Randy's New Career by P.J.
I could hardly believe it. I was finally graduating from the fire academy. Monday I'd be embarking on what I hoped would be my career from here on out. I'd finally be a firefighter. My names Randy by the way, and this will be my third, and I hope last job change. I wasn't college material so I went into real estate right out of college. From there at 23 I decided selling wasn't my thing so I went into construction. I'd stuck it out for almost 4 years. I was the epitome of the ultimate construction worker, 6 foot 2, fiery auburn wavy hair down to my shoulders, matching fiery red beard. My hair was my trademark. Pulled straight back, all one length, thick and wavy.
Then I decided fire fighting was what I really, really, wanted to do with my life. I'd heard about a new class starting and decided to make the jump. I passed the initial endurance testing, and made the class. 6 months of studying, and grueling training lay ahead. I was excited, the only down side was that I'd have to cut my trademark locks. The captain that talked to me about my application was very patient and understanding, he had told me that training would be hot and grueling and I wouldn't want that hot sweaty mess on my head all the time. Department Regs for hair length were: off the collar, off the ears, and off the face. He said that usually the new trainees got short cuts so they wouldn't have to deal with it during training. My precious mane had been safe up to that point. This was the hardest part of making the change of careers, knowing I'd have to loose the mane to get the job I coveted. I had decided that I'd better get it over with before training started on Monday though, just to show I was committed.
On Saturday I found a shop near my house, walked in at the end of the day and sat in the waiting room chair. There was an older gentleman cutting someone's hair in the chair nearest the window, and a young fit looking barber cutting hair at the second chair, nearest me. He was finishing up a great looking cut on a guy about my age with sandy blonde hair, what was left of it. There was a sizable pile of hair in the cape, and the guy had what amounted to a short buzz cut. Very short, with his hair color he looked like he only had fuzz left on his head. He did look handsome though. I wondered how he'd looked with all that hair on his head, as I fingered my thick plush mane forlornly. I was getting worked up about getting this haircut, I had to calm down. It was a necessary means to an end. I wanted to be a fireman.
The young barber finished up first, uncapped the sandy haired guy, and started to walk up to the register with him to pay. He motioned me to have a seat and he'd be right with me. I was a total wreck by this time. I couldn't believe I was going to loose all this hair, and probably not be able to grow much if any back. I stood and looked forlornly at my reflection in the mirror.
The young barber came back, caped me up, and asked what we were going to do today, commenting on how stunning my hair was while starting to comb it out. I half smiled, half grimaced, and asked how short the last guys hair was. Oh, Tim, the barber replied. He got a number one and a half with a taper on the sides and back, and a two on top. I still don't understand why he asked to be clipped that short, but, oh well, the customer is always right. I was practically shaking and said, can we do the same type of thing on me, only not quite as short to start. The barber paused as he was combing my hair, you want me to cut all this off, he inquired, running his hands through my mane. Yes, I'm starting a new job Monday and I have to have very short hair to start. Are you sure, he asked again quietly, stroking my thick locks again. Yes, sadly, I'm sure, I replied meekly.
Well, let's get started then he said, turning me away from the mirror. Oh, GOD, here we go, I thought. He combed the top straight down over my face, it almost touched my collar bone, he'd combed the sides and back straight down also. I couldn't see a thing. Just as well that he couldn't see my face either, my pride and joy hid look of dejected sadness. I heard him fumble around behind me for a minute, then heard the sound I hated most. The click of the clippers coming to life.
