The Barber and the Return of Charlie by Gator
The Barber and the Return of Charlie
Now that summer had arrived in the deep south, business was picking up with shorter cuts happening more frequently. Today, I had a college student in my chair. I had just caped him up and asked what type of cut he wanted. "Something short, please. I was thinking of a #2 on top and a zero on the sides." "Nice choice." I turned with the clippers with a #2 blade attached. I put my hand at the back of his head, placed the clippers at his forehead and slowly moved the clippers towards his crown. His red hair was falling on his shoulders. I moved the clippers back up front again, moved to the right, and made another swipe. I made another 5 swipes on his top. "You a new student here at the university?" I asked. "Yes, sir. Excited to be at college finally." "Is this your normal cut?" He chuckled. "No sir. This is way shorter than I had in high school. My normal cut is what you’re cutting right now." I laughed. "So, feeling that urge to try something new, huh?" "Yes, sir!"
I switched the #2 blade to the 0 blade. I put my hand on the top of his head to tilt it to the right. I placed the clippers at the bottom of his sideburn and slowly peeled off the hair. I went high to meet the #2 length of hair on top. I would blend that later on. I kept moving around his head. "I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Pete, the owner of the shop." He smiled. "I’m Mitch." "Nice to meet you Mitch. I guess you will become a regular in my shop to keep this cut in shape." "Not a problem, sir. My dorm is pretty close to your shop." "Very good." I continued cutting his hair. I was now working on blending the sides to the top. The door opened, and Charlie walked in.
"Hey, Pete. How are you doing?" "Doing great, Charlie. It’s good to see you today." I had finished Mitch’s cut and was shaving around his ears and nape. He stood up and rubbed his head. "This feels so great! I love the rough feeling on the sides! Perfect! I will see you in a couple of weeks!" Mitch paid and scooted out the door. Charlie was smiling. "Ah, the youth of today!" "We aren’t that old, Charlie, my friend!"
Charlie stood up to head towards the chair. I held out my hand. "Put it here, Charlie." He looked at me. "You still want my cell? How long have we been doing this?" I scratched my chin. "I reckon about 6 months now. I want the cell." Charlie sighed, reached into his shirt pocket, and handed me his cell. "You are so distrusting, Pete." We laughed together. He sat in the chair. "Is this a private type cut or does it not matter?" I asked. I swung the cape around him and put the tissue around his neck. "Let’s talk some and then you decide," Charlie started. "What’s on your mind?" I asked.
"You’ve put the pressure on in the office," he started. I stood in front of him with my arms crossed. "Tell me. Go on." "Well, you know that Andy is my paralegal. When he came in with his new cut on Monday, I freaked." I smiled. "Oh? How so?" "His sides were shaved smooth and tight. His top was cut very short. He asked me what I thought. I asked him if you had cut it. He said you had and that it was his idea as a surprise for his partner who you know is Corey." "And your reaction was?" Charlie blushed. "Immediately little Charlie got stiff. I lost my breath. It’s a great looking haircut, Pete. He looks good with it that short." "He does." "Then Andy pushes my button. He asks me when I am going to bite the bullet and get my sides and back shaved!" I laughed out loud at the expression on Charlie’s face. "It’s now Thursday, Charlie. Why has it taken you so long to get here?" I smiled. "You can be an ass, Pete. The kid has been hounding me all week long about getting my haircut. It’s only been two weeks!"
"What are we doing to your flat today, Charlie? The usual cleanup?" "I’m torn, Pete. I want to go shorter, but I don’t want to. Does that make sense?" "It sure does, Charlie." I stepped in front of the chair as I reached under that cape, grabbed his arm and lifted his hand to the sides of my head. "Feel this," I said as I held his hand. "I shaved my head two days ago. The stubble you feel now is about a 0 length." I let go of his hand. He kept it on my sides as he rubbed the stubble. "That feels good, Pete." I was still bending over and I felt his second hand on my head. "Be careful, counselor. If you go much further, I will need to lock up and close the blinds!" I chuckled as I looked in his face. Charlie had always been reserved, but there has always been that tension between us. He let go of my head and placed his under back under the cape. "Let’s go for the 0 on the sides and back, Pete." "Are you sure, Charlie?" "I am. I have been thinking of you taking my sides and back shorter. This will be for the summer." I smiled at him. "You hope!" I replied. "The top is my choice, Charlie?" "Kinda. No horseshoe like yours!" "Deal."
