What was I thinking? by P.J.
What was I thinking?
This story follows "Time will tell"
The party planning was in full swing for my grandparents 50th anniversary. Dad and his brother and sister were throwing a big bash at the local party house. (coincidently owned by Bens parents.) This was going to be in later July, a suit and tie affair. A first for me. I'd be turning 15 before school got out for the summer.
It was only March now. I was giving myself my semi monthly trim in front of my bathroom mirror.
This had been going on for the better part of 2 years now. I'd gotten pretty good at it but there was a couple of things I just couldn't master on my own. I wanted to layer the ends so they didn't have so much of a home haircut look. This was fine for school but I knew that there'd be a hired photographer for the big party. I wanted to look good if I was going to be immortalized in celluloid.
This got me thinking.... could I venture into a dreaded barber shop ever again? Some of the guys in my class had gone to the new unisex shop that had opened this year at a new strip mall not too far away. Within biking distance for me as I wasn't driving yet. And I wasn't about to ask MOM to take me to a barber shop. There was too much de ja vous in that. The guys from school all looked really good, hair still long, covering collars and ears all around. Hmmm. Could I ever return to the scene of so many traumatic experiences?
I'd have to give this ALOT of mental discussion. On one hand , if I found the right barber, with much discussion and instructions on my part, it could have a positive outcome. I'd need to feel comfortable with the shop, and the barber though, no small task for me. I was getting nervous just thinking about it. ON the other hand, I could maybe indulge my ever growing fetish, seeing guys getting lots of hair cut off and going from long to short while I watched and waited. I was getting aroused just thinking about this possibility. I had to stop thinking with the little head.
A few weeks went by and I'd convinced myself to take a ride by the shop and scope it out. Do some reconnaissance as it were. I reckoned that I'd be able to wait till school got out in late June before I went, IF I went. This would allow plenty of time for some growing out before the Party in late July.( Ha, if I could only see into my future I'd have slapped myself silly at the very idea and gotten on with life)
Since the shop was in a strip mall, and fronted on the parking lot, I could ride by slowly for a first pass. Everything looked normal, 3 chairs, 3 barbers. Advertised as a Unisex Barber Shop...progressive cuts for ladies and gents. O.K. I'd survived the first pass without passing out. That's the closest I've been to a Barber shop in several years. I pulled my bike up to a post and chained it up. I took a stroll down the covered sidewalk of the mall that ran in front of the shop. I took a look in and then stooped down to tie my shoe(clever ruse) This allowed me a second look before I got up and kept walking. O.K. the first 2 chairs had a couple of older barbers working away on guys. They didn't look like anyone I wanted to tangle with. or that I would be able to give specific instructions to. They came off as no nonsense types. The kind most of you guys like(and I loathe). The farthest chair from the window(which was good, I didn't want to be seen by passer bye if possible)had possibilities. The barber was young, maybe in his mid twenties, had longish hair, a bit like I wanted mine trimmed like. He had a pleasant expression on his face and was trimming up a kid about my age. The kid had hair longer than mine, in a David Cassidy type feathered cut and the barber was clearly only giving him a trim. All good indicators. There were large size pictures up high on the walls of guys with various contemporary cuts. I wasn't able to glean much more from my passing walk without being obvious.
I wandered into the nearby drug store, browsed for a few minutes to kill time , then wandered out , back to my bike and took off. That had gone pretty well, I didn't see anything overly alarming. My Spidey senses were tingling but hadn't told me to flee and never come back. My heart rate had returned to normal on the ride home.
I had a tough time talking myself into the next step though. I'd have to go into the shop when it was very busy, wait for a while then act like I couldn't wait any longer and hurry out like I was late for an appointment elsewhere. I know, a lot of buildup for something as common place as a haircut. For me it was like climbing Mount Everest, in the dark, blindfolded. I needed to see firsthand how barber #3 behaved with customers. I figured Saturday mornings were probably the busiest times so I headed there the following Saturday to put step two of the plan in motion.
