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Conversations: May 1980 Pt 3 by Archon 2

Author's Note: Part 3 in the series, so please read previous parts first. Thanks!

As the rain had stopped to a drizzle when John's mother pulled up at Dave's house, Dave went with Steve straight into the backyard, to see if anything could be done that day. Just before John and his mother left, they firmed up their plans to go to the movies, and Dave had suggested that his older brother Mike might be able to take them, if he can over that night. Otherwise, they'd find some way to get there.

When Dave and Steve rounded the bend into the back yard, Dave remembered to put his beanie back on, and pulled it down so that it covered his ‘tram lines' that had been shaved into the back of his head. The more he thought about it, the more Dave thought that it had been a big mistake to get them even though they were ‘cool' and ‘rad,' and Dave really liked how they looked. No, it was probably a mistake because his father would probably not approve. And that wasn't the only issue, as Dave's haircut was done at a Salon! It was still short, with lots of exposed skin, but there were little details besides the tram lines that screamed ‘styled.' There was the skin tight taper of his sideburns and temple area, which contrasted with a look of ‘softness' on the sides and back that, while as short as if they had been cut by clippers, didn't have that crisp and uniform look—and the haircut, when looked head-on, looked more ‘square' than it usually did, something that Dave really liked. So for now, it was best to keep his hat on, and hope to catch his dad in a good mood.

At first they didn't think anyone was in the backyard, but as they turned another corner they saw Matt, Dave's younger brother, coming their way. "Hey Dave, back already? Dad is wanting to talk to you…he's kind of angry that you left some of the tools out, and it rained. I was just out here making sure everything was put away.”

"Hey Matt,” said Steve as he suddenly pulled off Dave's beanie and continued "like our haircuts? Guess where Dave got his at?”

Turning quickly to take back his beanie, Dave gave Steve an angry shove adding "Dammit Steve, what the hell is wrong with you? I don't need this right now.”

Steve just laughed though, as he was entertained by Dave, who was hurriedly trying to use his fingers to comb his hair back into place and keep Matt from getting a good look before he could put his beanie back on, and by Matt's knowing look that something was just not right.

"Woah, new barber at a new barbershop?” guessed Matt, who then looked at Steve closely and decided that "well, Steve's haircut looks the same.”

"That's because the ‘Stevie Crew' is famous, and everyone has to learn to give them, at every barbershop. BUT, your brother got…”

"SHUT UP,” said Dave to Steve, and then turned to Matt and said "Hey bro, can you please help me out. I went with a friend to a Salon because he wanted us to go with him as he got a short haircut, and I then had the stylist give me a haircut as well. I guess I could have got it cut again at the barbershop with Steve…but, I like it. What do you think…will dad be OK with it?

Matt then took a little time to look it over, giving a ‘what the hell' when he saw the tramlines, but in the end he told Dave that "looks like any other haircut you got at the barbershop, except for the lines in the back. What's the problem? Anyway, I thought dad let you decide on your haircuts now.”

Now a little relieved at what Matt said, Dave nevertheless had to remind him that his father had specified that he was supposed to go to the barbershop every two weeks to get a haircut. "Maybe I'm making too much of it as he didn't say ‘barbershop and not a salon,' I'm kind of scared that he might not like my haircut simply because I went to a salon…and the tramlines, of course.”

"Well blame Steve, isn't he the one that talked you into it?” asked Matt.

"Wasn't me dude,” said Steve defensively. Hey, Steve didn't want Dave's dad to get mad at him.

"Where's dad?”

"In the house, doing stuff. He probably heard you guys come in…might be waiting for you now,” answered Matt, adding "hopefully the roof sprung a leak so you can keep wearing your beanie.”

"Oh thanks for the help, Matt,” responded Dave, who then turned towards the house so that he could face his dad. "Do you want to come in, Steve? Might help my dad to not blow his top…but promise you'll behave.”

Shrugging, Steve just said "Sure, and then at least one of us will have a haircut that he likes.”

"Yeah, mine!” added Matt as he walked away from Dave and Steve.

As the two went into Dave's house, Dave took off his beanie, and found his father at the dining room table, shuffling some papers and drinking a cup of coffee. Looking up as the boys came in, he greeted Steve, and then turned to Dave, "I guess you saw it was raining, Dave. Please remember that the tools should be put away in the shed, regardless of what the weather looks like. There were a lot of tool that got wet, so Matt and I had to put them away. Would you check on them to make sure they're dry. And nice haircuts, you two—Steve, looks like you go it cut really short today.”

"Thanks Mr. Grayson,” replied Steve, who had found his way to the living room around the corner and had sat himself in front of the TV console, where he continued in an off-handed way, "Since I was the only one who got his haircut at the barbershop, the barber took off enough for two.”