The handsome young barber placed his hand firmly but gently on the top of my head, gave it a slight shake and said, your sure about this bud. It'll take you a mighty long time to grow this back out if you're not, once I get started with these fast feed Osters. Seems almost a shame to cut hair this good looking, he said. Yes, Yes, I'm sure, I said quietly. O.K. here we go then, he replied. I felt his fingers separate the heavy shank of hair in the back, and the clippers wiggle their way to my nape. The cold steel blades touched down on my nape. Next I could feel the slow advance up the back of my head, I almost cried. I had a tight grip on the arms of the chair, I felt as if I could rip them right off the chair. I felt the first thick shank of 18 inch long hair hit my shoulder and slide down into my lap, as he made pass after pass, the pile of hair in my lap got heavier. I felt my head getting lighter and cooler, and I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Wow man, the barber intoned, I thought I had thick hair, but wow, I'm using a number 3 on the back and sides, and I can't hardly see scalp. The hair underneath is a bit darker in color too, It looks really good sir, he said. I just sighed heavily. He worked his way along my left side, carving around my ear, I could now see a bit in my left peripheral vision, all the long hair disappearing off my head into my lap. Ugh. God, this sucked. The barber interrupted my thoughts and said, not to late sir, I can give you a great looking undercut if you want, he chirped. No thanks, I replied, slightly shaking my head in the negative. Now my head was really feeling lighter, and cooler. He moved around and worked his way along the right side, carving around that ear, long shanks of hair sliding down into my lap. I never realized just how much hair I had, wow. The pile in my lap was quite weighty.
All he had left to cut now was the top. O.K. sir, what are we doing with the top he inquired once more. I can cut it the same length as the sides, clipper it a couple of guards longer for a bit of contrast, or scissor cut it short and choppy, any of those would much shorter, and look great on you. I said hmmm, let's do the in between, go with the longer clipper guard to start, I'm afraid scissor cut would be a bit too long. O.K., he changed guards, and said I'm starting with a five then. He held the back of my head gently, tipping it down slightly, and slid the hungry Osters in under my bangs, right at my hairline. I groaned softly. He laughed, I'd sound like that too If it was me under there, this is, I mean was, one great looking head of hair sir. You still going to look good though, don't worry about that. In four strokes, he had all the rest of my hair off. Wow, did I feel different, naked, and vulnerable. Truth be told, I felt a bit excited too. I'd NEVER had my hair this short. What did I look like? The barber rubbed my head gently and said you're lucky, you have a perfectly shaped head for this cut, it looks great on you. We're almost done, just a little touch up work to taper along the edges he said, rubbing my now bare nape. Do you want me to taper the neck, or block it, he asked. A taper will last you longer without looking like you need a cut, he added. O.K. sure, I replied. By now I was so nervous about how I looked I could hardly stand it. He tapered my neck and around my ears, tiny hairs flying everywhere. I'm only tapering down to a Number one this time he said. We can go shorter next time round of you want. Assuming you keep it this short. He brushed me down, gave my shoulders and neck a quick massage, and commented that I was tight as a bow string. Haircuts shouldn't be this stressful he commented. You still look incredibly handsome sir, just different. I laughed nervously and said this was my first time in a barbershop since I couldn't remember when, and I'd never had my hair cut this short before, ever.
He turned me around to face the mirror, uncapped me and said, well, come back in 2 to 4 weeks if you want to keep this from looking shaggy, or if you can or want to grow it out I can help keep it neat looking. I sat there slack jawed. Who was the guy in the mirror? I'd shaved my beard down to 5 o'clock shadow before coming in to the shop this morning. Holy crap, did I look different. I didn't recognize myself. I turned my head from side to side, the barber laughed and said, quite a change Huh. Holy cow was all I could eek out. I stood up, wobbly legged, and made my way to the cash register. I have to say you look absolutely fine with short hair sir, especially with that color and how thick it is, the barber said proudly. Lots of guys that go from long to short like that look like sheared sheep when they leave, you look handsome. I was in a fog, a hot mess. I paid him double the price of the cut, thanked him, and walked out, shell shocked.
Well, that's only the beginning of the story. Due to my test and agility score at the end of training I was in the first set of new graduates, and was picked for an engine house in the first week. This had all been whirlwind for me, especially the haircut and graduation. Now I could settle into the job. My squad consisted of 2 lieutenants, myself, and the Captain. We worked rotation with 3 other squads to staff the house 24/7 365 days a year.
