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Brandon Nightmare followed by Sweet Dre by Manny (recovered)

Brandon: Nightmare followed by Sweet Dreams

By Manny

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my hair to keep,
But should I wake and shorn bald be,
I pray the Lord, serenity."

Brandon twitched and paced nervously while Jim read the little ditty which the newly transferred college sophomore had just handed him. The text was printed over a photo of Brandon which featured the huge mane of thick, soft, black curls which he wore in an afro-type style that easily doubled the size of his head. The portrait was superimposed on a larger photo of what appeared to be the floor of a barbershop almost totally covered with shorn hair -- perhaps from a bootcamp on induction day. The poem that cause the new student so much anxiety had been printed by computer and revealed no personal handwriting or other identifying marks.

"So, you found this on your pillow when you came back from classes today," stated Jim, clarifying the rush of jumbled thoughts that nervous Brandon had poured out to his dormitory resident overseer. Brandon shook his head affirmatively. The curls tumbled about, seconding their agreement. "And you think the author is one of the fellows on your floor, possibly your own roommate?"

"Well, how could they have gotten into the room without a key. Teddy has to be involved. I`ve only been here two weeks, and he`s suggested I get a haircut at least twice. Just yesterday, he said that several of the guys were going into town to get haircuts at the barbershop and they`d be willing to wait for me if I cared to join them."

"And you thought that was being hostile?" Jim questioned.

"No not in and of itself, but this note sure is hostile...`should I wake and shorn bald be...`! They plan to cut off all my hair while I`m asleep! What else can it mean?" shrieked Brandon, apoplectic at the thought of losing his beloved, trademark tresses.

"Certainly, no doubt about that. Either someone is quite unhappy about your hair....or maybe they just mean to knock you off guard a little, test you, rattle you, pull your chain a bit. Threatening some good-natured collegiate prank. From your reaction, it seems like they actually hit a frayed nerve, Brandon, my boy," said Jim with a twinkle in his eye. "Now I can see how all that hair, might put some people off. Must take you an awfully long time in the shower and in front of the mirror every day...." reasoned the dormitory overseer. "Maybe there`s some other issue at the heart of this?"

"Those ditto head -- all clipped down into conformist crewcuts -- can`t stand anyone who looks different," seethed Brandon.

Jim motioned for Brandon to step into his living room, as that whole conversation had taken place in the foyer of his small apartment. Pointing to an overstuffed chair, Jim urged Brandon to, "have a seat and let`s discuss this and see what we can do to resolve your situation. Besides inviting you to go to the barbershop with you, has Teddy been mean or unwelcoming? For the most part, my boys in this dorm have always prided themselves in making the transfer students feel welcome."

"Well, no, not really. I mean, actually he`s been real nice in showing me around and introducing me to people. Inviting me to go with him and his friends to the dining hall...."

"....and into town to get a haircut," continued Jim. "Any chance Ted truly thought you were very overdue for a haircut and was just trying to be nice yesterday? A lot of the guys when they first arrive want some recommendations for finding a new drycleaner, car wash, barbershop, etc."

"Well, yes, that`s possible -- when you put it like that I guess he probably was trying to be nice. I am, actually....I mean my hair is...like...out of control. But I`m not the barbershop type," said Brandon trying to mop back the cascade of soft loopy curls that dangled down into his face.

"He might not know that..." Jim interjected.

"It should be obvious!" exclaimed Brandon shaking the huge mane about.

"To me, it just looks like an overgrown mop. Like you`ve been too busy for months, if not years, to visit the barber. How long have you worn that, what should I call it, hair style?" asked Jim. Then he quickly added, "Don`t mind the tongue `n cheek, Brandon. I`m just giving you a hard time. I`m sure lots of the college set think you`ve got sweet hair."

"Well, at the college I just transferred from almost all the guys were into the mophead scene. And, you`re right, my huge afro was a hit! People I didn`t know would stop me in the halls and tell me they liked my hair."

"And that`s the way you wore it in high school...like it`s been part of your identity forever?" questioned the adult dormitory overseer?

Brandon laughed and shook his head. "Far from it. I`d always worn my hair short growing up. Truth is, when I was a boy I hated my curly hair. I remember begging my mother to let me get it cut short like the other boys when I was in lower elementary school -- they called me Raggedy Andy when they were being nice. When they felt like being mean, they`d swat at the curls to irritate me and call me sissy or Curly Sam. Finally, in third grade I got my birthday wish and my father took me to a barbershop. Off the curls came. In high school I was into sports and kept it very short for convenience -- plus I still hated any hint of curls. If the time between haircuts got delayed for unforeseen circumstances, I would plaster it all down with some hair tonic. It was only when I went to college that I saw long, unruly hair was in and let it grow."

