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At Manny's - Barber in the Chair! by Manny
I was happy to see Juan come in for his before-shift haircut as I opened the shop for the day. He'd let his stubble grow out a little longer than normal and the tidy clipped head looked fantastic even before I took my clippers to him. Once Juan had taken the plunge to have his thick mane of dense black hair buzzed off, he'd never gone back to the longer locks. But, he did alternated between a clean-shaven head and a nice covering of stubble. Either way he looked like a stud. Despite our age difference, I felt Juan would make the perfect partner for me. He was funny and caring and rippling with muscles! He was friendly, but always seemed a bit elusive. I didn't want to jeopardize our friendly relations with an unwelcome advance that would probably be rebuffed.
"So, what'll it be today, Juan?" I asked as I fastened the white cape around his sturdy neck.
"Good question! I actually like the way the stubble looks, but the feel of the hairless scalp.....oh, that's totally phenomenal! To rub my hand across my scalp and feel no hair, it's awesome. I mean, with the stubble, when you put your head on the pillow, it's like a velcro getting stuck. But the smooth skin on the pillowcase feels like a dream. I guess a smooth scalp is something you've never experienced, Manny," he said nonchalantly.
I looked into the mirror and surveyed my lush mane of gleaming chestnut colored hair with fiery auburn highlights. It looked especially tantalizing this morning as it curled up a bit, resting on my shoulders. Obviously I had never told Juan about that wretched villain Robert Holdred who had humiliatingly shaved my head in front of my own clients at my former shop. The way he'd marched in, ordered me to the chair and scraped off all my hair while my regulars watched on -- I felt totally impotent. And the spectacle of me hairless with Robert laughing and me struggling to hold back tears was the low point of my life. But, it had made me gain the courage to break off the abusive relationship with Robert and move away. And, my beautiful hair grew back eventually.
"Believe it or not, Juan. I once had a head shave. Scraped clean. Not a hint of hair left," I said.
Juan was visibly surprised. "I can't believe that! You?! No hair? It's....like....impossible to imagine. I mean. You are in love with you hair. I can watch you from the bellhop stand. And I do. I mean, you're a special person to me, Manny." He looked longingly at me, like he wanted to say more. My heart beat rapidly. Was he flirting with me?! "Sometimes I watch you and wish we could be more than just pals."
I stood, speechless, not knowing how to respond.
Juan continued talking. "I'd say you admire your hair at least 20-25 times a day. Everything from taking a brush and slowly working it through your locks when you're alone to stealing glimpses of yourself in the mirror while you work on a client. In fact, I saw it a few moments ago. You looked at your hair and were pleased with what you saw. Admit it, Manny!"
My face blushed in embarrassment, which was as good as a confession. "You're right, Juan. I am quite vain, especially about my hair," I finally admitted.
"At least you were man enough to admit it! But the truth us, I wish you didn't....." and then Juan held his tongue.
"Didn't what?" I insisted.
He fidgeted nervously under the cape. Finally, he blurted out, "....have long hair. I wish it were all shaved off. There, I said it!"
I could not believe my ears! "Why?! It's my signature look! Don't you think I have a great head of hair, Juan?" I pouted.
"Of course I do. You are one of the few men who can pull off the longhair look. And it is great hair. But, if we were to become, well.....partners... I mean, I wouldn't want to be competing for your attention and your affection with that pampered mane. It would be like three of us in the relationship!" Juan's lip quivered.
Then he abruptly changed the subject. "I decided. Head shave! Hot lather, the works! Scrape me clean, Manny!"
Juan's statement about being more than friends totally blew me away. There was a synergy underneath that chummy camaraderie that yearned for intimacy -- a chemistry developing. But my hair was an obstacle.... His statement made me very sad, because, as he had said so bluntly, I was in love with my lovely locks.
I began massaging a huge dollop of foaming, warm lather into Juan's scalp. He closed his eyes, as if in a delightful dream. I worked in silence, over and over, rubbing my fingers through the foam across the bristled scalp. As I did, I stared at myself in the mirror. My hair! My treasured hair! And then the image morphed into that awful hideous mirrored reflection of me, over ten years ago, scraped clean....with Robert Holdred laughing at my hairless head. The long chunks of cut hair adorning the barber cape. I looked like a total pea head with no hair. I couldn't consent to going back to the horrible look -- to having all my treasured hair cut off, not even for Juan!
Suddenly, Juan opened his eyes and caught me staring at myself in the mirror again. "Like what you see, Manny? You vain, vain pretty-boy!" he scolded playfully.
I was embarrassed and humiliated. He was right! I had a problem.
For minutes, I couldn't answer. I just stood there, in a stunned, shameful silence.
Finally, I gained enough composure to say, "No, Juan. I don't like what I see. I see a man who....." My voice quavered. "I see a vain man, who.....would benefit from....having all his hair shaved off! That's what my ex, Robert, did to me. He too got tired of my vain, proud attitude and took the matter into his own hands. And, after he shaved me, he took me back, behind the curtain, and....." I couldn't bare to tell Juan how Robert had turned me over his knee and spanked me.
