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White Walled part 2 by Jonathan


I'm Ricky and I am a ninth grader in high school. It has been over a year since my last haircut. My hair is down to my collar and my bangs are in my eyes. I dread another haircut, but the time has come.

Last year in 8th grade a barber butchered my nice over the ears feathered cut down to nothing. I had two inches left parted on top and was white walled down to skin two inches above my ears. It was so unexpected and all I'd wanted was a trim! I got laughs and lawn mower jokes at school the next day.

"Hey Ricky, looks like the lawn mower won," they teased.

"With those ears now you can fly Ricky," said a boy in 1st period.

There were girls that laughed and giggled at my haircut. Well it was 1981 now and boy's haircuts were becoming a little shorter now. Despite that trend most boys at my high school still had their hair covering their ears like I now had once again.

I'd gotten tired of flipping my bangs out of my eyes and the time had come to trim my light brown mop. It was now a Friday in late September and school pictures were coming next week. My mom had given me ten bucks for a haircut on the way home from school.

Once school was over that Friday afternoon I headed to the barbers in the strip mall near my neighborhood. It was the same barbershop I'd gone to for years. I'd always tell the barber "Just take two inches off but leave it over the ears still."

Well last time I didn't listen carefully and the barber had said,"How do you want it, up over the ears?"

I hadn't heard that little word "up" over the ears. This means the ears showing, not over the ears. Over the ears means covering the ears with a slight trim all around. Buzzzitt went the clippers and off the hair came quickly falling off around one ear. As it hit the floor I knew I was getting a regular short haircut. I walked out of that barbershop butchered to the skin. I cried as I saw my reflection in a store window down the way.

Now I was riding my bike back to the barbers once again determined to walk out with just a trim!

As I looked my bike I glanced in the shop to make sure to time it so I won't get that same barber. I notice there are three barbers working today and all three look busy. It's hard for me to see the waiting chairs and judge exactly how busy it is due to the sun's glare. I decide to take my chances and head in.

As I walk in my heart skips a beat. There are a much of marines from the nearby base getting their crewcuts trimmed up. I nervously take a seat at the far end of the waiting chairs. All eyes are now on me. I want to get up and leave. It's too embarrassing though. Once you walk into a barbers and sit down in a waiting chair you can't just walk out!

This crowd of people is intimidating as hell now. All three chairs are occupied by these marines getting haircuts and two other marines are done waiting talking and joking men jokes with the barbers. I'm the odd one out.

"You want a haircut kid?" asks the barber on the end closest to the door.

"Ah, yeah," I say.

"Well you're after that guy," he says.

I look at one of the two marines sitting in the chairs across from me. I can't believe he hasn't already gotten his haircut yet. But on closer examination I do notice his flattop isn't quite down to the skin on the back and sides as the other guys.

The barbers and the five marines are laughing and telling crewd jokes. I feel left out being the only teen in the room. I sit reading a magazine pretending to be engaged in it.I rehearse over in my mind what I'm going to tell the barber.

"Just trim it slighty in the back and leave it over the ears," I repeat over in my head.

Suddenly I hear the whoosh of a loud blower and realize one of the haircuts must be over. It's the marine in the middle barbers chair whose done. He gets up and takes a seat two chairs down from me. The marine waiting shoots up in the middle barber's chair ready for those clippers to shear him short like his four buddies.

I'm feeling awkwardly outta place. All these short haircuts and me with this long hair and all. Even the three barbers have their haircut with the ears showing. I dread the idea of getting the barber I got last time. I sit judging who will be finished up next. I'm certain the barber in the middle chair is out of the question. He's just started the last marine's haircut. I'm hoping it's young guy closest to the front window I get.

I sit nervously waiting my turn in the chair pretending to read the magazine. Suddenly I feel the urge to say I'll be right back, then skip out and leave. I don't though and sit tight in the black vinyl waiting chair.