The Captain, Brian was his name, and I hit it off from the start, he was one of the youngest captains on the force at just over 30 years old, only a few years older than me. The 2 lieutenants, Mike and Chad, Were young, just 20 and 21 years old, they'd joined just after high school basically. I was still "the new guy" though, and low man in the pecking order for chores, and work duties. The Captain was firm but fair with us, often taking me aside and having a private conversation so he didn't embarrass me. There was something about him that gave me that déjà vu feeling. I could never put my finger on it though.
As for haircuts, I'd been back to the shop where I had the "great chop" as I thought of it, several times during training, but now I was getting kind of shaggy. I went in on Saturday but The younger barber wasn't there. I hadn't seen him since that first haircut. The older gent gave me the same cut as usual, as I described it to him. I was still kind of bummed out about having short hair though. I'd noticed the 2 lieutenants and the captain all had nice looking business type cuts, not buzzed like me, so I asked Mike and Chad one day, just what are the regs around hair length, facial hair etc.
they laughed and said, we were wondering when you'd get around to that. Hair had to be off the collar, off, or just breaking over the ears, and off the face. It could be fairly long on top, just not worn down over the face. The primary reason was so the mask on the self contained breathing apparatus could get a tight seal around your face. Beards were a no, no, moustaches, if kept well groomed, were O.K. They also added that captain Brian as I'd come to know him, wasn't a stickler about your hair length as long as you didn't get too shaggy. If our shift was on for house inspection, he expected you to be ship shape though. He wasn't afraid to take matters into his own hands either they said. Right then we got a fire call and we never got back to that conversation.
I decided to test the waters a bit, and let my hair go for a couple of months, and grow my moustache back. I soon had the beginnings of my former glory, my hair was growing in thick and heavy, just like I remembered it. Mike and Chad gave me a bit of teasing, but both commented on how good it looked. They asked of the unique color ran in the family. I said yes, but only on the male side.
One evening , we were doing the over night rotation, Mike walked into the day room and said, hey Cap, how about you do a cut on me if you have time tonight. Captain Brian smiled warmly and said sure, after dinner come to my office, I'll be all set up. Mike smiled, and looked over at me and said to Cap, how about Randy here, he could use a bit of a cleanup too. Sure, Cap said, after you, how about Chad?
I was thunderstruck. The captain was going to give us haircuts. What was up with that?
We had dinner, the boys and I cleaned up, the Captain disappeared into his office. I soon heard, when ever your ready guys, from the office. The three of us trooped in and sat down, Mike took the bar stool in the middle of the room. On the Captains desk was a full array of hair cutting tools , and a blue and white stripped cape. The captain capped Mike, combed his short blonde locks out, and asked what he wanted. Just a trim Cap, clean it up around the ears, and neck, and maybe trim my bangs a bit., you know, the usual. Captain Brian set to work, first with the clippers, then scissors, giving Mike exactly what he had described. Mike s hair was thick, like mine, but only had a slight wave to it , just enough to give it some life. He looked great, just as if he'd stepped out of a barber shop. Captain Brian uncapped him and he hopped down. Go have a quick shower Cap said, and tell me if it needs touching up. Chad, your next, Cap stated. Sure, Chad replied, hopping on the stool. Chad had dirty blonde hair, straight, and a bit on the thin side, he was looking really shaggy. What's your request Chad, Cap asked. Same as Mike, only take the top short and choppy, not too short though, I don't want spikes, O.K. Got it, Cap said, and set to work on Chad. He soon had Chad back in shape too. He was very professional about it too, like he'd been doing it his whole life. He'd taken his time, but was very efficient at it. Chad hopped down and hit the showers. Now it was Just Captain Brian and I.
O.K. Randy, are you next, he asked me. Uh, I, Uh, well I guess sir, I said. I was trying to grow mine out a bit though, I said. I don't really like the buzzed look, Cap, I offered.
At this point I'm going to offer two different endings, just to show you guys I can do both. If you want the straight , story line version, skip to ending 2.
