Simon Says - Part I by P.J.
Simon Says - Part I
I was standing in the aisle with all the hair clippers, shears, and assorted hair cutting implements at the beauty supply store. I needed a new pair of clippers and all the reviews had given the Oster cordless XXX model high praise. Trouble was I couldn't purchase them at Wal-Mart or target. I had to come to a beauty supply store. If you'd told me last month I'd be standing here searching for the Osters I'd have called you Loco. When my bed bud Jamie had announced he'd taken a job in Tennessee and would be relocating I was shocked but happy for him. We'd been haircut buddies since we were kids. I'd forgotten that he was the one with the clippers until I looked in the mirror last week and realized I'd have a plane ride for a haircut from now on, unless I purchased all the necessary gear myself and started cutting my own. I Thought, why not, there were lots of guys who did it. I'd watched dozens of YouTube videos depicting how to do just that. If they could do it why can't I? That's what led me to be standing here today.
It felt weird standing in this type shop though. I felt like I was breaking all the stereotypes. A tall strapping auburn haired guy standing in a beauty supply store, yikes. I thankfully located the coveted Osters, and was just reaching for them when another guy walked down the aisle I was in. Oh, crap, busted, I thought. Oh, wait a minute, my brain finally kicked in, he's a guy too, hmm, what's he doing in here. I took a closer look as he walked towards me, his eyes frantically scanning the shelves, not noticing I was staring at him intently. He was tall, well built, and had thick, sunny blonde hair, wavy, and long, almost to his shoulders, and a heavy bang shank that kept sliding over his right eye. He either gave the Justin Beiber head flick, or ran his hand up into it to push it out of his eyes. Wow, what a mop I thought to myself. I ran a hand self consciously through my own shaggy mane, pushing my thick bangs further back off my face. Mine wasn't as long as his, only just covering my ears completely in the last week or so, and gently curling down below my collar, definitely needed cutting. I withdrew my hand, acting like I was undecided, to see if he came any closer, and what was he searching for. He walked up next to me, paused, and smiled a greeting, nodding his head slightly. He was scanning the shelves intently again, he reached for the coveted Osters, Oh crap. Ah hah, he murmured. Great, they do have them. I sagged, this was the only pair on the shelf. S**t!.
Are you sure you want those, I asked politely. Oh, Yeah, he replied enthusiastically. These had the best reviews of all of them, for being cordless . Yeah, I'm looking for those too I said. Bummer man, he said smiling again, there's only the one pair here on the shelf. Are you a barber by chance I asked, hoping I'd at least be able to have him use them on me at his shop. No, he said, the smile disappearing. My haircut buddy moved away several months ago, witness the shaggy mane, he said, running his hand through the plush shaggy curls, and I desperately need to get this mop cut. I decided to take matters into my own hands this weekend and go out any buy myself a set of clippers and see how it goes. Ah, another sad buddy tale I said. What's that, he said looking back at me. My haircut buddy moved away last month. I only realized last week, he took all the gear with him. I need a cut too.
He extended his right hand, my names Simon, he said. I shook his hand, I'm Jed, I replied. Well Jed, Simon said, what's the possibility that I could persuade you to come to my place and try these out? Simon remarked, I'm pretty good with clippers, these shouldn't be much different, only that their cordless. He eyed my mop and commented, I wouldn't really say you need a cut with them, though, your hair looks cool as it is, maybe just trim it up a bit and give you a neck shave though. You could turn these loose on me though, he said, smiling. That is if you have any experience with clippers of course. I studied him for a few seconds. Well Simon, I'm pretty good with clippers too, my haircut buddy always like to be clipped up tight, usually some kind of crew cut variation, sometimes a butch, and once even an induction cut. Yikes, Simon said, running his hand into his plush thick bang mop again, I'm not into anything quite that short. I like a bit of a tapered look, long on top he said, suddenly a bit concerned. That's cool I said, I sure I can cut it any way you like.
Simon spoke again, tell you what, it's almost noon(today was Saturday by the way)how about you come over to my place after dinner tonight and we'll see how it goes, you take care of me first, and if you're comfortable, I can give you a trim. Hmm, I thought to myself, that would still give me time to reconsider and back out. This was a quite sudden and unexpected turn of events to say the least.
Sure I said, sounds good. We exchanged cell numbers, Simon gave me his address, and we went our separate ways. There was one more beauty supply store in the city, I decided to hedge my bets and check there, if they had the Osters, I could still buy them, and it would take the pressure off contacting Simon tonight if should I have second thoughts.