I parked and locked the bike nearby this time. Strode into the shop like I belonged there, trembling on the inside, The smells gave me butterflies in my gut and a quick flashback to many unpleasant times in these type surroundings. I took a deep breath and headed for any chair near young guy barber #3. The shop was busy as I'd imagined, or I wouldn't have even entered. I found a seat a couple of chairs away from young guy barber and nervously sat down. I took a deep breath to calm down. I took some time to take it all in. This was my first time being in a shop of my own accord, not having arms bruised from being dragged in. My chosen barber was indeed young, maybe mid twenties. Handsome, with very dark brown hair side parted, long layers, below his ears, and over the bottom of the collar in back, his bangs were feathered and hung just to the bottom of his eye brows. Just what I was hoping for. His hair even got me stirred up a bit. Wow, never thought that would happen n a barber shop! I took a look at the pictures on the walls. a couple of them intrigued me too. Hmmm. Food for thought. I watched a couple of kids and dads get cuts from barber 3. He was soft spoken and although he was friendly with his customers and attentive to their instructions, I didn't catch a name. He wasn't wearing a tag either that I could see.
One kid in particular got me going. He had a shoulder length mop of blonde hair, I'm a sucker for a blonde, it didn't have much shape and was heavy and thick, definitely needed cutting. HIs dad had to give him some convincing talk to get him into the chair. Barber 3 said "what are we doing today?" The kid, who was probably 13 or so, looked imploringly over at Dad. Dad said he could have his ears covered, not over the collar, and bangs no longer than eye brow length. Now I know that to you true fetisher's out there this was a letdown but, considering how long his hair was, this was still going to be a good show. He'd probably get 4-5 inches of bangs cut off, at least 3 inches off the sides and 4-6 inches off the back. Not to mentions getting all the layering done. There'd be a lot of hair on the cape and floor before he was done. Barber #3 nodded acknowledgment to the dad, looked the kid in the eyes and raised the eye brows as if to say "O.K. with you?" The kid reluctantly nodded assent and sagged in the chair. Dad piped up with "If that's not acceptable to you Kev, we can always get something shorter like a flat top" The kids eyes popped and said. "Dad, No Please! I'm O.K. with it, really".
Dad said "I thought you might be". The barber started combing out the long blonde hair, I settled in for a good show. Barber 3 tipped the kids head forward a bit and combed the back down to the kids collar, the scissors appeared out of nowhere, snip and off came about 5 inches of thick blonde locks, tumbling down into the kids lap, I was hard as a rock! The kid groaned at the sight of the shorn locks. The more I watched the harder I got. all that thick mane getting chopped above the collar line Yikes. Soon the back was roughed out to length, the kid had a lap full of hair already. I wasn't sure I'd make it through the entire cut. I had never had this happen. Barber 3 evened off the back and combed the sides down snipping at the bottom of the ears. He was just blocking out the cut, getting the rough shape. I was in heaven. The bangs came next, combed straight down across the kids crestfallen face. With a couple of good snips of the scissors he went from lip length blunt cut thick bangs you couldn't see though to being able to look me in the eye. I felt his pain, and ....I wished I was wearing rubber pants. I thought I could feel a slight trickle in my skivvies. Yikes! I caught barber 3 glancing my way with a bemused expression on his face. I had to get up and walk out, If I saw any more of that blonde mane get sheared off I was going to need a towel. That wouldn't be a good thing in this crowed shop. Rats. I not so casually walked out. I wanted someone to throw a bucket of water on me, WOW. Somehow I had to wait around till this kid came out of the shop, I had to see how this cut turned out. I walked down to the drug store, bought an ice cream sandwich and walked back to a strategically placed post near where my bike was chained. I had to make the ice cream last for a few minutes but sure enough, the kid came out very dejected, with what I'd describe as a HOT looking haircut. Short by his standards I'm sure, but very respectable for the times. He caught me looking as he walked by. I gave a quick nod, hoping I was conveying that I felt his pain but it still looked good. I was getting aroused again. I had to turn around and hop on my bike so he didn't see.
Part 2 went much better than expected as you can see. If a bit shorter duration than I'd wanted. Part 3 would have to wait till school got out the end of June. I'd skip the May self trim and let it get a bit longer than usual, just for extra insurance.