"And grow and grow! But now you`re here and the `fro is a fizzle. You feel like the kids are tormenting you....and instead of running to mommy and begging to let daddy take you to the barbershop for a real man`s haircut, you`ve come straight to daddy yourself." With that Jim stood up and pulled a dining room chair a bit away fro the table and said, "OK, Brandon, have a seat right here."

The puzzled sophomore hesitated before starting to ask for an explanation but then switched warily to deflecting the request with, "Ah, I`m okay here...."

Jim came back in the room with a shoulder bag and set it on the table. "Brandon, I`m going to help you, so please stop dawdling and come take a seat." With that, Jim pulled out a set of barber shears and a matching set of thinning shears, a few combs and royal blue cape. Then he pulled out a big set of clippers and searched for the nearest plug. Without missing a beat he commented matter-of-fact to the college boy, "You said you weren`t into barbershops these days, so I`ll cut your hair myself -- by the way, as I have many of your classmates who live in the dorm. Right here now, Brandon, I haven`t got all day," Jim said as he tapped the seat impatiently.

Brandon slowly eased to his feet. It almost seemed like he had no other option. His eyes stared half in wonder, half in fear at the large set of clippers. His amazing afro wouldn`t stand a chance. Then suddenly as if the decision was abruptly made to leap off the high dive, Brandon scurried to the chair and sat down. A faint billow was followed by a flash of blue and on went the cape. Jim fastened it nice and snug. "Now there, I`m sure you`re feeling better already," the amateur barber said patting the vast array of loopy curls. Then he picked up the clippers and snapped them on right in front of Brandon`s startled eyes. "Oh, I`m going to take you down tight, all right, don`t you worry. Got on the #2, which will leave you with a full quarter inch." With that announcement/warning, Jim grasped a huge mound of hair at the back of Brandon`s head and forced his gaze upward. Then the clippers were thrust right into the dense mane at the top for the forehead, and the unrelenting steel teeth chewed at path of destruction right across the top of Brandon`s quaking head. Almost effortlessly, Jim clipped off a swath through the huge padding of curly hair. Brandon was almost numb with shock as Jim dropped the shorn fistful of curls onto his lap. "Oh it`s going to be tight all right, clipped down nearly to the scalp." Then he went for a second drive through the dense locks and the hair tumbled in copious clumps past the shocked face of poor Brandon. It occurred to him, that instead of all his hair being shaved off while he slept, it was coming off while he was fully conscious, and that he was willingly permitting the total divestiture! "Is this the way you felt back in third grade when daddy finally took you to the barber`s?" Jim asked as he initiated another drive from forehead to crown.

"Uh, not really. The barber clipped my hair from the nape, up the back of my head," he replied.

"Oh, like this?" Jim suddenly thrust Brandon`s head down so that his chin touched his chest. Then clippers began a quick ascent from nape to crown. The pace of the total mow-down picked up and vast amounts of hair covered the cape and floor. Brandon looked liked a plucked chicken as the clippers cleared everything away from the sides of his head. Finally, not a single curl or vestige of long hair remained. Brandon looked like he`d gotten a brutal butch cut with everything at one uniform length of a quarter inch all over -- like a tidy covering of velvetine. Jim stroked the college boy`s head a bit. "Love to do that on a newly shorn pate like yours, Brandy, my boy. Now I`ll just pop on a #1 to taper you nicely for the finishing touches and you`ll be totally unrecognizable."

Brandon looked up at his makeshift barber and smiled weakly. "How do I look?" he asked hopefully.

"Like a fine recruit. Now, sit still." The clippers came to life again and Brandon felt a different sensation at the nape. The teeth were cutting ultra close. Around the ears, they tickled a bit. Brandon spent his final minutes under the cape surveying the vast amount of hair that lay in tattered ruins all around him. How had it ever happened? All so suddenly? The fear of getting an unwanted haircut in the night....and the next thing he knew he was being shorn by an amateur barber by his own free will. Jim must have bewitched him. Brandon began to feel a bit of bitterness about the haircut -- especially how drastically short the cut had been. How could he ever have known Jim intended to clip it all off when he first summoned the call to take a seat?

Finally the cape came off and Brandon was released from his torment. Jim held up a hand mirror, "The new you!" Brandon was absolutely aghast. Instinctively he felt the clipped pate. He was speechless. Jim chatted on in an upbeat tone, "This haircut, as you know, has many advantages. The foremost, is that you look like a man again, dear Brandy!" The truth was that Brandon looked like a young boy again -- just like that third grader who emerged from the barbershop shorn of his curls. "If you don`t like it, remember that little pillow prayer I taught you -- `but should I wake and shorn bald be, I pray the Lord, serenity.`"

Brandon whipped around in a frenzy, "You taught me?!"

