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Conversations, September 1979, Pt 2 by Archon 2
Please read Part 1, and enjoy!
Conversations, September 1979, Part 2
"Calm down Steve.”
Dave was somewhat exasperated by his best friend, who had been at his most annoying since they met up at lunch hour, and then through the bus ride and walk home. And Steve didn't even stop at his house, which was up the street from Dave's. No, Steve walked with Dave down to his house, through the front door all the way to the back French doors which went out to the patio area in the back yard. And then, almost immediately, Steve ran from chair to chair in a frenzied manner, asking "is this the one” as he pointed to each chair, and then he picked up a folded towel from another chair and studied it closely, finally pronouncing that "I can't tell if this was used…was it the one!?”
Again Dave told his friend to "calm down, or else go home.”
Steve, of course, was too hyped up, and kept asking that Dave "spill it already, what happened here after I saw you and Mike this morning…it happened here, right?”
"Yes it did,” replied Dave. And then he went to one of the posts that held up the patio overhang to take the fold-up chair that was against it, pronouncing that "this was the one that I sat on.”
"Oh man, tell me” begged Steve.
Deliberately taking his time to unfold the chair and placing it near the table, Dave then sat down on it and told the story to Steve. "So it was pretty nippy this morning, remember? When we got home, Mike told me to take a shower then meet him out here on the patio. He wanted to talk about something, and we had time before school, so I went and showered. I had forgotten—again—that I had been clipper shaved at the DLI barbershop, because as I stepped into the stream of water…when it touched my head I remembered that I no longer had the flat top. Curious feeling, how different it was, even though my landing strip was wide because the top was so short and bare…still, a clipper shave in the shower feels a lot different than a flat top, no matter how short it is. You know that when Mike told me he was taking me to get a haircut, I thought he was just treating me to get my flattop shortened into a high and tight beveled flattop like he wore now.”
"Yeah, I know that already” interrupted Steve, who continued with an abbreviated version of the story so that Dave could get on with what happened in the morning, "Mike told you that your father talked to him about your haircut deal, and that your father wanted you to get a ‘short military' haircut again, and that Mike's current haircut was a great example. But instead of you getting a high and tight like his, Mike tells you that he—Mike—decided that you didn't earn the right yet to wear a high and tight like his since you complained about being forced to wear a ‘military haircut,' and you certainly didn't wear an induction cut for at least three months, like Marine recruits do throughout boot camp.”
"Imagine that, Mike saying that to me!” interrupted Dave. "Man, I thought I had heard everything, I couldn't believe that he thought I wanted to get a high and tight flat top!”
"Well you did, didn't you” asked Steve. "Or at least you want one now…you talked so much about how you were so confident walking around with Mike and his buddies, and how everyone looked at you guys with respect…and how you wouldn't mind having a high and tight and looking like a Marine.”
"Ok, I admit it. I wouldn't mind having one now…but I did get pissed off that Mike, my own brother, was making me get an induction cut again…and that I had to keep it for at least 3 months before I could get a high and tight like his. And maybe it was that I was really angry at him for getting our father to let him decide on my haircuts. But now, I guess I'm ok with it. I mean, after all, I didn't have to pay for it, like the last time I got an induction cut. But that old disappointment came back when it was my turn in the chair, and instead of my telling the barber to give me a high and tight flattop like the others—well, to tell the truth, I'm not sure if there was enough length on the top for it to stand up at the front—I have to hear my brother tell the barber to give me an induction cut, with the shortest blade possible. Just like I was a little kid again, and not a young man who was choosing to wear a high and tight haircut! Nope, back to the same old listen to the barber and do exactly what he says, ‘head down,' ‘put your head back' and just feel the clippers race over my head. And this barber meant business, probably used to give lots of induction cuts; he held my head quite firmly, pushing it from side to side as he gave those directions. Then he dusted off my head with a brush! Well, I guess it was ok. as Mike and his buddies each came over and rubbed my head…they all agreed I looked just like they did at boot camp! Wow, I had forgotten how ‘bald' I looked with an induction cut. White scalp and all. Then they didn't allow me to put on my beanie as we walked around town and went down to the wharf. I think everyone was impressed. I liked that a waitress came over and rubbed my head, remarking that I was a ‘handsome young recruit.'”
"I still wouldn't like to have a high and tight, even if the girls liked it” said Steve, "but,” he continued "it seems like you made quite an impression at school today. So enough about Saturday and Sunday, tell me about this morning!”
