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I'm Not Alone part 3 by Jonathan

"Hey Danny, can you spend the night too?" I ask.

"I don't know, I have to call David's parents and ask," he answers.

"If your dad says he can, I'm sure my parents will let him," David says.

"You should call and make sure though," I say.

"Dad, can Danny, David's cousin spend the night?" I ask.

"Your brother and mom are staying at your grandparents this weekend, so ok. I don't want any loud noise with three boys though," he says.

"Do we need to call David's parents, dad?" I ask.

"No I'll call don't worry," my dad Jake says.

David has his older cousin Danny staying at their house for awhile. David and I are best friends and we are twelve now. Danny is 14 and goes to junior high. He lives in Texas and came to live with his aunt and uncle now here in California.

David told me Danny's parents are getting a divorce and there is a chance Danny may live here with them. It's kinda cool having him here. He is nice for an older kid. He looks cool too. He has a long shag haircut and wears neat clothes. At first I thought David may not hang around me anymore, but now he and Danny do a lot more stuff with me. I feel like I have a new best friend now.

"Hey, let's go play basketball at the park!" I say.

"Yeah, we better go now because it will get dark in a couple hours," says Danny.

"Dad, did you call David's parents?" I ask.

"They said yes he could spend the night, but first thing tomorrow morning they want me to take you boys to get haircuts," my dad says.

"Oh dad, please not again, I don't want another flattop. Last time the kids made so much fun of David and I," I say.

"Ok, no flattops, but it needs to be clipper short though," dad says.

"Mr. Johnson, do I have to get a haircut too?" asks Danny.

"Yes, all three of you boys are getting haircuts tomorrow morning!" dad said.

"I usually just get a trim Mr. Johnson," Danny says.

"No Danny, your uncle said he wants your hair cut real short now since you are staying with them," dad says.

"Oh please Mr. Johnson I have never had really short hair before," Danny begs.

"Yeah dad, can't we all just get trims?" I ask.

"No, I'm paying for all three haircuts and they all need to be nice and short, proper like. Do you boys want crewcuts again than?" dad says.

"No sir, just regular clipper short, it's ok dad," I say.

The last time David, my brother and I got flattops. It was terrible. For three days kids joked and laughed at us. What happened, did the lawnmower win. Biizzzit, biizzit, biizzzt is what they'd come up and tell us from behind. Are you guys joining the army? They'd say look at John's ears sticking out! No more flattop for me this year. It was 1976 and I wanted my hair over my ears like the other kids.

We got our basketball and headed to the park. All we could think about now was that dreaded trip to Don's Barbershop in the morning. Poor Danny was now roped into my dad's crazy idea of a haircut. This guy had such perfect hair too. I bet the girls really liked him in junior high. He was a good looking kid. I felt for him tomorrow. I remember the first trip David and I took to Don's Barbershop. This poor kid would soon look like geek city man.

"Hey, does your dad really make you guys cut your hair clipper short up around the ears," asks Danny.

"Yeah, it's got to be super short, or he'll have them redo it," I say.

"Well your hair isn't really short right now. Look your guys ears are covered and all," says Danny.

"That's because Mr. Johnson took us to the barbers 5 months ago," said David.

"Oh man, I really don't want to cut my hair," says Danny.

"You have to now. Mr. Johnson takes me to cut my hair. Danny you're staying with us now and you have to do what my parents say. I think they will always have Mr. Johnson take you to get your hair cut with us from now on," says David.

"Yeah, it used to be my mom who'd take us for haircuts," I say.

"My dad thought they were never short enough, so he takes us. Ha ha poor David got trapped into this whole haircut thing too. At least I'm not alone though," I say.

We walk on to the park and play basketball. It is a small game of three on three. We play against some kids we met there. Soon it's getting dark and we head home.

That night we watch t.v. and eat a lot of junk food. We try to stay quiet and not anger our dad. All I keep thinking about is getting my hair sheared off again. What if my dad changes his mind and I have to get another flattop? I'd have to face the kids at school next week nearly bald. My ears sticking out again for the world to see. It had been nearly a year now since my dad had been taking us to Don's Barbershop.

I wandered about my brother. He was now at my grandparents and might get out of this haircut. Maybe I should ask my dad if we could wait till he comes home so he could go with us to the barbers? I know David hates his hair cut so short. It's weird that he never complains too much about it though. He started to cry a little one time, but quickly stopped. I think he's gotten used to the clippers and being shorn, that's it.

All three of us got so tired and soon fell asleep in my room. Just before I went to sleep I realized tomorrow wasn't going to be pleasant. I'd lose what hair I'd managed to grow out.

"Wake up boys!" shouted my dad.

"It's 9:30 and I want to get over to the barbers by 10:00, let's get up," shouts dad.

We all three groan and start to stretch. I notice the David and Danny's hair is a matted mess in their sleeping bags. I think to myself, this hair will soon be just about gone. I reach up and feel my hair and know it's a mess too. I get a knotting feeling knowing its almost haircut time again. I just hate haircuts.