Just then my heart skips a beat. I hear a blower motor and know a haircut is over. Oh no! It's the guy in the barber's chair who cut my hair too short last time. It's also on the end across from the loudest most intimidating marine.

"You're up kid," yells the barber.

I walk over and sit in the red leather chair. I'm pumped up a bit as the barber pulls the lever on the side of the chair. He puts on the cape. Suddenly the talking and jokes stop. There's an awkward silence now. Everyone seems focused on me. My throat is dry.

"What are we doing today kid?" asks the barber.

"Just trim it slightly, maybe and inch off the back and leave it over the ears," I say.

"Oh seriously, come on get a real haircut!" yells one of the marines.

This gets them all started now! The other barbers and marines all stop and look at me. My barber doesn't seem to remember me from a year ago.

"Cut that girly mop off kid!" shoots another marine.

"Yeah, get a flatttop like us," they say.

"You want a flattop too?" asks my barber.

"No, just a trim please," I say.

"Just a trim please," mocks on of the marines.

"Wouldn't the boy look good with a nice regulation flattop?" says another marine.

"How about it kid?" asks the barber.

"No, just a trim," I say again.

"Flattop, flattop, flattop," they start to chant.

I can't believe this is happening right now. I should have left when I had my chance.

"Come on go for it!" says one of the other barbers.

"No, I don't want a flattop," I say.

The barber then picked up the clippers and a comb. He held them up next to me as if to say let's start this flattop!

I start to feel like a whiny girl right then. I started to realize all these guys aren't gonna let me outta this so easily.

"Flattop?" asks the barber.

"Flattop, flattop, flattop," they all chant.

"Ok," I say.

I'd been weakened and warn down. The reality hit when I heard those dreaded clippers whirr on. Slowly they head to the side of my head. Just like that other time the barber lifted the hair off my ear with a comb, buzzzitt off came the hair covering my ear. I sat helpless wanted to cry. I started to feel a tier well up, but quickly held it back. Then they all clapped and cheered yelling, "flattop, flattop, flattop," one last time.

My hair continued to fall from my head all around me. I could feel the cold air from the air conditioner on my two exposed ears now. Suddenly the conversation started up and the men forgot all about my haircut then. They told more crewd jokes and ignored me once again.

I could feel the blades of the clippers digging and cutting away as they made that whirring sound in my ears. I could see all the hair was being shaved zero off the sides of my head. It was way up high. The top of my once thick mane remained, but not for long.

The barber suddenly put the clippers back on their hook. And wet the top of my head with a spray bottle and put a dab of some kind of wax in my hair. By now their was only one marine in the barber chair. The other four sat in the black vinyl waiting chairs talking and laughing loudly.

"That's turning out real nice!" said a marine.

I realize he was talking about my haircut. I'd been tricked again and pressured beyond resistance. Then suddenly the clippers snapped on and the barber sheared away at the top of my head. It was nearly all coming off! I suddenly realized I truly was gonna walk out of there looking like one of the marines. Just a bit a hair on the top, the rest shaved bald. This would be a nightmare on Monday at school. The clippers buzzed away what remained of my once thick straight hair. This was way worse than that other haircut.

I sat defeated and angry inside. How did I let this happen? The barber used some big comb and sliced across it with the clippers across my head. I could see my ears really sticking out in the mirror. Why did I have to have sticky out ears too? I wanted the clippers to stop, please stop I said over in my head. I knew it was getting shorter and shorter.

Just then a young family with two boys came into the shop. The boys and their mom sat down. Soon one was in a barber's chair. Just then the last marine was done too. They said their loud see ya's and goodbyes. One marine came over to me and rubbed the back and sides of my head. I could feel his cold hands as he rubbed the bristle and stubble on my head. I felt his head rub against my ear slightly bending it down. Then they walked out. The mom and kids sat silent and couldn't resist getting in looks and stares at my shorn head. It was my worst fear, a flatttop!



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