With a smile on his face, Dave spun out the details about what happened when he came out to the patio after his shower. Taking the towel from Steve, he continued "Well, I came out and Mike was sitting at the table, and he had put this chair out which he motioned me to take…and then he threw me this towel and told me to wrap it around my neck. I saw that he was setting up a clipper set that I didn't know he had…so I made the logical conclusion that he was going to give me a haircut. When I asked him if he wanted me to wrap the towel around my shoulders because he was going to give me a haircut he said ‘no, it's because your cold…what do you think?' that I got a little scared.”
"Come on Dave, get to the good part!”
"Hold on Steve…alright, I'll try to hurry, but we had a conversation that went like this:”
"Me: You have clippers? And blades?”
"Mike: ‘Clippers need blades. And yes, most of us have clippers so that we can tighten up our sides every week, or when we need to. A lot of us give each other their haircuts between trips to the barbershop. I wouldn't mind a clipper shave all the time, but high and tights seem to be the haircut of chose for Marines.'”
"Me: So you're going to give me a clipper shave…now? Do you even have a short enough guard? The barber said he used the shortest one possible, and it's only been a couple of days. Besides, I don't want to go to school…well you know, right after I get a haircut.”
"Mike: ‘Yes, I know all about your fear of Mondays, after a haircut on the weekend. Sure, I hated Mondays as well, but I am going to help you get over it.'”
"Me: By giving me a clipper shave just before I go to school? Remember, Mike, my fear of going to school was just not on Mondays. Remember that time when dad picked me up from school in the morning—your school was off that week—and he took us to the dentist, and then afterwards he took us to the barbershop for a quick haircut? And I had to go back to school after lunch with a short butch—I think we both had regular crew cuts back then—and I had to face everyone? Even the teacher laughed at me getting a haircut.”
"I remember that,” exclaimed Steve, "boy that was fun…for me!”
"Shut up, Steve. Now let me finish.” Dave continued:
"Mike: ‘Yes, that must have been bad. But now, you're grown up, and since dad wanted me to help with your discipline, I'm going to treat you to a haircut here and now. And then you're going to school as if it was all normal for you to have your haircut.”
"Then,” continued Dave, "Mike tells me to bend my head over towards him, and he puts his freezing hands on my head…at which I pulled away, but then he grabs my ear and tells me to be still…or else! Of course, I'm not happy with being treated again like a kid who is getting his head shaved as a punishment; but on the other hand, it's kind of cool that my big brother is giving me a haircut. So then he digs the clippers hard into my head, and I tell him to ‘ease up' or he'll cut the skin off my scalp.”
"You don't need to dig in or push the clippers hard to the scalp, especially when you're almost bald already,” observed Steve, who was now listening intently while marveling at Doug's head. "I don't see any skid marks on your head, or chunks missing, so…”
"Yeah, he let up on the clippers, though I'm sure that was a red spot for a little while,” Dave said as he continued "So there I was, with my head in one of his hands, with these humming clippers in the other hand, slowly peeling away what little hair I had one my head. I mean it was falling just like dust, and as I saw if blowing away with the cold and freezing wind I felt on my head as it was being shaved, I sensed that something was just a little different. So I asked Mike what blade size he was using. And then I found out something…”
"Tell me,” begged Steve.
"Well, it turns out that my clipper shaves weren't really the shortest that they could be. Um, not that sure about last years—what blade size they were—but last Saturday's clipper shave seemed as short, as Mike told me that he had actually told the barber to only use a triple ‘0' blade size. And it turns out that Mike had a five-zero blade, and he was using it on my head.”
"Five zeroes?” "Wow, no wonder…”
"Wait, Steve…there's more,” began Dave, who then continued with "So Mike tells me that he guesses it was just good luck that I had never really had the 5-zero treatment…then when he's done he tells me to rub my head. And you know what? Instead of that almost sandpapery feel when your hair is really short, I only felt what seemed like mostly skin, almost smooth with just a hint of sandpaper. I knew that I was really bald at that point. But then Mike tells me that he's not done. So he brings out what looks like a little version of the clippers which he calls an edger…and an electric shaver!”
Steve was almost bursting when he blurted out "An electric shaver! Like the ones you use to shave your beard!?”
