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One Summer Vacation by Jonathan


It was the summer of 1975 I was 13 years old and in junior high. My name is Jonathan. My parents had decided to take a dream vacation to Europe for one month. My parents left me to stay with aunt Carol and my brother Timothy was to stay with another aunt, Myra. Timothy and I were too much to leave with one aunt all summer. He was two years younger and we fought like dogs.

All through the summer I had a great time and didn't feel homesick a bit. Part of this could have been I was with relatives and it felt like home. Jeffery was my aunt and uncle's only son. He was 18 and basically a grown up. I spent most days playing by myself in their small backyard swimming pool. I had a ton of pool toys and each day passed quickly. I enjoyed the solitude and my aunt was home watching and taking care of me all day.

Every now and then I'd get to hang out with Jeffrey and his friends. He had a cool Chevy Camero and was a popular kid. He'd take me to the store or to get ice cream sometimes.He and his buddies were 5 or 6 years older than I was,so I was like the little kid tagging along. Some of his friends smoked and he made me promise not to tell aunt Carol my dad's sister.

All and all it was a great summer! I had spoken to my parents on the phone calling from Europe a few times. I'd even spoken to my brother who was in Texas with my aunt Myra. Aunt Carol lived in California like we did. My grandmother was watching our house for us while we were away.

A month can fly when you're having fun. Before I knew it my dad would be picking me up in two days. After that I would start 8th grade the next week. I wanted to go home, but didn't at the same time. Either way time flew and now my stay was soon up.

"Jonathan, aunt Carol gave me 10 bucks to take you to get a haircut," Jeffrey said.

I hadn't really thought about this happening. A sudden panic came over me whenever I heard the word "haircut." I never got a real haircut. My mom would wet my brother's and my hair and just trim it with scissors every couple months. We had longer hair covering our ears like all kids did back then. I'd been scalped once at a barbers in 1st grade. He gave me clippered white walls way up around the ears and I cried like a baby off and on for 2 days!

"I don't really need a haircut," I told Jeffery.

"No, my dad told me I had to take you to a barber before your dad comes on Friday to pick you up," he said.

"Oh come on Jeffery, I'll get a haircut when I get back home," I begged.

I whinned and pleaded for a long time. My aunt and uncle weren't home at that moment. Jeffrey's friend Craig was hanging around with him that hot afternoon. He was going to tag along to the barbershop with us.

"Jonathan I have to take you now, they said they'd be embarrassed to turn you back to your dad looking like that," said Jeffery.

I realized that my hair was almost to my shoulders and hadn't been cut since the middle of last school year. I liked it long over the ears, but trimmed neat and not too long. As long as my ears were covered when the haircut was not I was ok. I hadn't had short hair for almost 10 years, and it was that one unfortunate trip to the barbershop. My straight light brown hair had been made lighter spending all those summer afternoons by the pool in the sun.

"Hey, get in the car kid!" yelled Craig.

I'd come to realize I was out aged, sized, and out witted by these two teenagers. I had no choice but to get this haircut over with. Jeffery had already started the motor on his hot rod Camero and Craig was in the passenger side. As Craig lifted his seat forward I climbed into the small rear seat of my cousin's Camero.

As we drove to the barbershop I realized both Jeffery and Craig had slightly longer hair over the ears. This gave me some comfort. I had nightmare images of the last time I was taken to a barbershop by my father. School would be starting next week and my long sun bleached hair was looking real Cool! A trim was the worst I expected at this point. No one in my school had their hair short enough to see their ears, this just couldn't happen.

"My mom told me to tell the barbershop to get Jonathan's hair cut short for when his dad picks him up," whispered Jeffery to Craig.

As we sat at the red light panic overtook me when I heard my cousin say that to his friend. My heart started to race and I felt trapped in the tight back seat of this two door car. These two teenagers were now in charge and whatever they told the barber went! I could plead and beg, but it wouldn't do much good I worried.

"He's gonna throw a fit dude. Do you want me to do the talking?" whispered Craig.

"Hey, you go in with him and I'll cruise awhile, deal,?" said Jeffery.

