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Marv Finishes the Job by Lox

I got to the point where my hair was absolutely driving me crazy, especially the floppy forelock which almost always was obstructing part of my vision. When the wind whipped it up, I could hardly see anything at all apart from a glow of shimmering carmel-colored tresses! Oh sure, the long hair was really sexy. Chics always raved over it. And that's why I supposed it lasted so long. Constant positive reinforcement – "you've got such great hair…most men can't pull off long hair the way you do…really sexy!” Yes, they were desperate to get their paws into it and stroke it. And, that's probably another reason my mane went unpruned for so long – nothing quite like the feel of wind through your hair on a motorcycle or just running my fingers through it to brushing it back from my face, as was my constant habit.

But that day, I sort of snapped. Just had enough….trying to carry a heavy box into the building and the hair was uncooperative…in a big way. And long! As I stumbled in the hall, the forelock dangled like a dense veil and I could feel it tickling my upper lip. After wrenching my back in the dark, trying to find the light switch without setting down the box, I stumbled into my apartment and sunk into the sofa to recover my strength. Perspiration dripped down my forehead dampening the long mane.

As I sat there, I pawed away the bothersome fringe from my face. And then it occurred to me. Enough of this ridiculous nuisance! I need to cut this mop. Have it all chopped off! I felt the silken hair that hung in dense tresses from my crown. Get in line at the bootcamp barbershop and have it all stripped off! That would shock all my friends, particularly the gals, to show up with a tight crewcut! And to think of the luxury of rolling out of bed or stepping out of the shower with zero hair care every morning! Goodbye hours under the blow dryer and whopping bills at the salon!

I tugged the forelock straight down to see how long it was. Yes, the mid-section reached down to my mouth. Above all, that needed to be cropped. No mercy, please, just chop away at it. Then it occurred to me that was something I could do myself with a pair of scissors. Do it right then and there, no trip to a barbershop necessary! Ten steps from exactly where I was sitting was a pair of shears and ten steps beyond that a big bathroom mirror. I resolved that I would not leave the apartment again until the irksome bangs were clearly out of my eyes. Four or five snips with the scissors and I'd be relieved from the pain of hair across the line of vision. The rest could stay – at least for now. I needed to get all the boxes out of the van and into the apartment.

I pushed the forelock back, running my fingers through the heavy mound of hair that fell abundantly past my collar in back. That part too would be cut a lot shorter, but by a professional. Yes, I would take it off the eyebrows in front and someone else would take it off the collar in back – mid-ear on the sides. It could stay a bit full, but much of the bulk would be removed to give me a more conservative overall look.

I reflected for a few minutes, making sure that this is what I really wanted to do. Yes, it would be good riddance….watching the long strands of carmel-colored hair fall down into the sink as I cut them off at the eyebrow. Then I stood up. My heart beat more quickly as I walked towards the desk where the shears lay. Then I snatched the cold, silvery instrument that would be used to boldly slash away my dreamy forelock. My heart began to pound. I felt a bead of perspiration form as I strode into the bathroom. There I saw my long hair in its full glory under the beaming spotlights that brought out to a max the fiery highlights.

I set the scissors down and picked up my well-handled brush and firmly pulled the veil of hair forward. A heavy pad of hair blocked much of my view, but I could still locate the scissors, and I picked them up.

The nervousness I felt walking into the bathroom suddenly morphed into frenzied excitement as I raised the shears toward the doomed fringe. Off the eyebrows would indeed be short! Did I really want that? Why not beneath the eyebrows, just clear of the line of vision. It might be an easier way to transition from a long to moderate hair length.

I opened and closed the shears a few times, trying to come to resolution on the length. The cautious approach would not be nearly as much fun as a reckless plunge of the shears into the dense tresses. What a thrill it would be to see a huge clump of shimmering carmel-colored hair fall into the sink and the pathetic remains of truncated bangs in the mirrored reflection of my surprised face. Jagged and short! No, the chopping would happen above the eyebrows! I would be bold and reckless. In fact, to ensure a thrilling makeover, the shearing would begin inches above the eyebrows!!