Until then, Dave had been careful to keep the right side of his head turned away from his dad, but when he heard Steve, he suddenly flew by his dad into the living room where he meant to give it to Steve; but before he could his father called him back.

"Dave? You didn't go to the barbershop with Steve? Did you go to another barbershop?” Dave's father asked in rapid succession. Then as he followed Dave into the living room, he saw the back of Dave's head…and promptly asked Steve to let him have a few minutes with his son—perhaps he could wait in Dave's room, or outside in the back if it wasn't raining still.

Knowing that he probably shouldn't have said anything, Steve, with a sheepish look on his face, made his way towards the French doors that led out to the backyard, muttering to Dave that he would wait for him there.

As Dave watched his friend leave the living room, he caught his father's gaze…and saw that there wasn't any anger there at the moment, just a look of puzzlement. So Dave waited till his father sat in his chair, and then he sat down on the couch, facing his father. During the awkward silence Dave, who wanted to signal with his body language that he didn't feel he had done anything wrong, looked his father's way, and finger-combed his hair, waiting for his father to say something.

And it didn't take long for his father to start, "Dave…first, I meant it, great haircut. I can't find fault with the haircut; it's short, and within what we agreed you would wear. I want to hear from you, though, about the lines in your hair…and I kind of have an idea of where you went to get your haircut.”

"Well sir, (Dave thought it best now to use ‘sir,' which he did whenever his father asked Dave to account for some action he had taken, which meant that Dave had made his father angry) I…well, a friend of mine had asked me to go with him to a salon, so that I could help make sure that the stylist gave him the kind of short haircut that he wanted…so Steve and I went with him this morning. We were going to go to the barbershop right after, like I told you we were. John, that's our friend, was given a haircut by the stylist, and I liked how it looked, so I asked him if he could give me a haircut, and so he did. Like you said, sir, it looks great…on the wall there was a picture of some kids on a team—the picture was from the 1960's—where they all had shaved lines in the back of their heads. Horizontal lines instead of vertical ones, so I just asked if the stylist would give me a few as well. Maybe that wasn't the best decision, now that I think of it.”

Taking it all in, Dave's father started with "First, I'm wondering why you didn't tell me that you were going to the salon with your other friend; to tell you the truth, that would have been fine with me. I'd probably be OK with you getting a haircut there as well…unless of course, it would cost me a lot more money. I'm just surprised that, knowing I want you, and Matt, to look like clean-cut young men…well, I'm surprised that you would go ahead and have the ‘stylist' cut lines into your hair.” Then his father sat forward to look straight head into Dave's face, and said "When I decided to allow you to choose your own haircuts, I was wondering how long it would take for you to see what you could get away with—I wasn't expecting this, though. What's next?”

Now dejected with his father's displeasure, Dave rationalized his haircut decision by reminding his father that "when we had our heads shaved, some people thought that was radical and not appropriate; you know, with us looking like skinheads…”

"I'm not against ‘tramlines' as you call them, they're fine with me if others want to have them” his father said, interrupting Dave. "BUT, just as I thought we had come to an understanding about your haircuts…well now I just don't know. Do I have to take you to the barbershop to make sure you get the right haircut, Dave?”

"No Sir!” replied Dave, in a voice that showed he meant it. Dave had been so grateful to his father for allowing him to go to the barbershop on his own, that he simply didn't want to give up that privilege. Then putting on his most sincere face and voice, he asked his father "I should not have had the tramlines cut into my hair, I understand that now…so how can I make this right, Sir?”

Seeing that he had gotten through to Dave, he told Dave that "As far as I'm concerned, you can keep going to the stylist if you pay for your haircuts yourself, every two weeks, that's the rule.” Then breaking off for a bit, he surprised Dave by saying that "today I was actually going to ask you to start taking your brother Matt with you to the barbershop with you so that you could both get your haircut at the same time. I thought you could be a good role model for Matt; even though he doesn't complain at all about his haircuts. I just thought about how fortunate it was for all of us that Mike took you to the barbershop, and I wanted you to do the same with Matt…but now, I don't want you to give him any ideas.

"Dad…Sir, I just didn't think before I decided about the tramlines. And I can take Matt to the barbershop from now on, as long as he understands that you're the one that decides about his haircuts…I'll step up like Mike did with me, and make sure he gets the hair cut he's supposed to get.”