"Well, Manny, I wouldn't ever do that to you. Shear you by force. But, if you asked me to shave your head, I would be thrilled. I would feel a huge joy to take the clippers to your hair, the razor to your scalp. Strip it all off. Leave your scalp smooth and shiny and completely hairless. In fact, what about right after you finish shaving my head? We could swap places. Would you say goodbye to your cherished hair for me?" Juan asked, almost imploring.
I rushed from the shop into the back room. I was totally engulfed in emotional turmoil. I felt my hair -- and it disgusted me. I shouldn't be controlled by it. My heart beat wildly and my legs wobbled. I wanted Juan! I forced myself back out into the shop where Juan was sitting passively, his scalp covered with foam.
I cleared my throat and eeked out, "Yes, Juan. I want you to shave my head. Just as soon as I'm through with you, I'll take a seat. My hair will be in your hands to dispose of."
Juan smiled broadly while I resisted breaking into sobs. I could not stand to see myself in the mirror. Instead, I focused totally on shaving away the thick stubble from Juan's head. Very carefully. VERY slowly. I knew that when I was finished with him, I would take a seat in the chair and watch my glorious hair be shaved off.
As I worked, Juan began to chat, "A funny thing happened to me this week when I was filling in at the switchboard while Helen was at lunch. This guy called and asked if the hotel had a barber shop. I said yes and provided your direct number -- explained that it was in the hotel, but not part of the hotel. So then he asked if it was called Manny's and I said yes. But the strange part was he asked if the barber was a vain, proud man in his early forties with long hair. I confirmed that you had long hair, but said I didn't know your age."
"What happened next?" I asked intrigued by the story, noticing that Juan had not addressed the part about me being "vain" and "proud".
"He made a reservation -- for tonight, or maybe it was for last night. I can't remember," said Juan.
"Do you remember his name?" I asked.
"Yes, it was Robert something. Like Holder," said Juan.
My blood went cold. "Robert Holdred?!" I gasped.
"Yes, that's the name!" Juan replied. "Is he a friend of yours?"
"Juan, I have to get out of here! I can't bear to see that wretched man again! He's my ex, the bully I just was telling you about," I exclaimed.
"But my head? You can't leave me like this?!" Juan said, alluding to his have shaved head, still covered with foam in some areas.
And then I saw what I feared most in life. The huge burly frame of Robert Holdred, looking like a cruel sadist, at the door to my barber shop! The man with the clipped head of a convicted criminal stormed me!
"Well, well! We meet at last, Miss Manny!" he snarled. "I see, you've gone without a firm grooming hand and probably much needed discipline since you slipped out of town and left me without my whipping boy!"
Robert strode over to where I was standing, quaking in my shoes. Then, he grabbed me by my hair and yanked me back towards the curtained partition to the back room.
"Please!" I called out.
"This sissy hair is a disgrace, Manny!" he barked. "You need to be reined in with a very heavy hand!"
He wrestled me over the arm of the spare chair I had in back and struggled to pull down my pants. I looked back in panic to see Juan, standing by the curtained doorway, head still partially covered in lather, cape hanging around his muscular torso. He was watching the unfolding drama with interest and a bit of concern.
"Is there anything you want me to do, Manny?" he asked, sounding half way between worried and amused.
In a flash, Robert had my paddle in hand, and the first swat made me wince in pain. THWACK!!
"No, Juan, I need this," I murmured. Robert came down hard two more times. THWACK!! THWACK!!!
Robert laughed and turned to Juan. "See, Manny here has two character flaws. Pride and vanity. A sound spanking is the way to deal with the first. An adult man getting spanked is so humiliating. Don't you think, Juancito?"
Then he gave my butt another swat. "Ouch!" I shrieked.
"Okay, Miss Manny. Pull up your pants and get yourself out there and take a seat. A set of fast-feed electric clippers will deal effectively with the second -- that cocky, vainglory over his lush, pampered hair. Manny is a much better partner when he's humble and submissive. We had our best times when he was sniveling and trying to get used to a clean, hairless head!" chuckled Robert.
Juan stepped aside so that I could comply with Robert's instruction. I almost felt a relief that finally, someone was dealing with me as I deserved! As I walked away from Robert, his strong hand applied one final smack that revived the aching throb in my rear end.
I quickly took a seat and stared at my long hair in the mirror. Robert stepped up behind the chair. "He's so prissy when it comes to his precious hair," Robert chided as he grasped a shank of it.
"I agree," said Juan. "I've long hoped for the day when he would be stripped of every last strand and shaved clean."
Robert was surprised by this. "Oh, so you too took issue with his vanity?"
"And his pride!" added Juan. "I was very interested to see how you administered that spanking, Robert."
I couldn't believe Juan was taking sides with Robert!
Robert smiled broadly. "Oh, I see! Perhaps I should give you a little tutorial."
"I'm a quick learner. I think I could do it fine without any additional instruction," Juan said, as he pulled off the cape that dangled from his neck.