School ended, I was going to pay a visit to Barber 3 on Saturday. Saturday came and I hopped on my bike and headed for the shop a little excited, and very nervous. Could I, should I, attempt this? Was I seriously going to enter a barbershop, without being dragged, and get my haircut my a barber?
I'd later realize that if you were going to give instructions that involved the collar of your shirt, wear a shirt with a collar dummy, not a T shirt! The shop was very busy, being just after school let out for the summer, lots of kids getting summer cuts, a bonus for me. I'd be waiting awhile. Barber 3 was popular with the kids. I watched 5 or 6 shearings, occasionally having to talk myself out of an orgasm. That was getting harder and harder to do(pardon the pun). Finally it was my turn for barber 3. I'd had to turn barber #2 down a couple of times explaining I was waiting for barber #3. Barber #2 didn't hide his disappointment at this. I'm guessing he wanted a crack at my plush mane for himself. That wasn't happening. I nervously sat down in Barber 3's chair. He taped and caped me, white cape w/ black pinstripes. I had a brief moment of panic, the cape suddenly felt like a noose! What was I doing here, was I out of my mind? What was I thinking! Barber #3 must have seen the panic, he laid a hand softly on my shoulder and said "Been awhile since you've been in a Barbershop I take it?" I took a gulp of air and said , yes, it had been a long time. He said, my names Mike, what's yours. I replied "P.J."
I noticed a high schooler , probably a senior I'd guess, with a hot looking mane of shoulder length auburn hair come in and take my former waiting seat. He looked a bit nervous and nodded at me when I made eye contact. I needed a distraction. ( and what a distraction he was!)
Mike stroked my hair in back and I felt the panic rising again. He gently asked "what are we doing today"? I snapped out of my panic and realized that we need a serious talk or I was going to bolt, right then and there. I said that I was quite happy with the length of my hair but that I'd like to do something about the blunt, home haircut look to it. Maybe layer it a little along the bottom, and feather the bangs a bit. I definitely wanted my ears to stay covered, He got a comb and started combing me out.
I should mention at this point that my bangs were at least nose length, sides, an inch or so below my ears, and back an inch or so below the bottom of my collared shirts, when I wore them. It was fairly thick but had a shiny quality to it, it wasn't bulky thick. But I wasn't wearing a collared shirt UH OH. How much would he know to cut and leave.? I probably had about 10" of hair in the back from cowlick to bottom, and almost another 10" in front if measured from cowlick all the way down to my nose.
Strange, what aroused me when watching someone else made me queasy when he did it to me. Pulling the comb through my long mane produced no arousal here now, not one little bit. I was on hyper alert. Interestingly he pointed to one of the pictures on the wall that had caught my eye on my earlier visit. "I understand what you're asking" he said and he could certainly take care of things for me. Could he make a suggestion though? That particular cut up on the wall there would look really good on you he purred.(alarm bells should have been going off in my head at this point) The pic depicted a longish cut, bangs swept over the eyes, sides just showing the tip of the ear, and longer in the back, a good looking cut but could I go that much shorter? I said I was interested in that cut but it looked an awful lot shorter than what I'd described to him. He pulled my bangs down and I thought I caught him give a sharp inhale at the sight of them hitting my nose. Well I'd lose a little length off the bangs for sure he said, and I'd have part of my ear showing at first too. I asked if he needed to use clippers or thinning shears on any part of that cut? "Well no, but why" he said? I said it was a deal breaker on that cut or the one I'd asked for. You can use a straight razor to trim the little hairs on my neck but no clippers, or thinning shears, not now, not ever. I thought I detected Mike sighing a little, I wasn't sure. I know I'd raised my voice during that little dialogue, maybe a little too much, but hey, it was my hair right? He said "O.k., O.K." he got that part. He said, "wow you must have had some bad experiences to be that emphatic about it".
I just nodded in the affirmative. "Well, what'll it be? the pic on the wall or what you described, either will be O.K. by me, no clippers, and no thinning?"Mike said. I said "well as long as the style in the pic could be cut so the back stayed over the bottom of my collar that I could live with just the tip of my ear showing,Yes"? Mike said he could do that, sure. Now mind you I don't have a neck like a giraffe but I don't look like a line backer at this point in life either. There would be a fair amount of length in the back when he finished, or so I thought.
