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Summer Home by drummer16
It was the spring after my junior year of college. I had just gotten home, and I hadn’t had a haircut in six weeks. My dad had commented on how shaggy I looked as soon as I got home. The past two summers I stayed on campus to take summer courses, so this was my first summer back home.
Normally in the summers before college, my Dad would take me to the barbershop and have my hair clipped short all over. I didn’t know what to expect this summer after being gone for so long.
After a week of being home, one morning at breakfast my father handed me some money and said, "You need to get a haircut. It needs to be short."
"How short?" I asked. I was hoping there would be some hair left over.
"Well, you’re an adult now. I’ll let you keep hair on the top but the sides need to be at #1. Make sure to get the top cut down short still. I won’t make you buzz it but no hippie undercut either," he told me.
After breakfast, I just stared at myself in the mirror. My bangs were starting to cover my eyes, and the sides were beginning to cover my ears. I really did need a haircut.
I went to a local barbershop, known for giving good short haircuts. I parked the car, and realized I was about to be shorn. I walked in, there was only one chair and one barber. The barber looked to be about 60, the entire shop had an older feel to it.
"Well looks like its been a while since you’ve seen a barber, I’m Mike," he said as he motioned for me to get in his chair.
"Yeah, I’ve been at college and now my Dad wants me to get a good short haircut," I said a little nervously as he put the paper strip around my neck and put the cape on me.
Mike started combing out my hair when he said, "Alright so a short summer cut. Did Dad have any instructions?"
"Back and sides need to be a number 1, and the top length was up to me. How long can we keep the top with the sides so short?" I asked.
"Are you sure you want to keep it long? It’s getting hot out there, it will look and feel good to take it down." He told me while cleaning his clippers.
"Yeah, not really a fan of super short cuts." I responded.
"About 3 inches, I can take the one high and then have it quickly blend into the longer hair."
"Do that then."
He spun the chair away from the mirror and pushed my head down and brought he clippers about three quarters of the way up my head. Suddenly, two inches of hair dropped in my lap. He kept running the clippers all over the back and sides of my head and the mound of hair kept piling up. Finally the lifted my head up. He grabbed a large comb and began cutting the top down clipper over comb. Lots of hair rained down onto the cape. I knew three inches was the longest I could keep it, but I was still surprised by how much hair came off.
He began lining up my neck when my father walked into the shop. "I was just running some errands when I saw your car here, son. Thought I’d see how the haircut was going and good thing I did."
Oh no, this was not going to be good. Mike looked at my Dad and said, "Not short enough for you?"
Dad nodded. "The top is way to shaggy. You choose to leave way to much on son, and now you loose that choice. I’ll still be nice, leave an inch on top and take the sides down to a zero."
"You got it boss," Mike said as he got out the clippers again. I felt the comb much closer to my head as he ran the clippers over the hair on top. My dad was smiling. He then took the guard off the clippers and positioned my head down.
"How high do you want the zero?" Mike asked my Dad.
"Halfway up, its getting hot out there," my Dad said.
Mike cleaned off the little hair I had left on the sides and blended it into the top. "You’re going to feel the breeze outside today, bud." He said with a laugh.
He spun me around and my dad smiled. He cleaned me off and I left the chair. My head was a lot lighter.
"Fantastic haircut, we will be back in a few weeks for my son to get cleaned up." My Dad said while I was paying Mike.
As soon as we left the shop my Dad turned to me and said, "This summer, I won’t buzz you like when you were a kid, but your hair will stay short. This is the longest the top will be. I had him leave the sides with nothing so you remember what happens when you leave it to long: you get nothing."
Later, I would find out that from now on I was to keep my hair at least this length if I was on my own. If the top was any longer, he’d take me back and I’d be shaved bald.
But after talking to my dad, I got in my car ready to go home. As I was getting in a gust of wind came by and I felt it on my head. It really hit me how short my hair was, and how short it was going to get.