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You Have to Do It Yourself by BaldSurfer
My brother Jake was less than 2 years older than me, so we were always close. As kids, neither of us paid much attention to our appearance and we both wore our hair somewhat shaggy hanging down below our collars and often falling in our eyes. I always looked like a slightly smaller version of my brother. When I was freshman in high school and Jake was a junior, he got caught smoking pot behind the high school. The principal called my parents in, told them that Jake was suspended for a week and if it ever happened again, he'd be expelled. My parents freaked out at Jake, and made all sorts of threats. But I guess Jake never took them very seriously, because it was only a few weeks later when they caught him again. And this time, with over an ounce of pot in his pocket, the principal said Jake was lucky he was only being expelled and not arrested.
When they got home, my parents were furious. They screamed that he was going to finish his education in a place where he couldn't get in trouble any more, and they sent him away to a military academy upstate. While Jake was gone, I started getting interested in girls, and they got interested in me. And it turned out that girls liked my longish hair, and as I started to take better care of it, I was getting pretty popular. I started dating Stephanie, and she always told me how she loved my hair, and loved to run her hands through it as we made out. I let it grow a few inches longer for her.
It was over 5 months until I saw Jake again, when he came home for the summer. When he walked in the door, I hardly recognized him. He was a few inches taller, stood stick-straight, and even through the military uniform, I could tell that he'd bulked up. But most striking was his hair - or lack of it. The top of his head had a little stubble and the sides and back were shaved as smooth as his face. He looked like some movie version of a Marine. I assumed he'd let it grow back while he was home for the summer, but the next morning, I found him in the bathroom, shaving cream all over his head as he shaved the back and sides again. He told me he liked it this way, that he'd learned a lot about discipline and self-control, and that his look reflected hs attitude. I laughed and said you'd never see me doing that to my head.
My parents were really impressed with the "new" Jake and by the middle of July, when they went away for a few days, they trusted him enough to leave us home alone with Jake in charge. They left the standard parents rules: no parties, no drinking, no girls. But I was a 16 year old boy with a girlfriend, a few joints and a brother I thought was on my side. One afternoon, while Jake was out, Stephanie and I smoked a joint in the yard, went inside and headed to my parents' huge bed to have sex. It was wild and passionate and we never even heard Jake walk in the room until he started yelling "What the F*** do you think you're doing?!?" He demanded that Stephanie leave and she dressed quickly and ran out of the house crying. He picked up my clothes to throw them at me and when a joint fell out of m pants he got even angrier.
I begged him not to tell our parents. I swore I'd never do it again. I begged and pleaded. I knew that if he told, I'd be joining him in military school in September. I was practically crying, and Jake looked at me disgusted and said I was acting like a little girl. But he finally agreed to keep my secret, but only on his terms. He said that he thought the Academy would teach me the discipline to be a real man, but if I was so desperate to stay home, I'd have to prove that I could learn discipline on my own, and that I'd have to start by looking the part. He marched me to our bathroom and said I'd have to prove myself by cutting my hair like a "real man", like him.
Cut my hair off? Would he really make me do it. But then I realized that if he told on me, I'd lose my hair at the Acaemy anyway, so at least this way I'd only cut it once and I'd get to stay home and stay near Stephanie, so as he took out his clippers and plugged them in, I sat down on the toilet and said, "OK, I'll let you shave my hair off."
He said I was missing the point. Him cutting my hair was a punishment and wasn't a sign that I wanted to change and grow up. "You're going to have to do it yourself. It's about you controlling yourself and making your own changes." He told me to take off my shirt as he put a small attachment on his big black clippers, and then he handed them to me and said to use them all over my head, to get rid of most of my "mop". I was shaking as he handed them to me. What would I look like? I wasn't as bulky as Jake. I'd look ridiculous without hair. What would Steph think? Would she still love me when I looked so hideous? Jake reached over, and flipped the switch. The motor from the clippers shook powerfully in my hand as the motor started to whir. The reality was setting in and I thought I'd vomit. "Go ahead," he said and I lifted the clippers to my forehead. As they got closer, I started crying and begged him to let me off, but he said "Lose it now or lose it at the Academy but that hair is going!" With no choice left, I placed the clippers on my forehead and slowly, shaking, pushed them back over my head. Six inches of hair rained down over my shouulders leaving a stripe of tiny stubble down the middle of my head. With no hope of turning back I repeated the motion over and over and the top of my head was nearly bare. Then I started at my left ear, and with pass after pass, huge chunks of my hair rained down over my shoulders and piled up around my feet.
When I finally got around to the other side, I had little more than stubble all over my head.I looked at myself in the mirror, and though I wouldn't admit it to Jake, it didn't look too bad. Some of my friends had buzzcuts, so maybe this wasn't such a big deal - as long as Steph could deal wit it until it grew back. But then Jake said "phase one" was done and now it was time to move on. He took the plastic piece off the clippers, exposing the silver teeth and said that now we had to take the sides and back off. What? I already had hardly any hair! But he said we weren't finished. Since it was my first time, he said he'd help me get this part right. He turned the clippers on, raised them to the top of my right temple and caved a notch. He worked his way around my whole head, shaving a line of bare flesh. He handed the clippers back to me and told me to take everything off right up to the line he'd set. He was even "kind enough" to give me a hand mirror to help with the back. I was too numb to be angry, too scared to rebel. I took the clippers and did as he said, shaving upwards from my right sideburn and working my way around until I reached the left one. I looked in the mirror and hated it. Now I didn't look like a kid with a buzz. I looked like a scrawny version of my brother the storm trooper. But at least it was over. But I was wrong. Jake handed me a can of shaving cream and a razor and told me to shave the back and sides "down to the wood."
Now I'd barely started shaving my face at the time, shaving a few times a week to take off the downy mustache and chin fuzz I'd started to grow, And he wanted me to shave most of my head? Jake said I had to learn sometime, and without any choice, I rubbed shaving cream over the sides and back of my head. I laughed when I looked in the mirror, which angered Jake as he ordered me to get going. I pulled the razor upwards, as I had with the clippers, and heard the scraping echo inside my head. Stroke after stroke, exposing bare white skin that had never seen the light of day. Finally it was over. I was certain that there was nothing left to shave. Jake agreed. I was done... for TODAY.
What? This was a one time deal, I cried. But Jake said that I had to continue to prove my ability to control myself, and I had to keep this haircut until he was out of the Academy and tell my parents that I did it on my own because I looked up to Jake. "That wasn't the deal!" I shouted, but Jake said he had all the control. I'd have to keep this haircut for 2 more years, and even when he went back to school, he would video chat with me twice a week to make sure I "passed inspection". I was screwed. If I defied him, I'd get sent to the Academy, and I'd still have no hair but I'd also be away from Stephanie, so I didn't argue. Just told him how much I hated him and ran out of the house.
I knocked on Stephanie's door and when she opened it, for a moment she thought I was Jake. But as she realized it was me, she just stared. I couldn't tell what she thought. Was I hideous to her now? Was she going to dump me. Slowly, tentatively, she reached out her hand and touched the back of my head and ran her hand up and down. It felt amazing to me, to feel her soft hand against my tingling exposed scalp. And then she smiled and said it felt really cool, and that she thought I looked sexy and manly. We ran to our secret spot in the woods and made crazy love, her hands constantly running over my bare head.
I started shaving the sides every 2 days, and buzzed the top once a week. My friends had a good laugh at first, until Steph told them how my new look made her horny. I only have a few months left on "my sentence" and then I can grow my hair as long as I want. But I think I'll keep this a little while longer...