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The Barber and the Lawyer - Part 3 by Gator

The Barber and The Lawyer " Part 3
By Gator

This is a complete work of fiction. You may want to read Parts 1 and 2 first.

Before Charlie left the shop, he grabbed his cell phone and said that he’d meet me at the Depot. The beer was on him tonight. Who was I to argue?

Spring had finally officially arrived in town. The college was on its Spring Break so business was very slow all week. Just my normal townies came in for their cuts. I was finishing Corey’s weekly cut. As he got out of the chair, he turned. "You know, you’ve surprised me." "How so?" I asked. "Well, by now you would’ve already taken anybody else down to a high and tight, or even a flattop. You know that is what Charlie wants, but is too afraid to say anything." "So, what’s your point?" I asked. Corey got this smirk on his face. "I am betting that you cannot, or will not, give Charlie a flattop within the next month." "Four weeks? That’s a long time, Corey." "I know, but I want to give you plenty of time to work the magic with your clippers. And besides, he is out of town for a week or so visiting family." "So, what is the pay-off for this bet?"

Corey laughed. "If I win, and you don’t give Charlie a flattop, I take charge of my own cuts again." "And if I win?" "Hmm. I am thinking…" "I will give you a recon." Corey stopped smiling and with a serious look on his face, "You serious?" "Yep." Corey was quiet for a few minutes. "Let me add a qualifier here." "What?" "If you lose and I take charge of my own style of cut, then I also give you one month’s worth of a butch." "And lose my flattop?" "Yup! You need to step up to the plate, my friend." "Dang, boy, you are a wicked dealer!" "Well?" "You’re on!" We shook hands. Corey headed out to the door. I needed a plan. I was not going to lose this bet with Corey. He was merciless when he handled the clippers. He once gave me a high and tight, but that’s another story.

College was back in session. It was Wednesday after closing. I walked to the Depot for a drink and a bite to eat. I was too tired to cook dinner for myself and fast food was not going to cut it tonight. It’s tough being single. Once in the bar, I sat on a stool, ordered a beer. Shortly, Charlie came in and sat next to me. "Hey, Pete." "Charlie! Good to see you!" "Thanks, man." How was your trip home?" "It was good. You getting some food?" "Yep, I am." "Good, let’s go grab a booth so we can talk."

Charlie started. "You know I went to visit family this past week. I saw my granddad; it was his birthday. Well, I caught some crap from my little brother about how short my cut is. My little sister liked it." "And your parents?" "Mom, of course had that look on her face. She wasn’t really happy with it, but knew she has no more control over the length of my hair anymore. My dad, just smiled and ruffled my hair." "What about granddad?" "He loved it. He said that it was a great look for me. He also said it was about time that I finally got a real man’s cut again." We both laughed. "Granddad then said something bizarre to me." "Oh?" "Yep. He asked me why I didn’t get a flattop." I sat up straight and looked in Charlie’s eyes. "You’re pulling my leg, right?" "No, I’m not. I asked him what he meant by that comment. My granddad then said that he noticed how I always carefully watched that one state patrol officer always gets his flat cut. He then said that he knew I wanted one, but he never pushed the issue because of my mom." Charlie had me hooked now. He went on. "I told my granddad to go on. He said that my awe of this officer’s cut was all over my face and in my eyes. What I didn’t tell you before, Pete, was that the state patrol officer was always in the shop on the same day that my granddad and I went for a cut that summer. He was right. I was so hooked that I only paid attention to him getting that flattop. I was not aware that my granddad had noticed." "Wow." "I asked my granddad what he thought about me getting a flat. He said it was my choice now that I was an adult. He had always wanted me to get a flat, but never said so." "That’s amazing, Charlie. So, what are you thinking?" "Nothing, yet, Pete. I have to give this time to sink in. My granddad really surprised me." I was thinking this was going to help my plan come together.

