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Joey and the Start of School Cut by Reconjonboy
Joey did not mind the fact that he and his Dad shared many things in common. In fact, compared to other guys’ Dads, Joe Sr. seemed pretty cool to hang out with. He always had extra cash in his wallet for a last minute outing with the guys for golf or pizza or the latest action film. And best of all, when he did go with the guys, Joey and his friends, they knew they could relax and be themselves. Language was locker room dirty, jokes were plentiful and they could even talk about the girls or boys they were dating or wanted to date. Some of Joey’s buds were straight and some were out of the closet like him. Joe Sr. and Joey’s Mom had long ago accepted his uniqueness and his sexual orientation. School would begin in just a few days. Joey was in the family room playing videos when Dad walked in from work. Joey paused the game looked up and knew s**t was about to hit the fan. Dad had cut his normal business cut down to shaved recon style flat- he only cut this when school was about to start. Joe Sr. was assistant principal at Joey’s high school. Joey thought maybe this year would be different. It was his last, he had already made application too many colleges and his prospects for next year in a music conservatory to study composition looked good. “Hey Junior!” Dad greeted Joey with this special name and rub of his newly shaved head. “Hey square head!” Joey laughed a half-hearted laugh. ”Guess what? My old buddy, from school, Grant is back in town in a new barber shop across from school. Don’t you think he did an amazing job on my back-to-school cut?” Dad asked Joey. “Yeah, I was thinking after you let it grow all spring and summer you might grow it out for the school year too, Dad.” “I had been thinking that way too; this cut is kind of severe—but running into Grant like that and he reminded me how great my head looks with a flat, so 45 minutes later I emerged from the chair shaved and perfect. Would you like to start a trend in the senior class?” Dad was joking; Joey prayed! “Thanks, but no thanks, Dad. I kind of liked this longer crew with bumper for myself. Besides, Tim really likes it this way too.” Joey was speaking of his new friend; he hoped they would be a couple before long. “Well, I do not mind a little longer hair on you Junior, but that bumper is so juvenile, like you are 10 years old again.” Dad was reminded of the summer and school year cuts he wore as a boy burr with a ½” bumper and waxed up with Lucky Tiger. Joey was thinking of all the hot models he was scoping on the net with longer crews and 1-2” bumpers gelled to perfection. And of course the perfect length he was sporting at the moment. It was inevitable that Dad would make him get cut- it was a bit shaggy on the back of his neck and near his ears, but only three weeks ago it had been low faded by DJ, the hot young barber that all of his friends, especially Tim frequented. Tim had a faux-hawk all summer and with his blond hair, golden tan and perfect smile, it really suited him. Secretly, Joey had hoped to grow one himself by Thanksgiving. His dark brown hair with auburn highlights would make it super too! Snap—back to reality. “I told Grant to expect you on Saturday. You cannot make appointments, but since he is new, the wait should not be too long. You are to tell him you are Joe Jr. and he will make you look smart.” Sometimes Dad used words like smart as the Brits do; he had done graduate work in London and all these years later the words sometimes crept out. ‘Smart,’ Joey was scared what that might mean to a new barber and one who was an old friend of Dad’s. Well, like he could do anything about it; just have to wait until Saturday. Joey immediately called Tim on his cell. “Hey, hot stuff!” Joey said. “Hey, yourself stud!” Tim replied. They talked about regular stuff for a while, caught up on each other’s day and then Joey got the ball rolling. “Dad is making me get my ‘back-to-school haircut’ on Saturday at the new shop by school.” Tim answered, quickly, “Yeah, I thought I saw him coming out of there when I was leaving football practice today. He looked really different. A flattop, right? Actually, he looked about 10 years younger and at first, I am embarrassed to say, I was kind of checking him out.” “Gross, what did you think? You could carry on with father and son together?” Joey laughed and so did Tim. “He does not want you to get that severe shaved flattop, does he?” Tim asked. “He asked if I wanted to start a trend at school. I told him ‘no thanks.’ You actually thought he looked HOT? That is just wrong man. He is like 42 years old. Totally gross!” Tim started laughing harder. “I was kind of checking him out—I do not need another Dad, but if I got to select, he is pretty cool most of the time.” Joey thought for a minute, “Let’s hope he was cool when he told Grant how to make me look smart!” They exchanged love thoughts and hung up. Next day after football, Joey picked Tim up. They went to dinner, Dad had offered Joey extra cash for school clothes shopping and suggested that he and Tim should go and have dinner on him first and then do the shopping. He was old enough to select his clothes and his parents trusted him. Mom secretly gave him her Visa to get a few extras and something nice for Tim. ‘They really do like him,’ Joey said as he got in his car, ‘and I really like him!’ They ate at a family owned Mexican restaurant, careful to order items with similar ingredients so the later night make out session would not gross either one of them out. Joey drove to the mall and they shopped for two hours. Lots of shirts, some jeans and new undergear. For Tim, Joey slipped in a new fragrance and some tight black pants with a dress shirt and tie. He always had to dress up on game days and never had enough stylish ties and tight dress pants. They were light and playful enjoying the day and each other’s company- after all; it was the last Friday night before school started. They met up with friends at the end of the shopping and stopped for a coffee together. Then all decided to go back to Joey’s for some poker. Joey’s parents were so cool about him just having a group of friends over with no notice and they ended up six guys playing poker till 5:00 a.m. Everyone had taken the caution to call home and say they would be staying over. So, after Joey’s Mom’s breakfast casserole and more coffee, they caught some winks on the guest bed and floor of Joey’s room. He and Tim dozed arm in arm. No sex, just holding tight for a