Last Chance by BaldSurfer
Surfer Dave and I had been friends for 2 years already when we moved into the apartment we'd be sharing for our senior year in college. I wouldn't say tat our long hair was the reason for our friendship, but it was a symbol of our shared rebellious streak that really made us good buddies. Sure, there were plenty of other long haired guys at school, but we were the only ones amongst the Finance majors. I'd worn my medium brown hair past my soulders for as long as I could remember. It had been this way since I was 12 or 13. I usually tied it back in a pony tail, for ease and comfort, but when I really wanted to impress girls, I'd wear it down and flowing. Women seemed to love the look of my long lustrous hair. Surfer Dave's look was a bit more extreme. He had always worn his hair in long dreadlocks. Towards the roots, what I assumed was his natural color was a dark blonde, but the bulk of each rope-like dread had been bleached by the sun to a golden blonde. Dave said that there were lots of guys with dreads where he livd in Florida, but here at school in St. Louis he was unique. Some girls liked it. Others immediately wrote it off ass dirty-looking. But Surfer Dave didn't care what anybody else thought, and did what he wanted, and when it came to hair, he wanted his dreads.
One night in November, we were sitting around the apartment, drunk and stoned after a long night of partying and Dave said, "Dude, you realize we have to start interviewing for jobs next semester. And you know what that means, right?"
"It means we have to pretend to be grownups," I chuckled drunkenly.
"No, Dude. Worse than that. We have to LOOK like grownups. If we want jobs at a good banking firm, we're going to have to look the part, and that means haircuts."
I guess I'd always known in the back of my mind that I'd have to part with my long locks when graduation came, but Dave made me realize that I'd probably have to cut it much sooner, before interviews started. I asked Dave if he had decided when he was cutting his hair and if he had any idea what style.
"Yeah, that's the thing. Dreads are pretty much an all or nothing proposition. I'm gonna have to shave it all off and start over. So I guess, when we get back from Thanksgiving break, I'll shave my head so I have time to grow something back. It's cool though. I mean, I'll get to shave my head. That's pretty radical. It'll be fun."
I ran my hand through my own hair and felt a twinge of nausea run through me at the thought. I figured I'd have to get some kind of shorter "style" but my buddy was going to have to shave his whole damn head. It didn't seem to bother him, but the thought of it scared me to death and it wasn't even my hair. And then he said it. "Dude you ought to do it with me! Let's shave our heads together as soon as we get back!"
I told him no way. I was honest and told him I just didn't have the balls to do it.
"Have you ever had a shaved head? No, of course not. Hell, you probably never even had a buzzcut. Me neither. And we're going to get straight-laced jobs at some conservative company and we're going to have to look like everybody else for the rest of our lives. This may be your last chance to try something like this. I know I'm not going to miss the chance!"
I told him I'd think about it, but by the time I woke up the next morning, painfully hung over, I barely remembered any of the night before. The weeks passed, Thanksgiving break came and went and I got back to the apartment late on that Sunday night. Surfer Dave had gotten there before me and seemed oddly excited to see me after such a short break. "Dude, you're back! Sweet! I'm pretty stoked for this! Are you in or not?"
I had no idea what he was talking about as he ran out of the room into his bedroom and came back carrying a black plastic case. He dropped the case on the dining table, took off his t-shirt, pulled a chair from the table and sat down. With a big smile on his face, he sid, "OK, dude, let's do this!"
"Do what?" I asked and he replied "It's moment of truth time, bro! We're shaving our heads!"
Suddenly that conversation came back to me and I knew what was about to happen. I told Dave I wasnt shaving my head and he just laughed. "Whatever, Dude. We're definitely shaving mine. And I'll bet you that you change your mind. But let's get started. I'm pretty psyched to do this. I bought that kit. It should have everything you need."
I opened the case and saw shiny new chrome plated clippers, a variety of black plastic attachments and a pair of barber scissors. Dave suggested I should use the scissors first and cut off the dreads as close to the scalp as I could. After asking again if he was really sure, I grabbed the scissors and cautiously raised a dread on the side of his head. I expected it to feel rougher, more like rope. But it felt like soft hair, not much different from my own pony tail. I placed the scissors close to the base of the dread and slowly closed them as they cut through the inch thick strand of matted hair, as the scissors clicked shut, the hair fell loose in my hand. I felt sick, even though it wasn't my hair. I handed the 18 inch hank of hair to Dave who just smiled and said "Cool. Keep going!" One after another, I sliced through the golden ropes of hair, and as hard as I tried to keep it all even, the remaining hair I left behind was patchy and uneven. A few minutes later, I sliced off the last dread. Dave looked terrible, with motley looking dark blond chopped up hair - some hair half an inch long, other patches practically bald. Dave didn't even want to get up and look in a mirror yet. Instead he told me to plug in the clippers and "finish it off".