The next day was Thursday. Since the college kids were back, my morning was a lot busier than normal. All of them were trying to shed their winter locks and go short " very, very short. By 5:30 that afternoon, the shop had slowed down. I went out to sit on the bench in front. I leaned against the window, closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. It was going to be at least a 2-beer night tonight. A few minutes later, I heard Charlie’s voice. "Hey, bud. You got time for one more cut?" I opened my one eye and looked in his direction. "For you, of course I do." We entered the shop. Charlie followed me in. Once in, I heard him lock the door. "It’s almost closing time and I want your full attention, Pete." Since my back was to him, I smiled. I went to the back of the chair, patted the seat, and held out my hand. Charlie looked at my hand. "What’s that for?" "You cell phone. I want your full attention, too." We both laughed. As Charlie handed over his cell, he asked, "When I first came in here, what did you think when my phone rang and I left?" "The first time, I didn’t think much about it. However, the next few times, I suspected that it was a set-up because you were afraid of sitting in my chair." "Well, I was a little because I wasn’t sure how short you’d go or even if you would honor my request for the cut I got." I chuckled. "You heard the stories, then." Charlie sat in the chair and I caped him up. I put the tissue around his neck and cinched the cape a little tighter than I normally had done in the past. I rolled the tissue over the cape and then stroked them down so I could get to Charlie’s nape. Charlie moved his head a little. "Not too tight, is it?" I asked. Charlie squeaked out a small, "No. It’s fine. But no tighter, please." "So, how do you want this cut, Charlie?"

"I was thinking just like last time."
"What about your conversation with your granddad?"
"I’m not ready for a flattop yet, Pete. Not sure when I will be. So, I am thinking, same cut as last time."
"We’ll see." I grabbed the clippers and turned them on. Charlie jumped a little. I put my hand on his shoulder. "Just relax, Charlie. I’m in charge. You’ll be fine." I then took the clippers with my 1.5 blade and ran them straight up his sides up past the temple area and right to the crown. I purposely aimed for his lap. Two weeks of growth plopped down. Charlie looked at his lap; I palmed his head and straightened it back up. "If you keep moving, you’re going to get a baldy." I could feel Charlie swallow hard. "It seems a little shorter, Pete." "You complaining, Charlie?" He cut his eyes at me and said, "Me complain to you who holds the clippers? Never!" I continued stripping his sides and back with the 1.5 blade. My plan was to go back and do a very tight taper so that Charlie was sporting a 0-blade length up to his temple area. Very similar to a military high reg cut. I kept switching out the blades to do the taper. As I switched out each blade, I made sure to run my forefingers up his sides and back. I kept hearing deep sighs coming from him. I knew this cut was pleasing him even if it was going to be way shorter than he originally had planned. I finished the sides and back, making sure that around Charlie’s ears was a 0-blade. The skin looked good on him. I grabbed my comb and scissors so I could cut the top. I was going to take off about 1.5 inches leaving Charlie roughly with half of what he walked in with. Most of this hair was also landing in his lap. On purpose? Well, yeah. Once, I was finished, I began to blend the sides and the top with the clippers. To finish off, I used the edgers around his ears before spreading lather so I could clean him up. Charlie finally opened his eyes. "You know, that lather feels good." "Doesn’t it though? Perhaps one day, I can get you into a razor shaved high and tight." Charlie grunted, "I don’t think so." "Don’t ever say ‘never’ Charlie." Bam! My turn to play the cards again!

Friday rolled around. It was a fairly busy day. Corey and I talked during lunch; he said that Charlie had been shocked by how short this cut had been. They had talked last night at the bar. Charlie liked the cut a lot, but he was worried what folks would say. I laughed. "Nobody is probably gonna notice, Corey. You know how it goes." "True that. Nobody even says anything about my cuts and haven’t in a real long time." "See? Didn’t I tell you?"

As Corey and I were talking, he told me had gotten an interview at the college for a job. The interview had gone well and within two weeks he should know about getting hired to be a multi-media specialist for the college. He was excited. I told him when he got the job, I would give him his choice of cuts on me of course. This also meant that he would not have to move.

