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Pen Pal by Jerrod


Colin and I had been corresponding since high school. It all began when I had to obtain a pen pal for my French class. His letter came not from France but Ireland. This surprised me since I had not expected a letter from Ireland. I did receive a letter from a pen pal in France for my class work. Pierre my French pen pal and I conversed back and forth for a couple of years. Then all correspondence stopped. Whereas, Colin and I wrote to each other on a regular basis. We seemed to have a lot in common and have shared with each other for sixteen years.

We have both wanted to meet in person and hoped one of us would get a chance to visit. Time went on and we just never seemed able to find the time or have the finances to travel across the Atlantic. That is until now. I received a letter from Colin telling me that he was coming over. It was all part of a business trip but he would have time to travel the U.S.A. But was most eager to hook up with me. We had sent photos of ourselves over the years. Once his arrival date was set I was eager to meet him finally. I would pick him up at Atlanta.

The day was soon here. When I suddenly realized the last photo I had sent of myself was entirely different from how I now looked. In that picture I had sent I had a full head of hair, thinning some, but no less a head of hair. Now here I was going to pick him up with a cut he had not seen me with. I had been shaving my head on and off for the past year or so. But never told him I had shaved my head. My hair was at present a very short buzzcut to say the least.

I began to wonder how he would even recognize me without my hair. All I xcould hope for was that the photo he sent of himself was a recent one. I waited at the airport for his plane to arrive. And just wondering if he would recognize me. Finally, his flight arrived. I watched eagerly to see if I spotted him. With all the people getting off it was difficult. I decided to have him paged and meet me in the lower level. I was uncertain if I would know just who he was.

Much to my relief the attendant whom I asked to page him arrived with Colin. He had the hair as was in the photo he had sent me several months before. Except it was somewhat longer than in the photo. On seeing me his mouth dropped open and then he responded I would have never recognized you, your hair is so short. We went to get his bags to take to my car. Thank goodness he travelled light, only two bags plus his carry on.

Once to my car and loading in the bags were were on our way to Charleston. Where he would be staying for a while with me. The conversation began with me asking how his flight had been. But it then turned to the subject of my hair. Colin wanted to know how long I had been cropping my head as he called it. The term was unfamiliar to me but I soon relaized what he meant. I explained I had been keeping my head shaved on and off for a little more than a year. Colin asked me what is was like to have a shaved head. I had to admit to him I found it to be quite an experience and actually preferred my head shaved.

We stopped for a bite to eat and a cold drink since the weather was quite warm and humid. Colin remarked it rarely get this warm in Ireland. I chuckled and explained this was not unusual for April here. He then asked me if that was the reason I shaved my head. I told him not really but it does help to keep me cool. He answered really. We talked some more about all the years we had written to each other and what our countries were like. I am glad we both spoke English, although his brogue and speech at time was confusing to me as mine was to him. He picked up right away on my southern accent, though I am not a southern by birth being born and raised in the west. That is another story.

Once again the topic of discussion turned to hair. Colin wanted to know if I shaved my own head or if I had it done. I told him both. But now I do it myself. He seemed to be deep in thought and then turned to me and said I would like to get rid of all this. I could not help but ask do you mean buzzed like mine is now. He began laughing heartily and then replied no I would like to try a head shave. By this time we had arrived at my place and got everything of his out of the car. I was sure Colin was tired from the flight.

The drive was hard in all the heat and I was ready for a rest. But not Colin he was raring to go. He was evidently really feeling the heat because he wanted to go to a barber. And for none other than to get his head shaved. As for me I needed a cleanup. I agreed to take him to my barber. Once there I introduced him to Sam my barber, who himself has a shaven head. Nobody was there. Sam had him take the chair and asked how he wanted it cut. I already knew what Colin was going to ask for. He said to Sam just like yours. Sam laughed saying now this will be a change are you sure. Colin was positive about it. I watched as his brown hair was buzzed from his head and fell to the floor. The buzz looked fantastic on him. Colin responded Bloody good mate, let`s go for the one and all. I was amazed at the difference once Colin was shaved bald. Sam said next and I once again had him shave my head smooth.

Colin`s head was so pale I told him he needed to get some strong sunscreen and develop a rich tan. He agreed it was important not to get sunburned on his head. I noticed he could not keep his hands off his freshly shaved head. He kept saying it felt so good. I told him it looked great. He said it sure does mate, I may never go back to having hair again. During the month he spent with me I managed to give him a tour of this area of our country. Colin enjoyed every thing he saw and was amazed at the similiarities of our two countries. Before, we knew it was time for him to get down to business. But he promised he would call on his way back home.

The time passed quickly and Colin called telling me taking a flight home in two days. I agreed to meet him at his hotel near the airport. On th way over I thought to myself I wonder if he still has his head bald. I had returned to shaving my head daily and before he left on his business he had mentioned he was keeping it shaved. On my arrival at his hotel he greeted me. And yes, Colin was still a baldy just as I was. We both laughed then he offered to take me to dinner. I was gald to share these last few hours. Then it was time for me to go. But I did promise that I in turn would find a way to get over to see him. That I promised. Then he was gone and on his way home. He did write me and tell me everybody loved his new look especially his fiancee who wants him to keep his head shaved. Well, I will see if he does when I get there.



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