Ending 1. Hot budding bromance and surprise
I know Randy, you didn't really like it the first time I cut if for you either. I froze as I sat on the stool. The nickel dropped for me right then. That déjà vu feeling. Cap, what do you mean, I asked quietly, the first time. YOU really don't remember me do you, said Cap. I think now I do Cap I said, but not until just this moment. Cap smiled, I was the one that clippered off that gorgeous shoulder length mane you had before you started training. I was also the one who recommended that you get it cut off, do you remember that?
From the minute I laid eyes on you back when we were taking applications, I wanted to cut your hair. When you walked into my dad's shop that Saturday, I almost had a heart attack. I realized you didn't recognize me, and didn't want to interrupt your melancholy mood. by reminding you. When you asked me to clipper off that gorgeous mane, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. My wildest dream was coming true. The only conflict I had was that I already had a man crush on you and part of it was because of that amazing mane. Now I had to cut it off. Cap continued , That is my dad's shop, I apprenticed under him and was a barber there for a couple of years, but decided I liked fire fighting better , and made this my career. I still work in the shop to help him out when time permits. It keeps my hand in it and gives him a bit of a break. With the reprise of all the clipper cuts he's busier than ever. How come you never said anything Captain? I asked. Truthfully Cap, I aid, you could have been wearing a pink tutu and I still wouldn't have remembered you. I was a hot mess that day, getting my pride and joy clipped off. Randy, I was smitten the first time I laid eyes on you, but I'd never want to have undue influence on you, me being a Captain and all. I knew I could pick you as part of my squad and only went that far. I hoped the rest would come naturally. If nothing happened, your still going to be a great fireman, I'm happy to have you on the squad. There's just something about you, your demeanor, your attitude, and your dedication , that made me want you on our squad.
I was blushing crimson now. He was standing right in front of me. I'd never noticed his ice blue eyes before, or the dimples when he smiled, or just how amazing his hair looked. He reached down and tipped my head up, his hand under my chin. And that's only the beginning of the qualities I like about you, he said softly, smiling again. HOLY s**t, if that wasn't flirting, I don't know what is, he was rapidly turning me into a HOT mess. Holy crap, he must be gay. Did he know I was? We'd never talked about partner preference, only that we didn't currently have one. We never mentioned, if and what sex our partner preferences were. The subject wasn't taboo, it just hadn't come up. Hmm.
He stepped back, and ruffed my hair. O.K. what are doing with this then, he asked. I hate to cut it, even now. He had his hands caressing my head. OMG, I couldn't speak for a minute. He walked over and closed the door, locking it. The boys will have to knock first, he said smiling back mischievously at me.
Well, I, uh, Oh GOD, just trim it up to neaten it. I want to grow it out. I think it can go a bit longer before it gets out of regulation can't it, I stammered. Cap replied, yes, you have a ways to go yet before I really have to reign you in. A trim it is then, he smiled, happy to oblige. You sure you don't want a number three on the sides, and a five on the top, he replied. We both laughed. No, I said, just a trim, this time please. He took his time, and gave me a great looking trim up. Basically just neatening up the outline, and shaving my neck, he left my thick bangs alone, warning me to keep them combed back while at work. His touch made me tingle like low voltage current was running through his fingers this time. When he finished he uncapped me, kept a hand on my shoulder, and came around in front of me. He startled me by straddling me and sitting on my lap, facing me. I was instantly aroused. He leaned over and whispered in my ear, pushing his hand through the thick rough top hair he hadn't cut. Maybe one of these days this summer I can take you down to a nice tight number one butch. I felt flushed again and was hard as a rock, he had to feel me against his inner thigh. Smiling slyly, He peaked inside my t-shirt and said, you know, I'm happy to do any manscaping you might need done too, off shift at my place of course. I'm pretty good at that too. He'd no doubt seen my darkly hairy chest by now. Now I could feel him against my chest. I wanted to all the hair cutting gear right off the desk top and have him take me here and now. That would go over big, I thought, Mike and Chad outside the door, hearing us in here rutting like bulls. I had to laugh.