The day was winding down. I was totally surprised when Charlie came into the shop. No one was there as it was about 15 minutes to closing. I was cleaning up to get ready for my half day of work tomorrow. "Hey, Pete." "Charlie! What are you doing here?" "I had to come and tell you about my day." "Oh?" "Yep." We sat in the waiting chairs. "And?" I asked. "Well, I was really nervous about going into my office today. This cut is way shorter than I had planned on. Way more skin that I thought I would ever want." I reached over and felt the stubble. "It looks good on you and feels even better," I said. He smiled. His dimples always got me. "Thanks, sport." "So what was said to you?" Charlie chuckled a little. "Not much to be honest. My para-legal looked and said, ‘Even shorter huh? Looks good, sir.’ And that was it from the office. I got into court and a couple of other lawyers looked and said that it was about time I came into the 21st century with my haircuts. Several compliments from them. I’m pleased. Thanks, Pete." I smiled back. "Anytime, Charlie. What did I tell you about no one noticing or even caring about your haircuts?" "I know, I know. But that change is what worried me." I stood up, grabbed him by the arm and aimed him for my barber chair. "What are you doing Pete?" he inquired. "It’s time, Charlie. Into the chair." "Time for what?" "Your flattop." I gently eased him into the chair. He tried to resist, but it was futile. I quickly snapped the cape in place. "But, Pete, I just got a cut yesterday. I…" "You just need to be quiet. Think of what your granddad told you."

Charlie looked at me very quietly, but did not say anything else. I walked behind him, grabbed my comb to neaten up yesterday’s cut. "Can I make a suggestion, Pete?" "Well, of course you can. It doesn’t mean that I will do it for you. What are you thinking?" "Just tighten up my sides again. Don’t go any shorter." "Thanks for the thought, Charlie." I turned to my back bar and got my Osters. I switch the blade to a #1. I turned it on. I placed the Osters in front of his right ear and went straight up the side of his head. Where there once was hair was now cut down to a #1 length. I purposely dropped the hair into his lap. "Where’d that come from, Pete?" "Your head." I laughed. "You are quite the comedian." I made another pass up his side and continued this path around to his back. I used my right hand, placed it on top of Charlie’s head and made him lower it. "Bend your head down to your chest." He did; he was so compliant as if he knew his fate. I continued to strip off the side hair from yesterday’s cut. I then moved his head to the right so I could get the left side cut. I dropped as much of the hair as I could in Charlie’s lap. He was breathing a little harder now. "Relax, Charlie. It will be fine." "I’m worried, Pete." "It’s a haircut. Just like all the others that you have gotten from me." I raised his head up so that it was level. I went to the front of the chair, put my hand under his chin and raised his head up a little. His brown eyes looked pleadingly into mine. I shook my head so that he wouldn’t say anything. I smiled. "Just trust your barber."

I went to the back of the chair and got my spritzer bottle to wet his hair. I then took my boar’s hair brush and began brushing Charlie’s hair straight back. I needed to get rid of his part, or as much as I could at this point. I then changed the blade on the Osters back to a #2. I leveled Charlie’s head again and said, "Don’t move now. Stay still, sport." He mumbled, "Yes, sir." He was catching on to this rather quickly. I placed the comb in at the bangs and began to cut his top down. This was going to be a jagged top to begin with and I knew that. I did, however, make sure that the cut hair went passed his eyes into his lap. I heard a slight moan. I kept repeating the clipper over comb cut from front to back. Once I had finished the first pass, I went back to the front of the chair, lifted Charlie’s chin a little to look to see how short the top was right now. "I forgot to ask you. How short was that trooper’s flat? Did he have a skinned landing strip or not?" "Yes, he did." "Thanks." I moved to the back of the chair again. I once again placed the comb in front where his bangs used to flop around and repeated the entire clipper over comb flat cut on top. I only took off about three-fourths of an inch; but the change was noticeable.