Mike got right to it. He sprayed me down with water to dampen my hair. Before I could change my mind, the bangs got combed down. the scissors slid in midway above the bottom of my eye ball and, snip, off came about 2". This was O.K., he'd told me the bangs would be a bit shorter. eyeball length, I could live with. I was also busy talking myself out of bolting at this point so I didn't pay attention till the scissors slid in midway up my left ear and snip, half "Hey, wait a minute, that's way more than the tip of my ear showing, Mike! ". Mike said "Oh, I thought you only wanted the top covered?, sorry, I misunderstood". ( I thought I caught a quick smirk on his face. ) I was losing faith in Mike, fast. If only the internet and these stories had been around back then, I'd have known full well what good old Mikey was up to.
He tilted my head down a bit and combed the back down and played around with it a bit before sectioning off a strip straight down the middle of the back of my head from crown to nape. I felt him comb through the section several times and slide his fingers in at the base of the hair. I'd cut my own enough times to be familiar with the feel of this. I expected him to slide his fingers out from my head to establish the overall length and then cut. NOPE! snip, 5-6 inches of my thick damp mane slid off the back of my head and down into my lap. I couldn't breathe! STOP! I barked. My emotions were furiously churning. I wanted to punch Mike in the face, I was sick about what had just been cut off, knowing full well how short it would all now have to be. Flashes of me in family pictures at the party, immortalized once again looking like a dork! Mike came around to face me and innocently asked "what?" I whipped a hand out from under the cape, grabbed a lock of 6 inch long damp hair and waved it at him. "This is what's wrong" I said, dropping it and reaching back to the freshly cut area in back, probably an inch or so wide, grabbing the inch or so long hair he'd left on my head. I gave it a tug and said " this is going to reach below the bottom of my collar... like we agreed before you started, just how is that going to happen?" Mike knew I'd made him, He said "well I had to cut it a bit shorter so it wouldn't look out of proportion with the way the sides were cut." I said "Oh, you mean the too short sides?" I was furious, on the verge of tears. I also knew that my future appearance was in his hands at this point and I could end up looking much worse than I did now if I really pissed him off. I'd been at the hands of a frustrated barbers before , it never ended well. I said I realized there wasn't much to be done now but to finish what he'd started. He apologized and said he wouldn't charge me for the cut since it wasn't what we'd agreed to. I was shaking , I gave a dejected shrug as acknowledgement. I was livid, he'd gotten the best of me and I'd fallen right into it. I'd even come willingly to the slaughter this time. Never again.
The auburn haired cutie was watching our exchange with great interest. I'm not sure he was able to hear all of our conversation but probably got the point that I was very upset and dissatisfied with the barber.
I sat slumped in the chair silently waiting as Mike finished hacking off the rest of the long locks from the back of my head and they slid into the growing pile in my lap. The chair was turned away from the mirror so I could only imagine how bad this was going to look. My hands under the cape could feel the weight of all that hair as it piled up on the cape. I glanced and auburn cutie and saw a pained expression on his face. Not good. ( I fantasized about strapping 'ol Mikey into his own barber chair and shaving his long floppy haired head bald, while he begged me not too.) Mike finished layering the sides, more hair raining down, I reminded him to go no shorter than he'd already chopped them off at, and keep the layering to a minimum, please. The only other exchange between us being that as he fingered the long hair left on top yet, I wanted maximum length left on top, at least 3-4 inches after he layered it or more. And no I didn't care at this point that it might look to long with the rest of the cut. I growled that the rest of the cut looked horrible anyway so let's try and do something the way I asked, O.K.? He reluctantly agreed . I'd be damned if he'd get the satisfaction of chopping all the top hair off too. I wanted to take as much of his enjoyment out of this as possible. I felt him combing abds scissoring away on the top for a few more minutes, more hair falling, He finally finished up, set the scissors down, gave me a quick overall combing, and turned me around for a first look in the big mirror. My shoulders sagged further. I pulled a hand out from under the caper and fingered the huge pile of hair in my lap and shook my head. For the first time in years, there was no hair moving on my head when I shook it from side to side. I felt the tears coming again but choked them back. He held up a mirror for me to see the carnage in the back, I shook my head sadly in disgust, running my hand over the now chopped short hair that remained. At least I could steal a bit of his enjoyment at getting his rocks off butchering me. "Nope, what I was hoping for at all" I said, and "It's way shorter that the pic we were looking at too". "well, yes, it is a bit shorter, I have to admit, if you really aren't happy with it I won't charge you this time" he repeated, trying to look concerned. He said that it still looked good on me though. I wanted to puke. I could file this haircut experience in with the memories of all the other brutal barbershop shearings I'd had before.