And without a single additional thought, I plunged the shears into the pampered hair, smack in the middle of my forehead, and clamped them shut. Sheer exhilaration shot through my body as I saw a massive clump of hair fall into the sink. It was about six inches long. My body trembled at the site. I feared to look up to see what was left.

Slowly, I raised my eyes to see the damage. I large chunk of hair was missing from the front – like someone had kicked out my front teeth! Oh my goodness. I looked at the short strands above the missing piece of the puzzle. The bits fell no more than two to three inches in length.

Then I felt a warm glow and sense of satisfaction. "You did it!!” I told myself in a congratulatory tone. The overgrown forelock was as good as history. Quickly, I raised the shears and continued cutting away the long bangs. The thrill of watching huge clumps of pampered hair fall into the sink was overwhelming.

And so I psyched myself up to go even shorter with the bangs. Oh yes, I was going to do it. Now that the momentum was on my side…. One inch! That's all that would remain of the forelock. One inch. I ran to the desk and got out a ruler. As I measured down from the hairline one solitary inch that two thirds of what remained for the already very short bangs would be pared away in the second round of my forelock reduction project. I felt absolutely giddy as I made a mental note at just how short a mere one inch would be, especially when I contrasted the short stubs to the helpless long shorn hanks that lay in the sink. Virtually nothing of the forelock would survive my close encounter with the shears that afternoon.

Very carefully and deliberately I cut away the bangs, so that only the shortest whisp of an inch fell like a jagged edge at the very top of my high forehead.

When I finally stopped cutting, I took a deep breath and let out a nervous laugh.

What in the world had I done to myself?! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I set the scissors down. Then my hand instinctively reached down to feel for a last time the silky forelock as in lay in tatters in the sink. It was such pretty hair. But I quickly reminded myself, it had been such a nuisance!

After being lost in thought a bit, I looked up from the sink full of shorn hair. It instantly hit me. I looked ridiculous with the bangs chopped off near the hairline. People would think my forelock had been sucked into the shredder and decimated in some sort of freak office accident. I pawed at the stubs to see is something could be done to make them appear longer. Then I tried pushing them back to find somewhat of a normal looking style. Nothing worked with the stubs. And they screamed out in such a contrast to the thick mounds of hair that tumbled around the other four sides of my head. I concluded that I could not even go out to a professional. I would be too ashamed to take a seat and have to tell what had happened.

Maybe Marv could help me! He was a friend who fancied himself an amateur barber. Marv continually chided me about my long hair and often begged me to let him cut it. Marv was going to have his chance after all. He was going to fix the mess!!

"Marv, come over here right away and bring your barber stuff. I'm ready to let you have a go at my hair, to cut it as short as you want!” I babbled over the phone.

"Danny, is this a joke?” Marv asked incredulously.

"Not if you get over here now. I promise. You'll see when you get here,” I said breathlessly and quickly hung up the phone.

Then I ran back to the bathroom to see "what I had wrought”. There was some comfort in the sick-sort of feeling that swept through me. I was finally going to get a short haircut. Knowing Marv's enthusiasm for the clippers and giving traditional barbershop styles I knew that what was in the sink would be a mere fraction of the shorn hair once Marv finished his job on me. His enthusiasm for very short hair was the main reason I would not even let this good friend of mine give me a "trim”. To many other of the guys had fallen for this and gotten shorn down much shorter than they bargained for.

I took out a mirror and surveyed the back of my hair. Everything looked normal. Healthy, shimmering, long, to-die-for hair! No collar in sight. Soon Marv would have me under a cape and be driving the clippers into those treasured tresses. The mental image that I conjured up in my mind suddenly excited me….just like nervousness that had morphed into excitement when I first pranced into the bathroom toting the shears along!