I then grabbed my Krew Komb. I got out 2 fingers of the pink stuff, rubbed it in my hands to warm it up and then smeared it through Charlie’s top. He sniffed. "I love that smell. I remember it from the trooper’s cut." "Get used to it Charlie. It’s now your smell." I then got my flattop brush and brushed Charlie’s top again. The top was cut pretty rough looking. I had just gotten a new wide flattop comb; I decided to use it on Charlie. I placed it in front. I comb his hair so that I could take off about another quarter of an inch. I wanted to take off just enough to get the flat shape to his top. I cautioned Charlie again not to move. "Yes, sir." I clipped off the hair that stuck above the comb. To empty what I had cut, I dumped it all in Charlie’s lap which by now was getting kinda full of his brown hair.

I repeated the process on top until I got it flat as a board. I walked around to the front of the chair. I lifted Charlie’s chin again; the clippers were still purring. I lifted his chin a little higher than last time and gently took the clippers across his top to catch the stragglers which dared to stick up. I made sure to hold onto Charlie’s chin tightly. I couldn’t afford him to move or even flinch a little bit. "Good man, Charlie. You’re doing well." He sighed deeply as his brown eyes stayed open looking at me. "Stay quiet though. We’re almost done."

I had finished his top, went to the back of the chair and got the boar’s hair brush again. I brushed through his new cut. I have to admit that he really could wear a flattop well. It looked great on him. I got the lather and shaved around his ears and the nape of his neck. I got a warm towel and cleaned off his neck and around his ears. I turned the chair so he could face the mirror. I left the cape on with his lap full of his cut hair. "Well, what do you think, Charlie?" He opened his eyes wide. "Oh, my gosh! I can’t believe it! This is almost what that trooper looked like!" I took my hands and moved his head to the right, then to the left. I then lowered his head so he could see that I had given him just a very slight hint of a landing strip. I let go of his head.

Charlie kept looking at his new cut. He slowly took his hand from under the cape to touch the cut. "Wow. Just wow! I love the stubble feeling on the sides." His smile showed it all " dimples and all. I turned the chair back around, undid the cape and folded it so that the hair would not get on his clothes. I removed the cape so he could get out of the chair. He rubbed his top. "What a feeling, Pete. It feels like plush velvet." He went to stand in front of the mirror. He could not keep his hands off of his flat. "I can’t believe you gave me a flat, Pete. You said you would, but I didn’t think…." "Charlie, I am a man of my word." He turned to face me. He then gave me a big bear hug which surprised me. "Thanks, man." He then took his hand and rubbed my flat. "Yours feels a little different than mine." "So, no worries now?" I asked. He laughed. "Oh, hell yes! What is everyone going to think?" I looked at my watch. It was well passed 6:00 PM. "We will soon find out, Charlie. We’re going to the Depot for dinner. Let’s go. My treat." We exited the shop; I locked the door and we walked to the bar.

As we walked, I told Charlie that he would have to be back in a week so I could tighten up and clean up his flat. Every new flat always needed a second cut within a week.

Corey was bartending as we entered. Charlie and I got a couple of looks from folks " two flattops coming in the door together was not a usual site. We got a booth; Corey brought over 2 beers. "I’m screwed, huh, Pete?" Corey asked. I smiled and said, "I will see you tomorrow 15 minutes before closing!" Corey walked off shaking his head. "What was that about, Pete?" "Don’t be upset with me, Charlie. Corey made a bet with me that I couldn’t or wouldn’t get you into a flattop. I had a month. You took a week’s vacation on me. When you came back today after yesterday’s cut, I knew it was now or never for your flat. Your story about your granddad inspired me to force you into finally getting the flattop." Charlie smiled and chuckled. "I was kinda hoping it would, Pete. By the way, my granddad really did have that conversation with me. I didn’t make it up."

I looked at Charlie and said, "Now we have to decide how short to go with your flat. And, you are welcome to come back to the shop tomorrow to see Corey get his cut." Corey brought another round of beers to the table. "How short is this cut to be, Corey?" asked Charlie. Corey hesitated. "A recon." He walked off rubbing his head. Charlie looked at me and smiled. "So who’s playing a round of haircut poker now?" Charlie asked as he winked at me.

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