I went behind the chair, picked up my Osters. I switched to the 0-blade. I faced Charlie and rubbed my hand on his sides. "This is going to feel so good when it becomes stubble, Charlie. It will be a great look for you." He moaned very quietly. I clicked on the Osters. Charlie did not jump. I started at the bottom of his right sideburn. His eyes were closed. I slowly moved the clippers up past his temple to almost the crown area. All of the hair landed in his lap. He opened his eyes after that first pass. "Too late to change my mind, huh, Pete?" "Yep it is." I rubbed the stubble with my thumb. "I really like that shorter feeling," said Charlie. Perhaps I could talk him into shaving his sides? I wasn’t going to push it. I continued to peel of his hair on his sides. I was making sure to land the hair in his lap. As I was cutting I noticed a slight tent in the cape. This wasn’t Charlie’s first time tenting the cape, but I knew it would not be his last time.
I continued peeling off Charlie’s sides and back. The door to the shop opened. Andy breezed in. "Hey boss! Hey Pete!" I replied back. "What’s happening Andy? Too early for your cut isn’t it?" "Maybe this weekend if I decide to keep the sides and back razor shaved. I wanted to stop and to tell you thanks for the cut. It made a huge impact on Corey!" "You’re welcome, Andy. I guess you’ll keep it like this?" "I will see. Hey, Boss. I tried to call your cell. I want to take an extended lunch hour. I will make it up after hours today." Charlie smiled at him. "Sorry I couldn’t answer my phone. Someone has taken it while I get my haircut." They both looked at me. "So, you’re finally biting the bullet boss? Going for the shaved sides?" Charlie looked at Andy and then at me. "What do you mean, Andy?" I asked. Charlie blushed as Andy continued. "He made some comment about having you razor shave his sides and back like mine. He asked me what I thought his flat would look like. I told him almost like yours, but with a longer top." I stopped cutting Charlie’s hair and went to his side to look at his face. Andy had pulled out some money from his pocket. "Here’s $20 for his cut, Mr. Pete." Andy handed me the money. He turned and hurried out of the shop. I crossed my arms and tapped my foot looking at Charlie in the eyes. "Well, counselor? What have you got to say for yourself?" We were both silent for several minutes. "My paralegal has a big mouth, Pete. What happened to the confidentiality clause?"
"Here’s the deal, Charlie. I will give you the cut we originally agreed upon. Your top will be taken down to a #1 on the landing strip. Just a hint of a horseshoe flat. When I finish, it will be up to you to make the next call of whether the sides and back get razor shaved. Deal?" "Yep, it is. Thanks, Pete." "Of course, you will have to explain to Andy!" I chuckled. Charlie smiled. I turned the clippers back on and started in the back before we got interrupted. My left hand was on Charlie’s top and I shoved his chin into his chest. I slowly peeled the hair off and it fell on his shoulder and eventually landed in his lap. Once again, Charlie tented the cape. I smiled. As I cut, I kept rubbing the stubble on Charlie’s head enjoying the feeling of taking him shorter and seeing his tent get bigger. I moved to his left side and continued to peel off the hair. I finished, turned off the clippers, loaded my duster and brushed off the hair on Charlie’s head and shoulders. His eyes were still closed and he was breathing softly. I reached down into his lap and grabbed the cut hair and touching his hard erection. "I think the counselor is enjoying this cut." Charlie opened his eyes. He winked at me. "I am, Pete," he purred. "How did you know?" he asked. "I’ve always known, Charlie. Your secret is safe with me." He smiled, "Thanks."
