what mister like, nice and clean yes ? Backs and sides ,Enzo Maka you look good ' I smiled, nodded a yes and let him begin.
His technique was clipper over comb the buzzing of the machine clattering against the plastic of the comb as he removed tiny quantities of my hair all around the sides and back of my head. He took another comb with finer teeth from the jar of blue barbercide fluid on his counter and repeated the process ,this time I could see my scalp showing through at the sides as he worked his clippers against the fine teeth of his comb reducing my hair to close cropped stubble. Next he produced a long pair of thinning shears and attacked the top of my head, each time he took three snips of the shears which were followed by his comb removing great clumps of hair and depositing them on my lap. As he finished his final run with the shears my hair was lying flatter than I had expected and I was now sporting a shorter than expected short back and sides, and he wasn't done yet.
Next he spun the chair round so I was facing away from the mirror and then his hand was pushing my chin to my chest , the roar of his clippers startled me and prompted a ' no worry , soon am a finished , just makea nice and straight for you.' From Enzo.
I felt him run the clippers high up the back of head and was in no doubt they were shearing me close as their tone changed as the teeth hit my hair. As he released his grip slightly to let my head return to an upright position he arrowed the machine up behind my first my right then my left ear , tiny hair clippings raining down to my lap. As the clippers were switched off I heard a gurgling sound then felt warm foam being spread across my neck and then with his thumb behind and slightly in front of each ear . I heard the stropping of a razor then my head was bent forward again as he said ' noiwa final clean up 'and the razor caressed along my neckline and was pulled all the way down to the top vertebrae of my back , this was the ultimate neck shave. He then tilted the chair back so I was looking at the ceiling and he bent my right ear forward and i heard the razor scrape first behind my ear then higher up my sideburn than I expected , the left ear got the same treatment then the excess foam was removed by a towel. Next I got the sweet smell of bay rum and then the stinging sensation as he rubbed it into my freshly shaved skin rubbing the excess into my top hair. As he combed my hair into a side parting he spun the chair around and at the same time held a mirror behind me stating ' nice and straight , yes ?' I could not deny that the hair at my neck had been sculpted into a perfect straight line however it was a good half an inch higher than my previous hairline and white skin showed between what was left of my hair and my tanned neck. But the sides , oh the sides ! Laser straight undoubtedly but a white arc had been carved out high around each ear and extended straight out above the tip of each ear and level with my eyebrows leaving a white skin patch between my tanned cheeks and scalp. Not to offend the beaming Enzo who was obviously delighted with his work I nodded my approval paid him and left now worried about my wife's reaction.
On the short walk back to the hotel I stopped and pretended to look in a shop window but was using the reflection to examine the damage Enzo had inflicted , I ran my fingers up where my sideburn should have been the day old stubble of my cheek merging into the silk smooth skin left by Enzo's razor and finally meeting the edge of my new hairline , I traced my finger across my temple in a straight line and confirmed that my side hair was now level with my eyebrows. By feeling my shirt collar and the skin above it, I guessed my neck hair was at least an inch and a half above my collar, running my fingers through the top he had left just enough for the wind to slightly ruffle it , I could see the the hotel up ahead time to face the music. As I entered the hotel the concierge gave me a nod , a telling smile and a ' I see you found Enzo's sir , as always a truly professional job' my hand instinctively reached for my neck and I felt only skin.
As I entered the room the TV was on a music channel I heard the shower from the ensuite and called out a 'I'm back' to my wife so as not to startle her , she called back 'be out in a minute there's a bottle of fizz in the fridge pour a couple of glasses'
As I poured the drinks with my back to the ensuite I heard the shower go off then my wife's footsteps behind me and her exclaim as I straightened up ' Wow ! Now that's what I call a straight neckline ' as I turned round with the drinks she had her head down and was towel drying her hair, as I held out her drink she dropped the towel and looking up her mouth dropped open , she stared at me speechless for a second then let out a shriek ' Oh my God!! What have you I mean he done? He's shaved half the sides of your head!'
I set the drinks on the table then to my utter surprise I started defending Enzo's handiwork stating ' It's not that bad , I mean you like the sides and back 'nice and square' and you can't argue that they're not square' she looked at me in a quizzical manner and took a sip of her drink asking
' are you telling me you asked for that? I mean yes it' s the squarest, straightest lines I have ever seen you with but it's, it's ... turn around , ( I did so ) , bend your head forward (I did so) he, I take it was a he ( I nodded) he's shaved about 2 inches into your neckline, half an inch around your ears and over 2 inches up to your temple , did you really ask for that? are you going through some sort of mid life crisis?'
I took a deep breath, a mouthful of wine and turned round ' I'm sorry, of course I didn't ask for anything this drastic, I wanted the sides and back perfectly square the way you like it ,and well there was some sort of misunderstanding by the time I saw the damage it was done , he'd already scalped me , sorry'
She pulled me close and gave me a hug caressing my newly shaved neckline ' That doesn't feel so bad you know, ' she gently pushed me away and sat me down in a chair pushing my head from side to side and running her thumb up and around the recently shaved hairline then she took a step back and asked 'how did you find this 'Barber?'
I muttered 'ehm the concierge recommended him , his names Enzo'
Who the concierge or the barber ?
'Ehm the Barber'
She gave me a withering look and continued to stare at me as she lifted the phone and asked for the concierge , she politely asked if he had Enzo's telephone number as I had left something at the shop I then saw her end the call and dial another number, this time on connection her tone had changed ' Hello, you have just 'cut' my husband's hair and quite frankly it is a disgrace . Now he will be back with you in five minutes to get it fixed, we are leaving for a wedding in an hour and by that time I expect a husband with a haircut that doesn't look like it's been done by a five year old , do you understand?'
I could hear the tinny reply from Enzo which went on for a few seconds then my wife asking ' is there any other option ' listening to the reply then 'very well I will speak with you when he arrives thank you'
She then ordered me back to Enzo's with strict instructions not to let him start on my second haircut of the day until she had spoken to Enzo on the phone.
To be continued.