Jim quickly clarified, his face reddening uncontrollably, "What you meant to say is that little prayer you taught me, not I taught you!"

Brandon seemed confused by the explanation. "You only read it once -- how did you ever remember it?"

"Oh, I`ve got a fantastic memory -- just stuck in my head," Jim said, fast-talking, as he herded Brandon towards the door. "Wish I had a lollipop to give you, but I don`t. So run along and show all your friends your new haircut!" Then he unceremoniously nudged the bewildered boy out the door and closed it behind him.

Jim felt his heart beating quickly. Boy that was a close call, he thought to himself. Then he looked at the makeshift barbershop scene in the small dining area. What a delight it had been -- and everything fell so perfectly into place....up to nearly the very end. Jim poked around for a broom to begin the pleasant cleanup task. He loved to sweep up the shorn locks into a dustpan and dispose of them after a major makeover like Brandon`s. There would be several pan fulls at least!

He had just finished sweeping everything up tidy when Jim heard a sharp rapping at the door. To his surprise, it was Brandon, once again in an agitated estate. This time, however, he appeared angry instead of nervous. "In my confused estate, it seems as if I locked my room key inside and I couldn`t get in. When I asked around, I was told you have a master key for all the rooms in the dorm."

"Yes, Brandon, that`s right. I`ll be more than happy to walk down with you and unlock your room. Let me just find --"

Brandon grabbed Jim`s arms and kept him from hunting for the key. "You were the one that put that poem on my pillow!!" Brandon shouted. "Just wait till I report this to the Dean of Men -- and I might even file a police report for breaking and entering...."

Jim was enveloped by a sickening, fearful dread. He had to talk Brandon out of all that... "Listen. Hold it, just a minute. Let`s not get carried away. Let`s talk things over." He paused trying hard to chart a forward course. "OK, so I did, but it was for your own good."

"That`s a pack of B.S. This," he said rubbing his hands over his clipped head, "happened for your own personal amusement, and you abused your authority to make it happen." Brandon was raging furiously. "Go sit down in that chair!" he commanded pointing to the dining area. "I`m going to give you a taste of your own medicine. I`m going to do you a favor now...drag you out of the 1980s by that silly, floppy hair!"

The color drained from Jim`s face. He adored his glossy mahogany colored hair that he wore very full on top with long bangs sweeping across his tall, pronounced forehead. The feathered sides were brushed back and covered the tops of his ears while the full mane in back spilled liberally over the collar. He knew that shorter styles had come in -- bedhead, short and choppy, spiked, many others -- but he had never been able to have his thick silken hair shorn off like that. Yes, Jim knew he was sort of stuck in the 80`s, especially with those long bangs that he nurtured so carefully. And now he found Brandon, in a rage, almost pushing him into the dining area. The clippers, cape, shears, hand mirror -- they were all still on the table. Brandon all but forced Jim to take a seat. "Okay, Jimmy boy, my dear, now it`s your turn. I`m going to find out just what this little secret thrill of yours is all about." Without another word he flung the cape around and subdued the nervous Jim who realized his fate was sealed. "Oh your hair has such a wonderful sheen," Brandon began, stroking the glistening locks. "I always envied the boys in my grade who had pretty, shiny hair like this -- especially if they sported those dreamy long bowlcuts. As they`d run up and down the ball field, I watch all that long hair bounce around and wish I could have that kind of hair instead of the wretched curls."

Then Brandon combed all Jim`s hair straight forward so that it hung down past his eyes. It was a heavy veil of hair that any 30something year old would be proud to sport. "These are thinning shears, isn`t that true, my barber friend?" he said picking up the steel contraption with little razor-edged combs attached to both blades. "My barber used to use them on me to get rid of the curls. Yes, they are indeed! And, I think these heavy bangs of yours need to be thinned down somewhat." With that Brandon lifted the bangs a bit with a comb and then crunched the thinning shears closed a few times at about the mid-forehead length. Then he combed the bangs again and a few whisps of hair floated down to the cape -- just a smidgeon from the few gingerly snips that Brandon had inflicted on the bangs. But, that was simply the beginning. "Well, I can tell I`m going to have to be a lot more forceful!" Then Brandon began an orgy of thinning, repeatedly chopping into the bangs near the root and moving farther and farther down towards the tips. He repeated the motion three or four times before he combed the forelock again -- dramatically, half the bulk was pulled away! Instead of the thick curtain of hair hanging over Jim`s eyes, now the bangs were like lacey sheers -- mere figments of their original, full splendor. Jim`s shell-shocked look was clearly evident to the amateur sophomore barber. "Ah, much better. Now to get them to a proper length for a man your age." Brandon exchanged the thinning shears for regular barber scissors and then he quickly cut the bangs off an inch from the top of the forehead! The beautiful bangs were history. Without any other explanation, Brandon tackled the bangs again, hacking them off as short as he could -- right at the roots!

