Ricky's football commitment by P.J.
Ricky's football commitment
The story picks up after "It happened that summer"
I was returning from delivering my afternoon newspapers when I spotted Ricky sitting in the giant willow tree on the corner of their property. . They had a giant willow whose swooping lower branches were large enough for someone to sit or lay on, a great spot to hang out and talk about the day. This was a bit unusual for 2 reasons; Ricky didn't usually sit in the tree, he was always busy tossing a foot ball or playing hoops, and the 2nd reason it was unusual was Ricky was wearing a base ball cap. As I got closer I realized that there was no long blonde hair visible below the cap. WOW! Ricky had always had blunt cut thick blonde hair usually starting just below his ear and gradually getting longer to well below the collar in the back, with long thick bangs that were most often at least nose length. Always trimmed up by his mom. I'd often thought what would it be like to run your hands through that mane, mess it up then brush it out. Maybe even trim it up ...sorry, got off on a tangent.
I stopped, hopped off the bike and scrambled up on the huge branch seat next to him. He quickly looked away, brushing at his face. I realized he'd been crying. This was serious. I wanted a full report but knew I had to tread lightly. Ricky loved his blonde mane , I knew he wouldn't have willingly given it up. I was pretty sure his mom wouldn't have chopped it all of either. I opened with: " So...what's up with the hat?" He turned back to face me, fresh tears in his already red eyes. Well you know I tried out for the JV football team right? Yep, knew that. Why? Well I made the team. "That's Great! do you know what position yet?" Yes, we have a large team this year so Coach thinks I can be a receiver. "That's so cool, You've got to be stoked!" I knew he REALLY wanted to make the team, he'd been practicing , working out, and running almost non-stop to get ready for tryouts.
"O.K. those don't exactly look like tears of joy though" Well coach told us that he didn't want anyone on the team who had hair over their ears, over their eyebrows, or over the collar in the back, he didn't want to see any hair sticking out from under the helmet at the next practice, which was tomorrow. If he did, we had 2 choices, get kicked off the team, or let him buzz your head. My eyes got wide. "You gotta be kidding right?" he shook his head, nope, he was deadly serious. So when Granma picked me up from practice, I told her I had to get a haircut on the way home. She was perplexed, she knew her daughter always cut the boys hair, had ever since they'd been born. She wasn't sure where the nearest barber shop was but though we'd try the nearby strip mall. Sure enough, they had a shop and it was still open. Oh God I thought, that was the "butchers" that had demoralized me on a regular basis thanks to my MOM. Now I understood the lack of hair below the cap. I was dying inside to take the cap off and view the rest of the carnage. I could tell he wasn't ready to reveal that het though.
Dude, why'd she take you there? Well, it was getting late, and it was the only one she knew of, and I had to get it done today . I didn't want to quit the team, and I sure didn't want a buzz cut from Coach. Mom didn't use clippers on us, we didn't even own any that I knew of, so what choice did I have. When we got there I realized that I'd never been in a Barber shop before. MOM had always cut our hair, just the way we wanted it. I walked in the shop with Gram, saw the barber just finishing up with some kid, saw the pile of hair on the cape and his fresh nauseatingly short cut, and panic started to set in. Gram asked me if I was sure this is what I wanted? I said I didn't have much choice if I wanted to be on the JV team.
The kid hopped down, piles of hair sliding to the floor, and went up front with his dad to pay for the cut. Before I could calm down the barber was back, patting the chair and telling me to hop in.
He had me taped and caped in a flash. O.K. son, what'll it be?" as he stroked my hair and started to comb it out. It was pretty wild looking from tryouts still. He continued to comb it out as I frantically thought about what to tell him. "Looks like your coming from sports practice maybe?" he inquired . Well, yes I was, I'd just made the team, and proceeded to pour out Coaches requirements for haircuts for team members. "well, I can fix you right up, just you wait and see" he said enthusiastically. I could practically picture the barber drooling over Ricky's soft thick mane. I was getting aroused just thinking about it.
Ricky continued on with the story. He'd finished combing out my hair, looking in the mirror I realized for the last time, how long and cool looking it was. Then he picked up the clipper things and flicked them on. He asked if I still wanted a side part where it was now, and I said yes, sure. He plunged the clippers in my right side and slid them up almost to the part line. My sideburn and a huge hank of my hair slid down onto the cap and revealed a 1/4" long patch of blonde stubs. I couldn't help myself, I started to cry.
By this point in Ricky's sad narrative, I'm rick hard and almost want to rip the baseball cap off his head and see exactly what he looks like without the gorgeous blonde mane. Discretion being the better part of valor I decided to wait. I didn't want to ruin the friendship , or the story for that matter, just because I had the hots for his hair. I put my arm around him and clandestinely had a quick rub on the back of his stubbly head.