The other store did have a pair, I purchased them, and headed home. Now what to do, I thought, I could try these out, see how I do, and cancel with Simon. Hmm, that would leave him to clip his plush mane by himself though. I'd really like to have a go at that mop though. I thought to myself. Was that being fair I said. I'd deprive myself the experience of clipping his plush mane down, possibly convincing him to take it really short like I used to clip Jamie. I argued with myself for the rest of the afternoon, while whipping through my household chores. Dinner time came and I got something quick from the freezer and nuked it. Now, moment of truth, I said to myself, are you going to take the plunge? I picked up my cell, dialed Simon and heard it ring, after the 4th ring, I said ah, well, maybe he had second thoughts. Just as I was about the end the call, he picked up and said, Hi Jed, I was hoping you'd call. Hi Simon, I'd like to take you up on the haircut offer, if it's still open that is. I can be there in about a half hour, will that work? Sure, Simon replied, I'll be ready.
A half hour later I was being ushered into Simons townhouse. Wow, nice place, I commented. Thanks, I'm still filling it up, when Brad moved, he took his stuff with him, so I've had to replace a few items to make it feel like home again. Ah, gives you the change to personalize it though, I replied. Sure does, he commented back. Come on through, I have everything set up in here. He led me through the master bedroom into a spacious bath, old fashioned desk chair sitting in front of a huge wall to wall mirror. All the hair cutting gear laid out on the counter, including the coveted Osters. All charged Up, I asked, picking them up and testing their heft. Yup, haven't tried em out yet though he replied, pushing his thick bangs back again. Thought I'd leave the honors to you. Wow, thanks, I said quietly, taking a good look at his plush mane again. He caught me and smirked. Freshly washed and dried, no product in it, he said, shaking his head. He flopped into the chair.
O.K. he said , the cape is on the counter there, let's get it around me and get started. All right I replied, shaking it out and flipping it around his head, letting it settle gently into his lap. he had sterri strips and everything, I noticed. I commented, wow, you have all the barber gear don't you. Oh yeah, he said, his reflection smiling back at me in the big mirror. We used to play barbershop to the hilt he replied, looking a bit menoncholy. Ah, I see, I said, as I taped and capped him. I picked up the barbers comb, and began to comb out his thick mane. It was still damp, good, I thought. Oh, man, Simon, wow, you have great hair, bud. Thanks, I guess I was blessed with good genes, I don't really do anything special, this is the real me. Um, Hmm, I murmured, when was the last time you two played barbershop. Gee, let's see, its almost 3 months now, no actually closer to 4. Wow, this really is a grow out then I said, combing his thick bang shank down over his face. It almost touched his lips. Yes, it's usually about half as long as this, maybe a bit less, trimmed around my ears, and a slight taper at the nape, thick and full for the rest up top. Oh, man I thought to myself, this was going to be a blast. Especially if I could convince him to go shorter than what he'd just described.
Well, I can certainly handle that, I said, running my hands through his thick bangs, and wriggling them into the thick bulk hanging below his nape in back. Grabbing the thick shank at his nape, I said, this all comes off then? Yes, he groaned, I can't wait, I thought after Brad left, I'd just grow it out, I have before, but its getting hot out already this season, and I just don't want to deal with the awkward phase now. Since its getting warmer, have you ever considered something a bit shorter, I purred, running my hand up through the thick curls on the back of his head. Maybe taking this all down to a taper for the summer, leaving the thick thatch on top. I felt Simon stiffen and squirm as I rested my hand on his shoulder. Well, ah, no, never, until you mentioned earlier today at the shop about giving short clipper cuts.
Do you think it would look O.K., I'm a bit self conscious about my big ears and head shape, that's why I've kept it nice and thick above the nape, if I'm being honest, Simon explained. Well, I purred again, it would be shorter, to be sure, but I wouldn't be shaving it all off, just tapering it up instead of trimming it shorter. I could leave the taper a bit longer too if you're unsure.
I grabbed the new Osters, and said, let's get started reducing this bulk, and see where we go, 'eh. Simon got a somewhat surprised look on his face as I grabbed the Osters, clicked them on, and plunged my other hand into this thick curls hanging down below his nape. I parted the dense bulk, and let the clippers touch down on his nape. I gave a quick flick up and bzztt, a handful of sunny blond curls came off, rolling down off his shoulder and into his lap. His nape now clearly exposed, I made to take the next handful of soft bulk off, and Simon said wait. What, I said, looking up at him in the mirror. What guard do you have on those he asked, panicking. Oh, right, I replied, none at the moment, but I'm just removing the bulk here along your nape, and giving you that slight taper you wanted. He thought for a minute and replied, Can you put a #4 on it please. O.K. sure, but I'll have to come back and clip the bottom again to make it blend with what I just cut. Yes, I know, he replied, a worried look on his face.