"Ok, deal," replied Craig.

"It's gotta be a regular short haircut up over the ears though, tell the barber short," whispered Jeffery.

I couldn't believe what the two teenagers were saying as we drove to a barbershop they'd pick out some place any minute now! How could I start school with a haircut like that? The summer that had been so fun had gone really wrong just now. I wished I could talk to my mom, or aunt right now. They'd understand I didn't want my hair cut so short with the clippers.

Suddenly the car turned rapidly into the parking lot of a strip mall. The Camero pulled up to a red, white, and blue barber pole. We were at the barbershop! Dread filled my entire mind right then. The motor didn't turn off. Craig opened the right passenger door and hopped out of the car. He folded his front seat down.

"Hop out kid, here we go," said Craig.

"Jonathan, I gotta do some stuff you go get your haircut and Craig will go in with you," said Jeffery.

"Can't I just go in alone," I asked.

"No, he's stayin with you," said Jeffery.

Before I knew it the car door slammed and Jeffrey was peeling out of the parking lot.
Craig and I headed into the barbershop. It was a regular old school barbershop. Lots of clippers, blue liquids, and waiting chairs. A father and son were just finishing up their haircuts by the shop's two middle aged barbers. I sat quiet in a waiting seat with Craig my cousin's best friend.

"Both getting haircut?" asked the barber.

"Oh no, just the kid here," replied Craig.

After nearly 15 minutes of torture sitting waiting. The father's barber was ready for me. I reluctantly, but compliantly sat down in the barber chair. I was caped up highly around my neck. Craig stood up from his waiting chair.

"Cut it real, real short," Craig said.

"How short are we talking about here? Clippered over his ears, crewcut, what's it gonna be?" asked the barber.

"Um, I don't know. Well give him a crewcut. That should be short enough," said Craig.

"No, no please,...just a trim," I begged.

"No his aunt told us real short...it's gotta be short," Craig said.

"The crewcut then..?" asked the barber.

"Yeah," said Craig.

I started to cry then. I had never imagined getting a crewcut in 1975. This was any adolescent's nightmare then. Kids would laugh, how could I show up at school next week? I wanted to get out of that chair, but it was too late. Fast as lightening the barber had dug a set of large clippers into the side of my head by the right ear and a large clump of my nice light brown hair hit the white barber cape. I watched as it cascaded down further to the floor. I felt the chill of the metal blades run up and down the right side of my head. I caught a glimpse of my right ear poking out in the mirror. With two more swipes of the clippers the ear was completely exposed. I was no longer crying and realized any further protest was in vain now. My hair was falling off my head in big quick clumps now. There was hair everywhere. It shocked me and felt like I was losing part of me all on that white barber cape.

Then the buzzing stopped! Craig sat watching getting his jollys out this I could tell. His eyes were fixed on each move of this crewcut of mine. The barber chopped off any hair left with some scissors. Then those clippers hit my scalp again. The cut high up to the crown of my head, it felt like a bare metal blade. I watched in shock as my head was nearly all white scalp, but for a little brown patch on top. The barber took a giant plastic comb and sliced more and more of the hair off the top of my head. I tiered up again trying to see as much as I could in the mirror. It didn't stop! More buzzing and more buzzing. It seemed like the longest 20 minutes of my life. Craig watched in glee as I was getting this short crewcut. I wanted to get it over with, please..please get it done.

Next the barber took smaller clippers. Folded down each fully exposed ear and trimmed around them to the bare skin...way up high. Next a warm lather of shaving cream was being rubbed into my neck and around the ears. The barber shaved it bald around the base up the back and sides with the sharp razor blade. I sat motionless wondering again how much longer this would take. A warm towel wiped it all clean. Four quick brushes of talcum powder and then I was handed a mirror.

"Have a look son," said the barber. I didn't even recognize myself. Only a half inch of hair remained on the top of my head. Bald ever where else. I was screwed! This would5grow back for a long, long time.

"Whoa, now that is short!" exclaimed Craig.

Craig paid and we went to the parking lot to look for my cousin Jeffery. I cried off and on all the rest of that day!



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