"Mike" I said, loud enough for the waiting patrons to hear, "I'd have gladly paid you 3 times your usual rate for a cut if you'd have done what I asked, and given you a generous tip too. I wanted you to restore my faith in barbers and barber shops. I trusted you, you snookered me in for your own pleasure and we both know it, there won' be a next time. I hope you enjoyed yourself". He sighed, then pulled the cape off and all my hair slid down onto the floor. He had no idea what he'd done to my self esteem for his sadistic pleasure.
At this point I spotted the auburn haired cutie getting up and walking out of the shop. I wanted to shout "run" to him. If I'd have been able to collect my thoughts I'd have liked to invite him home for a "trim". I didn't have the presence of mind at that point though. Oh, well, hind sight is always 20/20.
Mike had a dejected look on his face. ( I thought good, you %#@*^%# dick, I hope I took some of the pleasure out of it for you!) I couldn't resist. "Gee Mike, Looks like your little self serving escapade with my hair might be scaring off other customers too. I turned to the guys waiting and said," I assume you're waiting for Mike here to cut your hair HIS way and not yours, stay if you don't care what you end up looking like!". I gave my shorn locks on the floor, and Mike, one last disgusted look and walked out of the shop past the other 2 shocked barbers. I didn't realize until that moment that all the chatter in the shop had ceased, it was so quiet you could hear my sneakers squeak as I walked out of the shop. I never did go back here, and I made sure to bad mouth Mike and the shop at every opportunity. I'd had it with barber shops and asshole barbers.
I rode my bike home mad and upset. I'd been duped for the last time by a barber! I walked in the house and headed for my room. But not before the final injustice, I walked straight by MOM, standing in the kitchen, staring at me wide eyed. I didn't stop, her gloating too would have been too much. I got to my room, went into the bathroom and took a look in the bathroom mirror at the wreckage. The back started out maybe an inch long at my hairline and tapered out at about 2 inches at the crown. Holy Crap. I felt naked. I realized then that he didn't even have the decency to straight razor my neck, all the fuzzies were showing now that it was so short! (I know all you baldie lovers out there are rolling your eyes) This was never going to grow out before the party. Not even close. The only saving grace, I realized was that I'd had the foresight to forbid the clippers and thinning shears. God knew what I'd have ended up with if Mike had been able to use them! Thank God too that school was out for the summer, maybe by fall it would be back to a somewhat respectable length. I knew I wasn't going to have to worry about trimming it for a looooong time. What was I thinking! Thanks Mike, you bastard! Wait till Pete got a load of me. I had to warn him about that shop!
Dinner that night was not a pleasant experience for me. Mom was practically glowing, she couldn't take her eyes off me. ICK! I was waiting for those always nauseating words she always uttered after she'd dragged me in to the barbers for a brutal shearing, "you look so handsome" to come out of her mouth. I'd smack her! That phrase still makes my skin crawl 40 years later.
The boys across the street naturally thought I'd succumbed to another episode of being dragged to the "butchers" by my MOM. they were at least sympathetic to my plight. I didn't correct them, one small score for me, let 'em think this was forced. Needless to say, I was yet again immortalized in celluloid as a semi dork, next to my three long haired cousins, Derek next to me with the afternoon sun glinting off his almost shoulder length blonde mane. The first words when we had minute alone were "dude, what happened to the Hair, did my aunt do this to you?"
As it would turn out I wasn't through with barber shops just yet, but that's another story.