He said, " I watched like it was in slow motion, the barber quickly and efficiently went right around my head, shaving everything down to 1/4" stubs, it looked like he tapered it up to maybe 3/4" or 1" at the part. He'd combed my bangs down as he got around to the left side. All the hair had slid down the cape and into my lap, I had this huge pile of blonde hair, my hair, sitting in my lap instead of on my head. I couldn't believe it.
With my bangs down I couldn't see what I looked like in the mirror anymore. Just as well, I couldn't imagine what kind of a dork I looked like with no hair anymore. And the worst part was he wasn't finished yet. The clippers stopped, it got really quiet for a few seconds, then I felt the scissors slide behind my fringe, halfway up my forehead! Three snips and my fringe was in my lap. Now I could see the mirror again. It was like passing a car wreck, It was horrifying to see this freak staring back at me but I couldn't stop looking.
The barber picked up a hand full of the thick hair still on top of my head and snipped it back to about an inch long. He kept combing and snipping until all the hair on top was chopped off. Then he picked up another type of scissors, with teeth on one of the blades, and went over and over the short hair left on top, as he combed through it, more hair piled up on the cape. I was convinced I'd be bald by the time he got done.
He went back over the edges with another type of clipper and cut more hair off. Then he shaved my neck with a straight razor. He finished up with some kind of powder, then some kind of stuff rubbed through the top. He parted it, and combed it back flat on top. He whipped off the cape and said "there, now you'll look sharp for practice tomorrow" I took one last dejected look in the mirror and just slid down off the seat. Gram paid him and we left. I cried quietly all the way home. Gram didn't know what to say. She knew I was upset and embarrassed, she just slid her hand over and held mine. I came home , grabbed a hat before Ben and Jack could get a look at me and came out here. You're the first person to see me.
With that he reached for the hat, I had to cross my legs to keep him from seeing the pup tent in my jeans. He slowly slid the hat down and looked hopefully at me and said "well, major Dork right?"
I was speechless for a minute. I had to take it all in. Here was Ricky of the long thick blonde mane that I so envied, buzzed into what I'd call a short businessman's cut. He did indeed look like such a Dork. His ears stuck out, the summer tan line now sharply contrasting with the white outline around his head and his white forehead. His very short hair no longer bright blond, it looked kind of dirty blonde now. Yikes! what was I going to say? My first reaction was to give him a taste of what I'd endured forever with dorky haircuts like this. I caught myself just in time though. I couldn't be that cruel ...or could I? What a dilemma. I delayed talking by surreptitiously rubbing the back of his freshly buzzed head again. I almost swooned. This was so hot! Mine never felt like this. Rubbing my own head made me feel sick after one of these cuts, how come this felt so good? I stammered out "well...it is really short alright". I wanted desperately to run my hands through the choppy top and mess it up, but held back. Best he didn't know about my fetish. Never know how other s might react to that kind of behavior. "I don't think Coach is going to have any trouble keeping you on the team" I was trying to stay positive. I grabbed his chin and turned him to face me. I looked him straight in the eye and said" It's not forever, just until the middle of football season, then you can let it grow out." I wanted to add, I'll even trim it up for you if you want. But resisted again. I could always suggest this later on. I think he was too upset to see the pup tent , or at least he didn't let on that he did. What I would have given to be in that barbershop and watch that shearing first hand. OMG!
He sniffed a couple of times and said "Thanks for not mocking me out, I know it looks Dorky." I said I'd never do that to him but...he might want to keep a tight grip on the cap tomorrow morning on the bus. The other guys might not be so charitable.
Ricky let it grow in a bit but kept it short till mid season then he let it go, not getting even a trim until Christmas. His MOM did the trimming though. By the spring break, he was back to being as hot looking as ever. Gotta love the 70's.
Authors note: I dragged my senior yearbook out the other day to show my boys. I was sporting the first barbershop haircut I'd had in probably 4 years. A center parted, feathered cut that hung just below the collar in the back and covered most of my ears. If I pulled the bangs down, they reached my nose. Long, but not shaggy by any means. The first comment from one of them was. Is this why you won't let us get buzz cuts? I said what do you mean? He was thumbing through the senior pics. He said" not one of you has a full ear showing even" I said "yup, I bet you can search the whole book and not find a full ear showing, you won't spot a single buzz cut either". None of us had shaggy unkempt mops either. We all were well trimmed or salon styled. The longest hair was just over the bottom of the collar. Private school had its privilege. We could have sideburns to the bottom of our ears, even have mustaches. I've had my mustache nonstop since I was 16! We had to wear dress shirt, tie and jacket though.