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The Destination (Part 2) by A.J. by Gator
The Destination (Part 2)
It was Saturday morning and I was nervous about my haircut. I really wanted to get a crewcut, but I was unsure whether I would back out at the last minute. Over the previous three months, I had made the progression from typical late 70s thick, long hair to a taper cut. My ears were completely uncovered, my bangs were short, my neck was bare, and several inches of hair on top of my head had gone. However, it was still a combable hairstyle, and I was about to change that. It was 1978 and I had decided to get a crewcut.
It was a brisk late fall morning when I walked into the barber shop. I had woken early and was waiting outside the shop on an unusually cold morning. I was glad when the shop opened. I was the first customer of the day. After a few minutes waiting while the barber prepared his equipment, I sat down in the barber chair.
“What will it be today?” the barber asked.
I was nervous and considered backing out and asking for something similar to my last cut. However, I gulped, and replied, “A crewcut.”
“Flattop crewcut or same length all over?”
“Um ... same length all over,” I replied. I wasn`t sure, but I knew that I didn`t want a 1950s flattop.
A couple of other college students had come into the barber shop while I was waiting to get in the chair. I looked at their long 1970s hair, and wondered whether I was doing the right thing. I had never seen anyone get a crewcut in a barber shop, so I really didn`t know how it would be cut.
The barber put a towel around my neck and fitted the cape. He lowered the height of the barber chair, and then turned around to prepare the clippers. The mirror was behind me, and I was facing the waiting area where the two college students were sitting.
The barber came around with the clippers in his hand. “Ready?” he asked me.
He placed the buzzing clippers at my forehead and drew them back across the top of my head. One of the two college students in the waiting chairs sniggered, and the other looked shocked. His face went pale. That didn`t help my nervousness. With repeated swipes across the top of my head, the barber removed my bangs, my center part, and most of the hair on top of my head. He then continued on my right side, in front of my ear. Each pass of the clippers went high up my head. The vibration of the clippers felt strange, but relaxing. He worked his way around the back of my head, running the clippers from my nape up to the crown of my head.
The two college students looked on. They whispered to each other, and one of them still looked really shocked. He looked like he was about to leave in case the same thing happened to him.
The barber switched off his clippers and then brushed my head with the long brush that he usually just used to remove the loose hairs from around my neck. He ran his hand across the top of my head, to make sure he hadn`t missed anything, and then went over my head again with the clippers to make sure it was evenly cropped.
For the next few minutes, the barber trimmed around my ears, and then tapered my nape.
While he was changing clippers, I extracted my arm from under the cape and rubbed my head. It felt so strange. Had I just made a bad mistake, and that would make me the college freak that no girl would want to date? I hoped not. At this point, I had not seen myself.
The barber then put warm lather on my neck and around my ears. That made me nervous. I was used to the lather on my neck but I was worried he was about to start shaving me above my ears. However, he just tidied up around my ears and then shaved my neck.
I was ready to see my new image. Finally with all loose hair removed, the barber turned me around so that I could see the mirror. He held a hand mirror behind me so that I could see the rear view. It was a big change. I`m not sure what shocked me more - the top of my head completely cropped to a quarter inch or the view from the rear which showed the shape of my skull.
It was so different. I wasn`t sure whether I liked it or whether I had done the right thing. It seemed like several minutes passed as I looked at my reflection, although it was probably only about 10 or 15 seconds. “Great,” I said, trying to reassure myself.
The barber swung the chair back around, cleaned off any loose hairs and removed the cape. The floor around the chair was littered with my blond hair; some locks of hair were over and inch long. I gulped.
Using all my self-confidence, I stood up straight. I couldn`t resist rubbing my head - it felt great. I smiled, paid the barber and left. As I walked back to the dorm, I kept rubbing my head. It was addictive. My head tingled with the cold morning air. I rubbed the quarter inch stubble on my head. While I was walking, I met a girl in one of my classes. She was surprised by my haircut, but insisted on feeling the top of my head. It felt good. Maybe this haircut was not the end of my romantic life.
By the time I was back at the dorm room, I was feeling really positive about the new cut. I walked into the room and turned on the light so that I could look at myself in the mirror. My roommate was still asleep in his corner of the room, rolled over and groaned. Wait until he saw me with a crewcut.
I looked at my reflection in the mirror, smiled and felt confident. This was it; I was keeping this hairstyle. It marked my independence from my childhood was a symbol of my self-confidence. This was the destination of my haircut journey.