couple of hours. ‘I am really lucky,’ Joey thought as he rubbed Tim’s perfect hair, now messy and cuter! At about 9:00 a.m. Dad tiptoed in and woke Joey. “Hey Junior, get up now, Grant is expecting you and you may not start school with shaggy hair.” “Dad, we just got to sleep a bit, ago,” Joey half-whispered back. “GET UP NOW SON!” Dad’s voice growled and everyone in the room was instantly awake. Dad left after he saw Joey get out of bed. Tim sat up and said, “Where are you going, we just fell asleep and I was having such a perfect dream,” and he winked. “Gotta get a haircut, remember?” Joey said as he brushed his hair for the last time in its cool state. “Well, guess I will go with you and maybe get a cut too,” Tim said. “No, your hair is so hot right now,” Joey replied and gave it a tousle. “Nah, I am going. I can tell you are worried about him giving you a flattie and maybe if I am there it will be ok,” Tim got up and dressed as he said this, showing his deep dedication as a boyfriend. “Great, thanks, “Joey said as he kissed Tim. Upon learning where Joey was going, all five guys decided to join him; either out of moral support, or because they need a trim as well. They piled in two cars and drove the short distance to Grant’s. There was no one there and no one waiting so Joey hopped right into the chair. He shook Grant’s hand and introduced himself and his buds. Grant was in his early 40’s like Joe Sr., but with chin strap burns and a super tight fade. The top of his hair was maybe a 1 or 2 blade on the Osters with a bit left longer in front lying flat against his forehead. Joey said, “I think Dad told you how to cut my hair. I think I would like a fade like you have, but without the burns. ““Well, Junior,” Grant began with a nod and wink, “I do not think my haircut is what your Dad told me to do.” “How did you know to call him Junior,” Tim asked watching as Grant tightened a clean blue and white stripe cloth around his man. “His Dad said it would put him in his place and maybe calm him at the same time. I do not disobey parents, so let me tell you what Dad wants me to do to you. I am supposed to give you a long Flattop, not shaved like his, and longer in the front. He said the landing strip…” “Joey interrupted, “What the f*** is a landing strip?” Grant laughed and rubbed the center of Joey’s head. “I take the clipper with closest blade 00000 or razor and lather like I did on your Dad.” “Aw, hell no!” Joey stood up. Tim came over and whispered in his ear. “I really think it looked hot on your Dad and I know I would love it on you. Think of the things I could do on the landing strip!” “Ok, Grant, Tim has convinced me- the longer flattop with no landing strip will be ok for a while,” Joey answered and smiled at Tim. Grant took the clippers and came around Joeys left ear sending a small pile of hair on to the cape. ‘Well, I guess it will be really short,’ Tim thought sadly and with some mix of excitement. Grant dragged the clippers now in a horizontal line straight back from Joey’s temple to the back of his head. A wall of hair came down and all the guys watched intently. Andy, one of the straight friends said, “ You know if this turns out cool, I will get one today, too.” Tim spoke up and said, “I am getting one anyway—cooler for football practice and I know I am going to love it!” Grant smiled, “I knew if one or two young guys would try this classic cut, it would spread.” Just then, Mike, another friend with them, noticed the autographed pic of Chris Mullin in his old Pacer uniform with perfect flat. “Did you cut this guy when he was with the Pacers, Grant? He looks amazing in his flat.” “Yes, sure did,” Grant replied. He kept working and brushed all the loose hair off the left side with a hard stiff brush—it kind of hurt in a weird good way. On came the clippers again and Grant removed the right side. At this point Tim stood up to caress the cleaned left side- “Man, that stubble is so hot! Are you going to let him shave it smooth babe,” he asked Joey. “Do you think I should, I mean that is really severe! “ All of the guys in unison, chimed in “Yes, do it, take it down. If you will I will.” Grant smiled and said to Joey, “Smooth, then?” “What the hell, might as well go all the way,” Joey replied somewhat sadly. Grant forced Joey’s chin hard onto his chest and ground the clipper blades into his nape. He plowed all the way to the crown and a bit past. “No landing strip, Grant,” Joey said quickly fearing it may be too late. “I understand, Junior,” Grant replied. Three more passes with the clippers and they were turned off again for a good thorough brushing of the whole lower half of Joey’s head. Then Grant took warm shaving cream and rubbed it all over the top of Joey’s head. “What are you doing? I do not want my whole head shaved! “Joey shouted at Grant. “I am just getting it to stand up and this works really well,” he replied. Grant picked up a blow dryer and the brush again and made the top all stand erect. Then he stood in front of Joey and aimed the clippers just behind the very front of his head and stared to level it off on top. In about five passes it was pretty sharp and the other guys expressed their approval and excitement as they had all decided upon this cut today before leaving. Grant waxed up the top and took an edger and flattop comb and trimmed the top in miniscule amounts until it was perfect. “Damn, that is so cool dude,” Tim told Grant and Joey. “You are going to love the way you look.” Grant then drew off a lot of hot lather and massaged it all over the sides and back. He sharpened his straight razor and removed it all so quickly; Joey was convinced he would be bleeding. Then Grant took a wet, hot towel and removed all the lather; he gave the top a wipe of the towel and then re-waxed the whole thing and combed it perfectly into place. “Ready to see the new you?” he asked Joey. “Guess so,” Joey replied. He whipped off the cape, handed him a mirror and turned him around to the big mirror. “Well, what do you think?” Grant asked him. “Should I go back and tighten your landing strip?” he asked Joey. “No, I think it is short enough and that I look just like my Dad. I hate it, I think,” Joey answered. The other guys said words of encouragement and told him how great it looked and besides, in a few hours, they would all look the same. Misery loves company. Tim hopped into the chair. “Make it exactly like his!” And Grant got going. At the end of the two hours of cuts, the guys left the shop, flattopped, happy, even Joey and talking about when they would return for a trim.