Jim felt the full humiliation of what Brandon intended for him when the sophomore picked up the clippers. "You started the clipping from the top, if I remember correctly. Heaven knows I was in a hazy, confused estated when you first began my haircut. I thought perhaps it would be a bit of a trim, but that`s not what barber Jim had in mind. No siree! He clipped it all off, like I was a poor student at an austere boarding school found infested with lice."

Jim finally protested. "At least change the guard and put the #2 back on. What you have there is the #1 that I used at your nape -- it`ll cut my hair to a mere eighth of an inch like that!"

"And that`s all you deserve! I wouldn`t want us to be twins. With that Brandon drove the hungry clippers straight back across the top of Jim`s head sending huge sheaves of glossy brown hair down to the brown cape. Even Brandon`s eyes bulged when he saw how short the stubble on top was. The whitish color of the scalp was clearly seen and dominated over the brownish bristles. "Serves him right," Brandon told himself. "Show the idiot no mercy." Jim sat still, paying a penance by cooperating with the extremely short cropping. Brandon relished clipping away all of Jim`s pride and joy. The amount of hair piling up on the cape and floor began to rivel the curls that had been there only moments earlier. "There, now that`s one nifty tight butch cut, Jimmy, my boy. Let me tell you all of the advantages of this haircut. For one, no one will think you`re stuck in the 1980`s. They`ll probably thank you for all your military service. Okay, now I want the sides and back shorter."

Jim gulped. The queasy feeling in his stomach began to grow on him. Yes, he deserved it! "You need to take that plastic guard off all together and just use the metal teeth."

Brandon complied and cleared away the fuzz that remained from the sides and back. "Well, that`s a nice length -- even better than the #1 up here. Can`t get too much of a good thing..." And so Brandon took the metal teeth right to the top of Jim`s head and proceeded to give him a full-fledged induction cut! Triumphantly, Brandon handed Jim the small mirror that was on the dining room table. "There! Now you`ll see my masterpiece!" Jim gulped and looked at the bald head bleakly. As Jim fought to hold back tears, Brandon whispered in his ear, "But should I wake and shorn bald be, I pray the Lord, serenity. You need to be cool as a cucumber, Jimmy boy." Finally, Brandon unfastened the cape and shook the heavy load of shorn hair so that it all fell into a heap at Jim`s feet.

Jim ran his hand across his head and could not suppress an expression of disbelief. He had never had an induction haircut before! It had been a good 30 years since he`d had any sort of buzzcut. "Well, Brandy my boy, what can I say? I deserved that. It wasn`t right of me to....well, you know. So, we`re even, now."

But Brandon did not seem satisfied. In fact, he enjoyed the upper hand and inflicting some pain on Mr. James Maynard, dormitory overseer. "We`re even for the haircuts, but...." Then Brandon began to unbuckle his belt. As he slowly pulled it off, he continued, "But you still need to be punished for entering my room with your master key, little Jimmy. Pull down your pants!" Then he snapped the belt so a shriek of leather pierced the air. "You`ve been a conniving bastard, and you deserve a spanking!"

Jim`s knees wobbled as he slowly unbuttoned his jeans and pulled down the zipper. The denim fell in a heap on top of the shorn hair.

"Underpants too! And then touch your toes!" A near deafening smack of the belt against Jim`s rear end filled the room. One, two, three! Each smack of the leather belt left a corresponding red strip across the lily white ass. And then the punishment ended. "Don`t you ever let me hear about you sneaking into boys rooms again to torment them!" Brandon barked. Jim nodded `okay` amid muffled sobs as he pulled up his pants.

Then Brandon`s face softened and he whispered in Jim`s ear, "You won`t have to because you and I will be barber buddies from here on out. Is that a deal, my dear friend? You look real sweet in this induction cut, but I`m inclined to let it grow out a bit -- not much...maybe a quarter of an inch, but no more! You`re so much more handsome shorn. Here now, let me give you a hand at sweeping up all this pretty once-upon-a-time mane of yours, my beautiful baldy."

The End

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