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A Whiff From the Past by Dave


After a long, hard winter, it was great to be walking outside on a warm spring day, birds singing, and the spring flowers blooming. I hadn’t been out in over a month. I am a writer, so winter months when I can’t get out that often, I find myself thinking and writing more.

What a beautiful day! I found myself ‘shedding’ my sweater soon after my walk had begun. Oh! I do indeed enjoy the winter, but there is something about spring that gets my blood circulating like no other season. I guess it is the rebirth of life - trees budding, spring flowers bursting forth, as I said before, the birds singing, etc. I even enjoy walking along and seeing people sitting on the benches in the park.

It wouldn’t be long before I would begin my summer chores: mowing the lawn, which I love to do. I love the smell of fresh cut grass. There is always the trimming of the bushes of their dead material from the harsh winter, get the garden plowed and ready for planting. All in all, I think Spring is my favorite season.

Well! As I was walking down the street, I thought about my hair. It had been several months since anything had been done to it. I go to a Uni-Sex place and have it cut. It sure is costly…$45 for the cut and then you have to have all of the extras, special shampoo, conditioners, treatments, etc. When I leave the place, I find that I have spent over $150 on one haircut. WOW! I hadn’t realized how much I was spending without really thinking about it.

All of a sudden, a young man came out of the barbershop and looked like he was the happiest person in the world. He was rubbing his head and smiling. When the barbershop door opened, out came a ‘whiff from the past.’ Instantly, my mind rushed back to my childhood when dad would take me to the barbershop. I remembered the smell and the fact that I loved to go to the barbershop. I loved to sit and watch the barbers as they freed the guys of their hair. It was fun watching clumps of hair fall to the cape or to the floor. Sometimes the longer hair would float to the floor like a feather falling to the earth.

Suddenly I found myself stopped in front of the barbershop and asking myself why I had switched to the salon and why I was paying out all of that money. For What? Gradually over many months, I found that the stylist was having her way with how I looked. As I stood there, I found the answer to why I had switched from the barbershop and barber to the salon and a stylist. When I as in high school, I had to be with the in crowd and the boys were going to stylists and going for the longer cuts. Yes! The gals loved the longer hair on the boys. We’d do anything to attract the girls and we didn’ t even mind the extra expense of the shampoos, etc. that went along with the styling of the hair.

At that point in my escape into the past, another whiff came past my nose and I found myself drawn into the shop. My head was whirling with the smell of the barbershop. I stood there facing a young barber, Clint, with a most winning smile. He invited me to his chair and I didn’t hesitate one second to accept his offer. As Clint was putting the cape on me, I noticed that he was using a white cape with tiny dark blue pinstripes. The salon where I got my hair cut before, used a bright purple cape. For some reason, the white cape also brought me back to my childhood. I began to relax and take in the ‘atmosphere’ of my surroundings.

I was so engrossed with everything about this place, that I didn’t even realize Clint was asking me what he could do for me and I replied, “just like yours.” Clint began to comb my hair and then I heard clippers approaching my head. Again, I hadn’t heard that sound in all of these years. It was a sweet sound to me. All of a sudden I could feel the clippers making their way up the back of my head and over the crown. Before I knew it, a ‘cloud like’ mass fell down across my face and onto the cape. I looked and saw a big pile of golden curls on the cape. When I saw the second large clump of curls hit the cape, I realized what was happening.

I have to say that I enjoyed seeing the golden curls pile up. All too soon, the clippers were silenced. I tried to see what Clint had done, but there were no mirrors. Just as the clippers were silenced, another pair of clippers came alive and they made a very light humming sound. Clint was working more closely now, beginning on my right side. Slowly he made his way around my head and then the top.

Finally the cape was loosened and a brush was working its way across my neck and then the forehead. I felt so relaxed but wanted to see how I looked. There was no doubt about it, the long, blonde curls were history. Suddenly I found myself being lowered to the sink and my head was washed. The warm water sure did feel great on my head. Just as soon as my head was washed, I felt another sensation, that of something smoother and warmer than the water was being applied to my head.

Then I as sat up and safety razor was gliding down the back of my head. I sure did enjoy the feeling. It didn’t take but another swipe with the razor, that I was off into another dream world. In no time, Clint was putting on more lather. It felt hotter than the first. Clint looked down at me and said, “I see you are enjoying this haircut.” I smiled and said, “You can shave my head all day if you want to.”

‘SHAVE MY HEAD!’ Suddenly I realized what was happening. I looked up and saw that great smile on Clint’s face as he ran the razor across my head from my forehead to the crown. I couldn’t believe how wonderful it felt. I found myself saying, “AH!” Clint said, “Now I know you are enjoying yourself. I’ll go slow so you can take it all in.”

All too soon, the shaving stopped and a warm, moist towel was wiping my head free of any lather. A warm, dry towel was then applied. It felt so good. I thought I was outside standing in the sun. Little did I know that is what I would be doing in a few minutes. Clint continued to work on my head. He put some kind of warm liquid on my head and gave me my first head massage. No sooner had I gotten used to the warm liquid when something cool was added to the head. Now my head felt so slick.

All too soon, the chair was turned towards the mirror and I couldn’t believe what I saw. There I sat with the most brilliant shine one could ever imagine. It was at that moment that I realized Clint also had a brilliant shine on his head. I couldn’t help myself, I had to feel my head.

I got up and paid Clint and gave him a handsome tip. I asked Clint if he sold the products he used on my head to get such a shine. He laughed and told me his secret. As I left, I thanked Clint. When I stepped out into the sunshine, I was amazed how comfortable and energizing the sun was hitting my bald head. Just a half hour ago, I was walking down the street with a full head of blonde curls about my shoulder. Now I began my walk forward with a smooth, warm, soft, and shiny bald head. For some unexplained reason, I felt like I was walking on Cloud 9.

Suddenly I realized I had found the hairstyle that suited me. I loved the feeling and the comfort. I couldn’t wait to show my friends, the ‘new me.’ I was never so happy with a haircut than right now. I knew I would get all kinds of questions. All I can say is that Clint led me into a new world and I loved it. I couldn’t wait to get home and give myself a head shave. I knew I was going to enjoy it.

Each day I walk past Clint’s shop and hoping that I will be once again treated to that ‘whiff of the past.’




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