Satisfied, Dave's father surprised him further, but stating that "Thanks for that, Dave. I'm glad that you've told me I can trust you. And I'm leaving it up to you; you can still go to the salon to get your hair cut, but I'd would appreciate you taking Matt to the barbershop with you. It's not just me, actually, Matt asked me if he could go with you from now on. Oh, I'm sure that Mike would be happy to give you two a ride when he's around. However, I don't want all three of my sons coming home one day with bald heads.” Then Dave's father called for Matt, to come down from his room.

"Yeah Dad? What's up?”

With a grin on his face, his father announced that perhaps he could go to the barbershop today, if Dave had the time to take him.

"He just got a haircut,” remarked Dave…and Matt had indeed gone to the barbershop a week ago, to get his flattop cut again.

Now excited, Matt blurted "yeah, let's go…thanks Dad.”

"You want to go get another haircut, Matt?” asked Dave, now confused so he turned to his father and asked, "Dad, what's this all about?”

Chuckling now, Dave's father told him what had happened earlier, about his conversation with Matt, and gave Dave some money. And since it had stopped raining, and the barbershop was still open and within easy walking distance, the two brothers went to ask Steve if he wanted to join them.

Later that day, Dave and Matt's backyard.

"Dudes, I still can't believe that we spent all that money playing Centipede, and we didn't even get to put our initials in for a high score,” lamented Steve.

"It's OK,” responded Dave. "My dad gave me some extra money to get the pizza and play games after we got out of the barbershop; and I still have money to go to the movies tonight with John since my dad upped my allowance.”

"Why can't I come again?” asked Matt, and then added "If Mike was here, he would want me to come!”

"Well Mike is not here tonight. I think he's coming tomorrow. But tonight just Steve and I are going with John…you got permission from your parents, right Steve?” asked Dave.

"Yeah, it's all cool with my parents. Just have to make sure I do all of my homework tomorrow,” said Steve as he saw Matt once again rubbing his head, and then asked "Feels just like sandpaper, doesn't it? You'll be doing that a lot, just like Dave used to.”

Smiling, Matt looked at Dave and said "I can't believe how you used to complain so much about Dad making you get an induction cut. I can't wait to show everyone at school!”

Laughing, Dave recalled that "I can't believe that you wanted an induction cut, Matt. But there we were at the barbershop, and you just walked up to the seat when the barber called you, and asked him to give you an induction cut.”

"Yeah, it was cool. I have never felt the clippers so close to my head, and how quickly he took it all off…the hair really fell fast onto the cape. I mean, it was like zip zip zip, now I'm bald. But you should have let him use the 5-zero blade, instead of telling him just the zero blade!”

"No way, Matt. Dad said just one zero, so one zero it was. Plus, a one zero clipper shave is pretty short, dude. You were happy enough, smiling throughout your haircut, barely letting him finish shaving the top down before you tried to rub it, while he was cutting the rest of your hair off,” Dave said as he and Steve laughed.

"Yeah Dude, I never saw any kid smiling as much as you did,” that must have made the barber happy,” Steve managed to blurt out as he laughed. "I'm also happy that I no longer have the shortest haircut here.”

Then Matt grinned again and couldn't help but offer up his head to another rub from Dave and Steve, exclaiming for them to "go ahead and feel it…it's so radical!”

Laughing again, Dave and Steve obliged Matt, and each gave Matt's clipper-shaved head a good rubbing. But then Dave stopped laughing, and remembered his first salon haircut earlier in the day with Frankie, "that reminds me, I kind of feel bad for Frankie now, since he did such a good job on my haircut, and I complimented him on how well he cut it. Hopefully he won't be insulted if he sees me around.”

"I still think you should have let me get a five-zero clipper shave like you did, Dave…it's not fair!” said Matt as he got up to compare his clipper shave to Dave's, stating that Dave's was much more ‘rad,' and felt a lot more like sandpaper, and that he couldn't wait till he was allowed to get a haircut like Dave.

"Chill out, Matt. Maybe next time, but you have to ask dad. I wanted to make sure that the lines were gone, so I had the barber shave me with the shortest blade so that the lines would disappear. Anyway, if I do see Frankie I'll just tell him that when I saw my little brother Matt get up and ask for an induction cut; well, I was so impressed that I just got one as well. And that's the truth.”

"So we're both getting it shaved again in a couple of weeks?”

"If you want to, Matt. I'm not sure though, I like having a taper cut, or at least having some hair to comb into a quiff,” said Dave, "but I'm glad that we get to go to the barbershop together again. It's funny how things change; before if this happened now in May, I would have moaned and groaned that dad should have waited just a little while longer till school got out to ‘shave my head,' but now it doesn't matter.”

"I think you should get a ‘Stevie Crew' next, said Steve.

"Maybe you can get John to get one next,” replied Dave, as everyone resumed their laughter.

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