As he stood back up still with that mischievous grin I said, Captain, I thought even though the department was very LGBT friendly, and allowed females on the squads, we weren't allowed to have spouses or partners on the same squad. How would this work, assuming I'm interested, I smirked slyly. One of us just needs to put in for a transfer to a different squad , we'd still likely be working at this house though. Hmm, I thought, what a small world. He said, should I put in for that transfer?
HMM This could be the start of something big.
Ending 2. Professional straight forward haircut and surprise.
Randy, really, you didn't like the buzzed look much the first time I gave you one either, the Captain said. I froze, What do you mean Captain, I choked out. I was the one on application day that told you to get that mane clipped short, do you remember that. Hmm, yes, I said, I remember the comment, but don't remember it being you that was saying it though. Cap continued, and I'm the one who talked to you in the barber shop about it being such a shame you had to lose the gorgeous mane, do you remember that. That was You captain I said, wide eyed. Yes, that's my dad's shop, I apprenticed under him right out of high school. I only worked there a year or so when I determined that I really wanted to be in the Fire Department. So I changed jobs. I still help him out when can. I was the one who divested you of that gorgeous mane. You made my day as a barber that day, man. Much as I hated to do it to you, that was a barbers dream, clipping off all that thick wavy fiery auburn hair. Glad you enjoyed it Captain, I smirked back. You know what I mean Randy, you did have one hell of a head of hair. I know, and I still miss it too, I said sadly, scrubbing my hand over the short beginnings currently on my head.
How come you never mentioned this before Captain. I wanted you to feel connected to the squad on your own merit, not because of any thing I did, he said. Unless I miss my guess, you are settling in nicely. Are you happy here, with us, Caption inquired. Yes, you've all been very helpful, getting me to learn the routine, and being patient with me as the new guy. I really like it here. I'm glad I made the switch, so far. It's starting to feel like home and family. Good, it should, Captain said, if it's a good fit.
Do you always cut Mike and Chad's hair, I asked. Well, not all the time but quite often. Or the guys will come in and see me at the shop if we're off and I'm working there. I cut quite a few of the other guys hair that work at this house too. I enjoy doing it, and it helps keep me in tune for when I help dad out at the shop.
So, sport, what do you want me to do today, he said, while capping me up. Well Cap, I really want to grow my hair back out as much as is practical and allowable. It does need to be evened up a bit, it looks like a grow out right now. He started combing it out, again marveling at the fiery auburn color.
What do you think Cap, I asked. I think I can work with you, the Captain said smiling. I'm the one that gets to make the call that you're getting TOO shaggy, and coincidently, I can also do something about it, he said, laughing. Ah, yeah, right, that would be true, I said smiling back. As much as like to cut hair, I'd love to see some of that mane grow back too, as long as it doesn't hinder your ability to work safely and properly, Cap replied.. Let's see if I can make you look presentable without giving you a number 3 on the sides and a 5 on the top this time, he said jokingly, unless that is what you secretly want.
Uh, no Cap, the trim will be just fine, no clippers this time please, if you don't mind. He proceeded to trim around the edges, neatening it up, shaving my neck. I hate wearing a ball cap around the station so he gave me a couple of ideas on how to keep the bangs off my face and still look good. He slicked back the top and said, there, that should keep you for a couple of weeks, if not, you know where to find me. I'm happy to do it, anytime. And randy, maybe next summer, when it gets hot enough, you'll let me take you down to a nice tight butch, huh, he said, smirking slyly. Ah, not bloody likely Cap, was all I could get out before laughing at him. He rubbed my shoulders again, like he'd done at the shop, said O.K. hit the shower , then tell me how you like it. O.K. Sir, yes Sir, I barked, hopping off the stool. Hey Cap, maybe you can teach me a thing or two about cutting hair, and I can give you a trim up sometime in return. Hmm, interesting proposition Randy, I'll have to think about it, Cap said smiling thoughtfully.