Marv would be given free reign! Nothing would be said to discourage him from clipping me down. The only words I would utter would be encouraging him to cut it all off extremely short. I might get my crewcut after all!!

Well, that was my initial feeling after hanging up from talking with Marv, but it didn't take long for me to start getting a bit jittery about my impending transformation from very long to very short hair. To think that Marv was en route to my very apartment at my request, toting a huge pair of electric clippers, started making me nervous. Why had I put this whole thing into motion? I felt my long, soft hair in back and then the short stubs in front. Nervousness morphed into queasiness. I glanced at my watch. Within 10 minutes Marv would be knocking on my door. What could I do? Run away? He would eventually find me. No, I would have to face him and try to convince him to leave it as long as possible.

I found a baseball cap and pulled it on. Glancing in the mirror, it was the old me again! The pretty hair spilled out abundantly around the sides and back. I could just wear a hat for the next six months. Why not?

Knock, knock, knock. My heart skipped a beat. Answer the door, or exit through the fire escape in back.

"Danny, are you in there?” came an impatient, rather excited call, followed by another round of knocking.

"Coming,” I replied as I moved reluctantly to the door.

And there stood Marv, beaming broadly, clutching a small bag….the cape, clippers, everything that would be deployed against my treasured hair.

"What's with the cap? Take it off and let me get a look at the problem,” he said almost gleefully.

Slowly I peeled away my fig leaf, almost like I was stripping off my clothes in a public park. Marv's broad smile bloomed into a hearty laugh. "My, my! What in the world happened….?” He was as happy as could be.

I started babbling away about deciding to trim my hair and then my hand slipped and well… Marv shut me up by directing me into the bathroom so that he could get to his work. I felt extremely nervous as he ushered me back, picking up a desk chair to complete his makeshift barbershop on the way. He was taking charge, and I was going to have to resign myself to being on the receiving end of a very short haircut.

The sight of my ridiculous haircut as we entered the bathroom took the edge off my sick-like feeling. Slowly, all my previous thoughts about the advantages of short hair began trailing back into the forefront of my thinking as Marv had me sit down on the chair to prepare for my haircut. All the instruments came out and then the cape was cast about me with a flourish. He so much enjoyed this opportunity, something he'd waited for so long…

He began brushing my long hair and surveying it carefully. "What a lot of hair you have back here,” he said, grasping the thick lock. "The funny thing is that generally, a fellow's bangs should be longer than the rest of his hair. Meaning….all of this….I sure glad I brought the clippers! And to think you told me that I could cut this as short as I wanted to!”

"Well, what I meant was….”

"Quiet!” Marv snapped as he fastened the cape into place. The tight band around me neck silenced me. Marv plugged in the clippers. All the advantages of shorthair I could think of were ushered into the forefront of my mind, preparing myself for a radical makeover. Marv forced my head forward, so that my chin came close to my chest. Then I heard a click, followed by the moderate hum of the clippers.

If you can't beat them, join them….I told myself. "Give me a nice tight butch cut!” I gasped.

"With pleasure,” came Marv's reply. Then my head was pressed forward and the clippers were unleashed. Mounds of my glossy hair was vigorously stripped off. Marv fiercely moved the clippers up the back of my head and then drove them through the crown. Hair was falling everywhere. My stomach lurched from fear and excitement. What in the world had I done? Then the clippers were brandished towards my face and they struck the short bangs taking them off at the scalp. As Marv pushed them through the dense thatch, I realized that the end of my long hair was almost accomplished.

"Ready to see the new you?” taunted Marv. He held up a hand mirror to introduce me to a totally different me. Nothing longer than peach fuzz was left on my scalp. Marv playfully rubbed the bristly pate. "Now that's what I call a nice TIGHT butch. Enjoy it!”

`Nice!` I replied instinctively. I had hassle-free hair for a welcomed change.

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