New Sensations by BaldSurfer
Tony unwrapped the warm towel from my head and used it to wiped away the last dabs of shaving cream left behind. He spun the chair around to face the mirror and there I was, completely bald for the first time. Damn, it looked good! I hadn't expected it to look so different from my usual #1 buzz, but to me the change was obvious. I'd wanted to try a real head shave for a long time, and with summer starting, it seemed like a good time to just do it. And I didn't expect anybody else to care, or even notice. I rarely went more than 2 weeks between haircuts, because when you have a #1, a week after you cut it, your hair is twice as long as the day you cut it. To my friends and family, they always referred to my short buzzcuts as a "shaved head" anyway. And because I always kept it short, I didn't have that dramatic tan difference between my face and my newly shaved head. So this was just something I wanted to try, and there was no angst, no drama, no anxiety. I told Tony to shave it completely, and he did, and as he brushed away the stray hairs off my neck, I looked in the mirror and liked the difference this small change had made. Then I reached up and touched my bald head. It felt alien - the skin was slightly numb, tighter against my skull so it didn't move like my face. And while it didn't feel like stubble, you could still feel that hair was still there, just below the surface. I always loved the feel of sharp stubble of a fresh short buzz, but this was even better, almost electric in the sensation. I paid Tony and headed out the door.
The sunshine and heat hit me as I walked back to my car. I could feel the sun beating down on the newly exposed skin. Even the slight breeze felt new. I got in the car, dropped the convertible top and put on my aviator sunglasses. I looked at myself in the side-view mirror, still a bit surprised at how noticeable the change was, but liking how it looked.
I got back to the apartment and my roommate Carl was on the couch, drinking his coffee and watching Sports Center. "What do you think?", I asked as I walked towards him and he said "I think the Marlins need a decent pitcher!".
"No. What do you think about my new look? I got my head shaved."
"Yeah. Don't you do that every couple weeks?"
I tried to explain the difference, but to Carl it wasn't any big deal.
I changed my clothes and went to the gym for a workout. There were a few other guys who worked out at the same time as me who had shaved heads and as I walked past one of them and said hi he said hi back and made no mention of my new look. I expected some kind of "welcome to the brotherhood" but got nothing.
I put weights on the barbel and laid down on the bench to bench presses. The vinyl felt cold and a little clammy against my bald head, and with each rep, I felt a tingle as my head moved slightly against the vinyl. When the set was done, my head clung lightly to the bench as I tried to sit up. As I moved on to incline presses, I was sitting up ad could see myself in the mirror as I exercised. As I pushed the weights upward and my face contorted with effort, my tight scalp above my forehead barely moved. With each exercise, I kept watching myself in the mirror, discovering new subtleties of my new look. As I began to sweat, I felt beads run down all sides of my head. I used my small towel often to mop it away before it ran down stinging my eyes or drenching the workout bench.
When I was done, I headed to the shower. I laughed to myself as I grabbed the soap from my gym bag but left the shampoo behind. I turned the water on and as soon as the temperature was right I stepped into the stall. I seemed to feel every droplet as they sprayed down on my head. I soaped it up and marveled at the slick feeling. And the soft glide of the towel as I dried my bald head was both convenient and comforting. And my t-shirt slid easily over my head as I dressed.
When I got back home, I went down to the community pool. I dove in and as the cool water rushed around my bald head, I felt more in tune with the water than ever, Now I understood why swimmers shave their heads for big races. As I laid down a chaise lounge to catch some rays, I was careful to use sunscreen to protect the virgin scalp. But none of my neighbors made any comments about it. Why did it seem so different to me and not to anyone else?
And so Saturday went. The world felt new with my freshly shaved noggin, but nobody noticed. Not at home, not at the bar with my buddies. Even when I pointed out that I'd shaved my head bald for the first time, people either thought I'd always been that way or just didn't think it was a big deal. That night, when I went to bed, my head hi the cool down pillows and was enveloped in the coolness.
When I awoke Sunday morning, I walked into the bathroom, still half asleep and was startled by my reflection. In that drowsy state, I'd forgotten what I'd done but as I saw myself, those wonderful sensations came flooding back. I raised my hand to touch my smooth scalp, but was instead met by the sandpaper feel of stubble over my head. I still LOOKED bald, but it felt nothing like it did just the day before. I have a pretty eavy beard, so I don't know why I was surprised by a day's growth, but I was. I hadn't really thought about the idea of maintaining the completely shaved head, so I just decided to get dressed. But as I pulled my T-shirt down over my head, it caught like I was dragging it through velcro. Where was that breezy glide? One day and already I knew the difference between shaved and not shaved. Maybe my friends couldn't see it, maybe that last 1/8 inch meant nothing to them, but to me, even this nearly invisible day's stubble was completely different. I suddenly missed the smooth sensitive tingling feel of a freshly shaven head. So I pulled the shirt back off over the field of velcro, stepped into a hot shower with razor and shaving cream and for the first time, shaved my own head.
The strokes came naturally as I pulled the razor up the side, against the grain, then from front to back across the top. I probably spent more time finding and removing the tiniest of rough patches than I spent on the first overall shaving, but when no stubble remained, I got out. The towel again slid easily and, after a dab of moisturizer added a shine, my shirt practically fell over my bald skull. As I ran my hand over my smooth shining pate, it was even smoother than the barber's shave, more sensitive, more alive and completely smooth.
All at once I realized that, no matter whether anyone else would know the difference, I couldn't imagine ever letting even one day's growth to come between me and the world around me.