Then, to my total shock and horror, Juan strode over to the chair and grabbed me by my hair. He yanked me up, into a standing position. "Robert, how about you critiquing my technique in addressing Manny's chronic pride issue?" he said in an ominous tone.
Robert bellowed with laughter and Juan joined in.
The muscular bellhop dragged me by my hair back through the curtained doorway. I was submissive and obedient, cooperating fully in dropping my pants. Juan's hand was firm and determined as he brought the paddle to me. I whimpered in pain and humiliation.
"Excellent technique, Juancito," Robert exclaimed. "A nice firm grip on the paddle, and the delivery was perfectly on target!"
Juan began to tenderly stroke my hair. "Oh, Manny, I'm sorry that you needed this. But it seems like your character flaws are deeply rooted and we need to take drastic action with you."
I looked at him, unable to speak, but letting him know through non-verbals that I agreed with him and the course of action he had taken.
Robert stepped in to reassert his dominance and ratchet up my torment, "Okay, Miss Manny. Now it's time for your transformation from a metro-sexual wannabe male model to......oh, this is going to be so hilarious!!"
Robert marched me back into the shop and forced me into the chair. The cape was secured so tightly around my neck I could hardly breath. Then Robert began brushing my hair and cooing about it in an ironic, sarcastic, ominous way, "Oh, so healthy and full of sheen; thick youthful hair that makes Manny look at least ten years younger than he is. Hand me the balding clippers, Juancito!"
"What fun!" chirped the bellhop as he complied with Robert's order. Juan continued, "I can't wait to see you bald -- nothing but shiny, smooth skin up here. All your pretty hair swept into a dust pan and thrown away."
Robert snapped on the machine. "The chrome dome can be a very sexy look, Juan. I have a much better plan to pull the rug out from under Manny's vanity. No, not all of this hair is going to be cut. Let Manny's transformation begin!" Robert announced as he pushed the clippers right through my beloved forelocks which fell to the cape.
My stomach churned and I felt nauseous as I watched my hair fall and a patch of white scalp appear.
Robert pushed the clippers back further and pulled off more of my hair. When he had finished clipping away the first swatch, I looked a bit like a skunk with a white strip down the center of my head.
"Oh, Manny! I can't wait to see the final product," Robert chuckled as he clipped away more hair from the top of my head.
Finally, the top of my head was cleared of hair, down to the scalp, but the sides were lush and long. I got the first inkling of what Robert might be planning for me, and my stomach lurched.
Robert's next comment confirmed my fear. "Okay, Juan, now I'm going to section off a very small bit of hair over here on the left for the comb-over. Here, let me pin this out of the way, and handing me clippers with a #5 attachment for the MBP fringe."
"No, Robert, please!" I begged.
The clippers moved quickly through my locks, reducing the flowing tresses to a half inch length. Mound of hair fell to my shoulders and then to the floor. I was going from a swinging 40something to a stodgy 60something at the hand of the villain, Robert Holdred!
"Now all we have left to do is get a razor and shave the top clean," Robert said. He skillfully shave my old man's pate to leave me with just a wispy fringe.
My only consolation was that the lovely chestnut color and healthy gleam dazzled from the fringe and the sparse strands Robert had left for the comb-over.
"And now for my finishing touches," Robert announced as he took a small aerosol can from his jacket pocket.
What was it? Hair spray or mouse to keep the comb-over in place? He sprayed it generously on the fringe and remaining long strands.
My beloved chestnut color turned instantly into a dull, lifeless gray!!!
I looked exactly like the old geezer barber who had given me schoolboy 'short back and sides' haircuts when I was a lad.
"Robert!! You are a genius!" Juan gushed. "This will certainly deal with that vanity issue that plagues Manny. He looks like my grandfather now!"
Then I heard Juan coo in Robert's ear, "What are you doing this evening? I'm free and could show you around the hot spots in town...."
"Why wait until tonight? I could finish your head shave, and then we can cut out of here," replied Robert.
My hopes of bliss with Juan were being wrenched from me by that awful Robert Holdred.
"Great. I'll tell my boss I'm not feeling that well....." purred Juan. He reached into my lap and held up a shank of my cut hair. The two men laughed as Juan fashioned a long droopy mustache for Robert out of my hair.
Robert yanked the cape off me. I stared blankly at myself in the mirror, looking like an old man with an awful comb-over.
"Manny, you remember my favorite cigarettes? Now, you go down the street to the tobacco store on the next corner and buy two packs. One for me and one for Juan," Robert instructed.
"Looking like this?" I gasped, realizing that I no longer was that youthful-looking man with fantastic hair.
My two tormentors laughed and gave each other high fives. "You bet, Manny. It will be a good tonic for you pride," said my dear Juan. "A classic old-man comb-over instead of that prissy coif you used to be so proud of." I slowly gulped down this bitter pill and steeled myself for mocking from the hotel employees.
"And you, my sweet boytoy, into the chair. I can't wait to scrape you clean," purred Robert as Juan looked at him with love-drenched eyes. "I find the chrome dome the utter look of manliness."