"The very same,” replied Dave. Shifting now and unwrapping himself from the towel, he continued "So Mike asks ‘which one do you want me to use' and I tell him ‘neither, my head is already bald,' but Mike tells me to ‘lean my head over again, or it's the real baldie treatment for me with lather and razor,' so I lean over and he uses the electric shaver all over my head…then he tells me to lift my head up, as he get up and uses the shaver again as he's standing behind me, pushing my chin down and then kneeling down to do each of my sides. Just like a home haircut. Then he tells me not to rub my head or look into a mirror as he's wiping off my head with the towel…and then tells me to put a shirt on that he brought for me, a ‘buttoned shirt so that I don't have to put it over my head,' you know, so that I don't get to feel how short it is. Then he walks me straight to his truck in the front, where he has already put my books and stuff in. Asking me to close my eyes and not look in the mirror, he drives me to school…right to the front where he parks. Then he tells me to take some of this lotion that he has—with sunscreen for protection since I am not allowed to wear a beanie or hat—and he tells me to put it on, and tell me how short he thinks my hair is. Well, as I smeared the lotion on I could tell that I was nearly bald…so I told him ‘probably I'm bald,' whereupon he tells me to look in the mirror. Well, I did, and you know what I saw. A skinny kid with rosy cheeks and a nearly shaved bald head…well, it looked bald. Then Mike tells me to get out, and he gets out so that he can walk me through the parking lot to the near the front entrance, and then he puts me in a headlock and rubs my head, telling me that if others think I'm bald, just let them rub my head and they might just feel some hair there…in front of everyone at the school”
"Oh my gosh…that is wild” remarked Steve. "I can't imagine what was going on through everyone's head that was there…you showing up bald with your Marine brother who had a high and tight flattop.”
"I made the best of it, trying to act like it was normal. I mean, after all, I did have a short crewcut for the first week of school, and there were a lot of kids in high school that didn't know me before, so to them it might just be that I got all kinds of different short haircuts because I wanted to be like my brother. So I said to him ‘hey Mike, thanks for the ride and the haircut,' I love it, see you soon' as I rubbed my head and smiled.” Then Dave added, "oh, by the way, where are my manners” as he bent his head down to Steve so that he could rub it.
Chuckling at Dave's gesture, Steve reached over and rubbed Dave's head, adding "yeah, you know I've wanted to do that all day…and now, it's like you have 5 o'clock shadow, I can just feel the little hairs, just like sandpaper. Too bad I didn't get to rub your head when you were bald.”
Grinning now, Dave announced to his friend that "well guess what, Steve. Mike told me that he has enough time in the mornings before classes that he's going to stay here this week every night to ‘supervise me in the morning.'”
"Yes, Steve,” replied Dave, who then told Steve that "Mike was going to make sure that each morning I ‘shave' my head with the electric razor before going to school. And, I'll let you do it tomorrow Steve, if you're a good boy.”
Excitedly, Steve replied "You bet I'll be over…just to watch would be OK. Hey! Why don't we practice now?”
"You mean on you, Steve? We'd have to shave you down first with the 5-zero blade,” taunted Dave.
"In that case, I'll wait till tomorrow,” replied Steve, laughing at the idea of being bald as well. Then Steve added, "Can you imagine the two of us, being bald in High School? What would everyone think or say?”
"Well it was an interesting day,” replied Dave. "Lots of comments, and Mike was right, it's becoming easier for me to have a short haircut. I hate to admit it that he's right…though I don't want to be bald, or have an induction cut for that matter. I want a high and tight now, just to try I guess, but what I really want is to be allowed to choose for myself. It's funny; I am ok with Mike shaving me bald to teach me a lesson—and don't tell him or my dad, but I think I look good being bald or with short haircuts—but still, to just be allowed to choose. I mean, I could never escape from the ‘military haircut' when my father had to go to Germany on his last assignment. Remember my mom just continued to take us to the barbershop. And now my own big brother is deciding on my haircuts. Just wish things were a little different.”
"Me too,” said Steve…”it's actually easy now being in High School with my ‘Stevie Crew,' maybe it's because we've all miraculously grown up during the summer, or that I'm more comfortable with having to wear a short haircut. But, I still want to decide…and you know what? I might just want to get a high and tight as well…just once to try it out!
Dave reflected for a while, and then said, "Well, at least I got some interesting compliments from some girls, and some others. To tell you the truth, it was an interesting day at school, from the moment I walked in through the front doors.
"Tell me about it,” inquired Steve.
End of Part 2
Part 3 coming soon, the ending to the Conversations series of stories. Hopefully you like them!