I plugged them in and asked Dave which attachment to use. He said "None, Dude" and so I simply turned the clippers on and placed them at Dave's forehead and pushed backwards. The clippers easily plowed away the remaining hair, leaving bare white scalp in its place. Dave had gotten tan when he was home in Florida, so the newly exposed scalp glowed even whiter by contrast. I couldn't believe that my friend, who moments ago had long golden dreadlocks, was quickly transforming into a bald guy. He was still smiling broadly and when I'd sheared away the last bit of hair and turned off the clippers, he reached up and ran his hand over his scalp. "Feels radical! C'mon, let's go look!"
I followed him into the bathroom and watched as he stared in the mirror, smiling at the transformation. He ran his hand over it again and said "Almost done. I gotta do one more thing, then we'll do yours" Before I even had a chance to repeat that I wasn't cutting my hair yet, Dave dropped his shorts and underwear, grabbed his razor and shaving cream and jumped in the shower.
While he was in the shower, I went back to the living room to clean up. I was holding a fistful of dreads in my hand and with my other hand, held my own pony tail. How odd it felt to hold so much of someone else's hair in one hand and my own at the same time. Why was Dave so eager to do this? What would it feel like? Maybe Dave was right. If I didn't do it now, I certainly wouldn't get the chance once I was in the corporate world.
As I finished cleaning up, Dave emerged from the bathroom in his boxers, his head now completely shaven smooth. Light reflected off it and it looked strange but cool. And Dave was still smiling. "Dude, you gotta feel this!" He grabbed my hand and ran it over his gleaming scalp. The skin was tight and smooth, but you could sense the tiniest hint of the stubble just below the surface. In that one second, something in me snapped. I had to try this too! Dave laughed and said he knew I'd cave.
I took off my shirt and sat in the chair. Dave undid my pony tail but quickly gathered all m hair in one hand, and retied it but centered at the top of my head. "I saw a guy on YouTube do something really cool and I want to try it. I'm gonna scalp you, Dude!" I asked what that meant and he simply said trust me.
I was nervous again as the clippers roared back to life. Dave placed them at the bottom of my sideburn and pushed upward. My bushy sideburns rained down buts as Dave carfulle pushed the clippers higher up the side of my head, nothing fell.Stroke after stroke, I felt him push the clippers up through my hair. I felt it detatch from my head and then it felt like it was back. He worked his way around to the back, still pusshing the clippers in upward strokes to the crown, He worked his way to the other side until the last stroke that started with the remaining sideburn. My hair was still there, though. It felt different but was still there. Dave came around to the front. With his left hand he grabbed the base of my pony tail at the top of my head and pulled it tight. He placed the clippers at the right corner of my forehead and pushed backwards. Then he repeated the motion again and again. As he pulled the pony tail upwards, each succesive stroke lightened the weight of the hair on my head until with one final stroke, it all came free in his hand. The cool air hit my head all at once as he dropped a bound hank of hair over 2 feet long in y lap. I just stared at it, my entire head of long hair, my trademark since my teens, was now a lifeless bundle on my lap. Cautiously, I reached up and felt only scratchy stubble where my hair had been just moments ago. Dave was beaming with pride as he urged me to take a look.
I looked into the bathroom mirror and couldn't believe what I'd done! I didn't look like myself anymore. The dark stubble was more visible than Dave's blonde had been, but I still looked almost bald. And my pasty white winter face had hardly any contrast with my bald skull. At Dave's urging, I showered, lathered up and began to shave it completely bald. It felt odd to shave up the sides of my head, then across the top. But I kept going, and even after I finished, I went over it again and again until I'd eliminated all trace f stubble. If this was my last chance to be bald, I wanted to be BALD. When I was done and looked in the mirror, I liked it even better now that it was completely smooth and shiny.
Dave and I laughed as we talked about the experience and how we both loved these shaved heads. We decided we could probably get away with keeping them shaved until Christmas break and so we did. All the stuck up conservative Finance majors gasped when they first saw us bald. I loved the attention.
When I got home for Christmas break, my head shaven that very morning, my mother shrieked when she opened the door. My dad laughed and siad I looked like an idiot. And my friends back home had a good laugh. But then I had to start growing it back for interviews. Dave and I both had a hard time resisting the urge to shave it again. But when I started interviews at the end of February, I had an inch of hair, and it was neatly combed as I entered the room in a suit and tie to meet with Mr Edwards from Nirst American Financial. I walked into the conference room and a man rose to greet me and shake my hand. Mr. Edwards looked sharp in his expensive grey pinstripe suit, but I nearly gasped as I saw his gleaming head, shaved completely bald. In the suit and tie, he looked like a powerful executive and his bald head didnt seem "radical". I tried not to stare, but it was obvious that he'd been losing his hair, since there was only stubble visible on the sides. But I smiled, thought about the inch of neatly combed hair on my head and realized that maybe this hadn't been my last chance...