I snapped the clippers on again and ma
de to attack the thick curls , Jed... Simon called out. Yes!, now what, I said, getting a bit impatient. He said, tentatively, take the clippers up to my O bone please. What, sure, O.K., don't have to ask me twice for that I thought. I plunged the clippers in and made a slow deliberate pass up the middle of the back of his head, rolling out at his O bone. Ungh, Simon moaned, god that feels like a lot of hair. The handful of soft blonde bulk came away in my hand, I reached around and dropped it in Simons lap. That's because it is, er, was, I said quietly in his ear. I loved the soft dense velvet the clippers left behind. Wow, Simon, I said, this looks great, let me do the whole back and then we'll see what you want to do. Without waiting for an answer I ploughed up the next path, I let that mound sit on his shoulder for a few minutes, I'll push the whole back pile off at once I thought. I finished buzzing up to the O bone in back, except for the one clipper nick of the no guard, the rest looks amazing I told him. It was a bit darker than the longer hair I hadn't clipped yet, a nice contrast I thought to myself. I took the guard off, and finished up the bottom bevel across the whole back. There, I said, wow that looks like a good start. Simon was clearly not sure about what had just happened. Really, you're sure, he said quietly, eyeing the huge pile of curls now in his lap.
Without saying a word, I flicked the clippers on again, and plunged them in around his left ear. I carved a wide arc around his ear, catching the huge handful of curls as they came loose. His ear now fully exposed, I dropped the handful into his lap, also pushing the rest of the mounds off his shoulders from the back clipping. Good God! Jed, that's a lot of hair I see coming off. Well....you have, er had quite a bit to lose back here I said, remember? I passed my hand up the soft velvet where there was 4 inches of soft curls a minute or two ago. Oh, yeah, I forgot, Simon groaned. The short soft bristly stubble felt heavenly.
I repeated the clipping around his right ear, more soft blonde curls onto the cape. Oh, man, Simon groaned, maybe this haircut thing wasn't such a great idea. You're clipping me right down, this is the shortest my hairs been since I was a kid. I don't know if I like this. He studied himself in the big mirror as best he could through his still long shaggy bangs.
I decided I better cool it with the close shearing , at least for this first meeting. I put the clippers down, picked up the comb and shears, and proceeded to reduce the remaining hair on the upper part of the sides and back a tight taper the rest of the way up to the parting all around. More long curls rained down onto he cape. S**t! Simon barked, are you leaving any hair on my head man!. Yes, yes, relax I cooed. You look great, don't worry. I ran my hand through the thick dense thatch on the top of his head, lifting the heavy bang mop up momentarily. God Jed, that's short! Simon barked when he got a clear look at himself in the mirror.
Not really, I cooed again, it's just that it was so long before, man. Now what do you want me to do about all this I said, wriggling my hands in his top thatch, it felt divine. Um, well, I guess you'll have to take it down a bit, given the length of the sides and back. S**t, I don't want it cut super short though, Simon barked. You've taken off twice as much as I though you would already. God. O.K., O.K., I said soothingly, I'll just cut this so you can see I said, slipping the shears in at his eyebrows and quickly chopping off about 4 inches of thick heavy locks.
Simon groaned again as all that hair hit the cape. Wow, was all he could eek out this time. I took my time clipping the whole top down, lopping off at least 3 inches all over, reducing his top to a hot looking choppy dense pile.
I hadn't dampened the top this time, so when I combed the thatch forward again, and ruffed it up, it pretty much was how it was going to look, sans product of course. At that point I noticed that Simon had shaving foam and a straight razor laid out on the counter too. I put a large dollop on my hand, dotted his side burns and wiped the rest on his nape. He got really quiet when I picked up the straight razor, and I think he held his breath while I scraped his nape clean. I had left the cut blocked all around, instead of tapering so it looked a bit grown out. I cut his sideburns up quite high, only leaving a bit of a drop off the top of his ear. Quite a change from just longer than the bottom of his ears to start with.
Wiping the excess shaving foam off I eyeballed the matt finish pomade. I took a small amount, warmed it up in my hands and worked it through the heavenly dense thatch I'd cut on top. I left it finger combed, pulled up just a bit off his forehead. He'd been watching me intently in the mirror ever since I'd chopped off his bangs. There, how's that, I said, smiling at his reflection. He turned his head side to side a couple of times, pausing to check out the short sides. You don't have a hand mirror do you, I said quietly. I can show you the back too, then. He reached a hand out from under the cape, ran it up the soft dense pile on the back of his head, and said, no I don't but I can imagine what this looks like, just from the close clipped feel of it, and seeing the sides. Wow, Simon smiled, saying, you know, I was ready to kill you when you clipped around my ears. I was furious, I'd have never told you to cut that all off like that. Hmm, I said, but your smiling, I'm confused. I love it! Simon said. Its way shorter than I wanted, but it looks great. I undid the cape, and he stood up, the huge pile of soft curls sliding to the floor. God that's a lot of hair he said. I know, but I sensed you wanted something different but weren't really ready to ask for it. I hope I haven't screwed things up for becoming your new haircut buddy. Hmm, Simon studied himself in the big mirror, up close this time. No, Jed, he replied, you came dangerously close, but no, I think there'll be a next time, maybe not for awhile, but definitely yes, there'll be a next time. He kept rubbing his hands up the soft bristles in the back and smiling.
Now, sit man, it's my turn with the clippers Simon said smirking at me.
See Simon Says part II for Jeds cut.