"Come on, let's get going," David says.

"Yeah, my dad is getting a little impatient," I say.

We raise and dress. Each one of us takes a quick turn it the restroom. I have to laugh when I notice Danny has combed his hair very nice and neat! David and I just sort of whipped the brush through quickly. I guess we both know it will be all clipper off soon anyway.

We head to the car and I sit up front with my dad. It's a Thursday morning just after ten. Here we go again to Don's Barbershop!
That night flew by faster than I wanted it to.

We arrive and the place is empty except for Don, no other barber or customers. We slowly get out of my dad's Mustang. There would be five of us, but my ten year old brother Eric is not joining us this time. Not fair at all. I bet my dad takes him here separately soon. He has a mop on his head now too.

"Hello Don, I brought my gang with me again for haircuts," Jake my dad says.

"Whose the older one Jake?" Don asks.

"Oh this is Danny, he's David's cousin that's going to be staying with them now," my dad answers.

"Well, I'm always glad to get new customers!" Don says.

We all sit down in those dreaded black vinyl waiting chairs. This time my dad's crewcut is still short and he won't need a haircut this time. There will only be three haircuts today.

"Which one of you lucky boys gets to go first?" asks Don.

None of us say a thing. No one volunteers to step up to that bet up barber chair.

"John, you go first, get over there," my dad yells.

I comply because I'm afrail I might anger my dad. If he gets mad, it's flattop time again, buzzzitt all the hair gone again like last time. I walk over slowly and sit down in the chair. Don snaps the barber cape out and then wraps it around my neck. I notice my dad sits down in the empty barber's chair next to me, like he wants to talk to Don. Don applies the tissue real tight around my neck. I'm dreading hearing the word flattop again.

"So Jake, what's it going to be for him this time, another flattop?" Don asks.

Oh, what not again, no, no! My heart is racing and I feal my eyes start to well up. I have that image in my mind when I first saw my shaved head in the mirror last time. My hair nearly gone and just a little left on top. My chubby ears sticking out!

"John, do you want another flattop?" asks my dad.

"No, just a regular haircut please dad," I beg.

"Ok Don, just give him a really short clipper back and sides haircut," my dad Jake says.

The clippers whirr on and make that faster, faster motor sound. This is it, off it comes. It was just down to my nose and we'll over my ears. Don pushes the clippers into my right temple and does away with my sideburn. Then I feel it taking all the hear away from over my right ear. I feel the air on it. The clippers continue shaving all the hair off the right side off my head. Then they move to the left. I feal the vibration on my left temple and there goes the hair on that side.

"Oh dude, your hair is all getting shaved off! Mr. Johnson, do I have to cut my hair that short to?" asks Danny.

"Yep, all three of you are getting the same haircut," my dad tells him.

"Oohh, that's so short though!" says Danny.

"Please, no how about just a trim for me?" asks Danny.

"No, clipper short or a flatttop!" shouts my dad.

Danny says no more sitting compliant now.

The clippers attack the back of my head now. I notice most of the black barber cape is covered with my light brown hair. The shearing stops and off pop the clippers. Is it over. No, not hardly. Don turns around and gets a pair of shearing scissors. I reach out of the cape to feel my sides. The hair is skinned to the bone like I thought. I was hoping Don would leave a little more stubble around those chubby ears of mine. Nope, they're totally exposed and sticking out again. He chops and chops the top of my hair with those scissors. At least it's not a flatttop and I'll have some hair up top. Soon he's done and the hair is trimmed from my neck. He takes that little brush and powders my head with that nice smelling talcum power. It's over, I see in the mirror and what is see is not as bad as the flattop last time. I hop down and I'm free!

"Which one's next?" Don asks

"Danny, you hop up next and David can go last," my dad says.

"Ok," Danny says.

He slowly got up and walked over to the chair. I could see this poor guy looked so sad and doomed. All that golden brown wavy shag hair was about to be gone. This kid from the seventies some would look like someone jock from the fifties. I sat and watched with a strange curiosity. He was caped and tissued. He looked trapped there in that chair. The clippers whirred on and there was this moment his hair seemed so safe. Yet the next instant, off fell a huge clump on the right side of his head. More and more clumps. Now his right ear was completely exposed. The hair was falling all around on the floor. It was nice brown and gold hair too. The left side and top were next. Now I could start to image how he was going to look. He was a nice looking kid, but with hair this short he didn't have a chance. Poor kid was going to have it tough next Monday morning at school. He sat there looking doomed as his proud mane fell in clumps down around him. Soon it was over for him to and he hopped down.

"Come on David," Don said.

"Don, I'm going to have a cigerette outside," my dad says.

"Ok, I'll finish this last haircut Jake," Don says.

David got clipped just like Danny and I. He never said much and of all of us complained the least. He had really nice blond hair too. Not too many people have that. Usually blond hair is dyed. I felt sad when I saw all his nice blond hair getting sheared off. After nearly 2 hours all three off us nearly looked like marines and headed home in the car.

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