I went to the back bar, changed to a #1 blade on the clippers. I leveled Charlie’s head and then I lowered it a little so I could see to cut a nice level top with a hint of a landing strip. I turned on the clippers and gently started cutting down his top. I made sure that the landing strip was stubble left behind with the #1 blade. I freehanded his top making sure it was level. This hair also was landing in his lap. "I think you’re doing that on purpose, Pete." "What?" "Making sure my hair is landing in my lap." I smiled. "Yep, I am. Just be quiet and enjoy it!" "Yes, sir." I continued to flatten his top making sure there were no stragglers left behind. I had finished. I grabbed the duster, loaded it with more talc, and brushed off Charlie’s head. White powder flew all over the place. I went in front of Charlie and dusted off his face. He sputtered a little, opened his eyes and smiled at me. As I stood there with the duster, he took his hands out from under the cape and pulled me towards him. He took both hands to rub my head. He took one hand and rubbed his head at the same time. "Feels the same. You do good work, my friend." It was my turn to blush. "Thanks, Charlie." As he released my head, his hand brushed up against my own hard on. "Hmm. I wasn’t sure, Pete." I smiled and said, "I always have been with you in my chair. You’re my favorite." We stared at each other.
I went behind the chair again to get a dollop of lather to spread around Charlie’s ears and on his nape. I needed to clean up his ears and neck. After shaving him, I once again dusted off Charlie, turned the chair so he could see himself in the mirror. "What do you think counselor?" He slowly reached up to rub his sides and back once again. "I really, really like this." He lowered his head. "The top looks great. Just a slight hint of a landing strip." I released him from the cape making sure that his hair would not get on his clothes. I took the brush to knock of the lose hair on his shoulders. We stood next to each other. "I guess I should say something besides, Thanks, Pete. I’m just not sure what to say." I put my arm around his shoulder and led him to the register. I used the money from Andy to pay for the cut and give him change back. "Here you go, my friend. Enjoy the new look." Charlie left and went out the door. I turned to sweep up his hair. My back was turned and I felt hands on my shoulder. I looked in the mirror and saw Charlie.
"I thought you left." "I did, but I came back." I turned to face him. "There was no bell." Charlie held it in his hand. He chuckled. "Here it is." He jiggled it a couple of times. "Sit in the chair, Pete." He moved me toward the chair and nudged me into the chair. Charlie went to the front door, locked it, and closed the blinds. "You turn in your chair, Pete." "For what?" I asked. Charlie walked over to me and rubbed the stubble on my head as he turned the chair to face the mirror. "Time for you to get shaved." "By you?" "Yes. I’ve watched you shave others and I know how to do it." I smiled at Pete. "What is it you always tell me? Trust your barber?" He smiled those big dimples at me. Charlie rubbed my sides and back. I closed my eyes. He turned the chair, turned on the warm water, got his hands wet, and then rubbed my head again. "Enjoy the stubble, my friend. You will be smooth very soon!" Charlie put the cape around me and cinched it tight. "The counselor knows his stuff!" I simply said. I saw Charlie grab a towel, run it under the warm water and put it around my head. I next felt the hot lather spread around my head and down my landing strip. "It’s a summer shoe for you, Pete." Charlie was happy; I could tell by his voice. He grabbed one of my razors and began scrapping the stubble off. "You know I had just shaved the other day." "I know you did, Pete. But I know you love have smooth sides. It’s my job, or will be from now on, to keep you smooth and squared away." I smiled at him. He shaved me just like I had done to him; wet his hand, checking for missed spots, reshaving where needed.
Soon Charlie was finished. He grabbed the Osage Rub, dumped some in his hand, and spread it around my head. "Hmm. That feels good, Charlie." "I know that feeling, Pete," as he took off the cape. He grabbed my arm and pulled me up out of the chair. "Now what?" I asked. "We’re going to spend time together." We walked into the back of the shop. I made sure that the shop was closed and locked up tight for the evening.