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family Ties - Part I by P.J.

Family Ties - part I
Here we go again Ric thought sadly.
How many more times am I going to endure this before I just give up and get on with my life.

Ric was a young gay man who had just come out to his very conservative, very religious parents last year at the age of 29. That hadn't gone well. He' d done it at the insistence of his 2 brothers. They'd known he was gay since they were all teenagers. They'd even met and freely accepted Ric's partner Mike.
Ric though back to last year, holiday time, flying back from San Fran, leaving Mike behind again, he'd boldly shown up at the house with shoulder length hair and a full beard. Both of which he knew going in that his overbearing Mom hated. His brother Pete, who had also shown up with an overgrown mop, one that Ric thought looked great, took one look at him and said be prepared, Mom's already on me to get mine cut, wait till she gets a load of you!

He accepted his dads embracing hug. Dad ran his hand through the plush thick wavy brown locks, then scrubbed it along his neatly trimmed beard and said, what's all this? A bit uncharacteristic for you to say the least. No time for the barber while you're doing your doctorate work? If they only knew what else was "uncharacteristic" of him. Ric was determined that this was the trip he would d tell all. His brothers would support him, he knew that, his parents, well, he'd have to wait and see.

His mom came in the room, gave him a hug before realizing what she was seeing. She stepped back, ran an hand through the thick chin length bangs, pushing them back off his face choosing not to even touch the beard. Here we go Ric thought to himself, here it comes, not even in the house 5 minutes. What's all this, I guess we're going to make a quick trip into town for haircuts before anything else happens around here this weekend. Your brother is looking almost as shaggy. Sorry to disappoint , mom, but no haircut, and no shave. I like it this way and its going to stay. I'm 29 years old, time to stop treating me like I'm 10. Pete walked in and said, me too. This isn't from lack of attention, I like it this way, as he pushed his nose length bags back. Pete's hair was an uncommon shade of dark blonde, almost a bronze color, and every bit as thick as Ric's, with just s slight hint of a wave to it. It was currently a long overgrown business man's cut, creeping down over his ears and over his collar. Pete, it had been decided long ago, had the best hair in the family, Ric's was second best, followed lastly by Ben, who sadly had the family receding hairline, already fully evident, and flat, thin, pin straight hair to boot.

Oh, really, well we'll just have to see about that. Ric thought , here we go again, clash of the Titans.
They made it through Christmas day, mops intact. Taking lots of heat from folks at church, and family about how different they both looked. Privately, mom was fuming, telling them see, everyone thinks we're bad parents, we can't even keep our kids looking proper, I've never been so embarrassed. Ric said sorry you feel that way, most people commented on how different we looked, not that we needed haircuts as I recall. Grandma even commented on the fact that she never realized how wavy my hair is, it was always been cut so short you couldn't tell. Pete said yeah, she commented on what a unique shade of blond mine was, wondering which side of the family that gene came from. It was the day after Christmas, a Sunday this year, the barber shops closed on Mondays, Ric had to fly back wed. morning. He'd only have to endure for one day , Tuesday, when anything might be able happen.

They were all sitting around the family room, Ric thought, it's now or never. He glanced at Pete, who sensed what was about to happen and nodded encouragement .
Ric was more nervous now than he had ever been, he ran his hands back through his mane, tucking both sides back behind his ears. It felt so cool to be able to do that. Mom, Dad, there's something I have to talk to you about. Ric was bolstered by the fact that coincidently, he had a brother sitting on each side of him on the couch at the moment. They were all facing his parents, who were sitting together on the love seat. Dad spoke up, O.K. you know you can always come to us, we're always here for you. Well There's no one best way to say this so I'm just going to say it. I'm Gay. I've known this about myself since I was a teenager. I'd like to finally be open and honest about it, and be able to finally be myself around all of you. He'd become a bit teary eyed during this. I know this is a shock by the expressions on your faces. This is a lot to process for both of you. I sincerely hope that this will not fundamentally change our relationship. I'm still the same person I was 5 minutes ago, I just want to be open , finally. Mom got up and left the room, quietly crying, his dad just sat in stunned silence. Looking bewildered at the three boys together on the couch. You boys don't seem shocked, did you already know? Yes, we already knew, Pete said, we knew back when we were Kids. We guessed, Ric didn't have to tell us. His dad got up and walked out too. Well Ric said, exhaling heavily, that went well, bursting into tears, Pete and Ben leaned in awkwardly, trying to embrace and console Ric.

Fast forward to later Monday afternoon, Ric's mom came back down stairs to start dinner. The boys were all in the family room talking quietly. Mom came over and said Ric, I just don't know what to make of all this , first the long hair and beard, now knowing you're gay too. What are our friends going to say, what about our family? This is going to reflect badly on us as parents. Typical mom, making it all about her. MOM, I've been comfortable with it since I first had feelings for a guy instead of a girl. I hope you can accept it. I'm still me , remember that.

Pete and Ric went off alone into the living room, Pete said, you know, maybe we can get our haircut tomorrow, just to appease her a little bit. Ric wheeled on his brother, what are you serious? Ric fingered his thick forelock, pushing it back behind his ear. It had taken him so long to grow this back out, and Mike loved it this way. Pete said sure, its hair , it'll grow back out. He pushed his hand through his heavy bangs, and pushed it through the long curls hanging down in back. It all fell back into place as if it were combed that way. We don't have to get our heads shaved, just short hair cuts like we used to have. I'm going to anyway, come along if you want. I remember what barbershops used to do to us. At least it'll make part of you feel good.

Pete and Ric set out early the next morning, telling no one of their plans, they were just doing some last minute "Errands" before heading back to their respective schools. They got to the old village "chop shop" from years ago, it was largely unchanged. They pushed into the shop. There was the same old barber, Walt, with an old gent in the chair giving him a quick trim. Nobody else was in the shop, perfect Pete thought, no witnesses. They took seats in the old wooden waiting area chairs. Ric slowly scanned the room. Yes this had been the scene of many a shearing, all unwanted. The black and white checkerboard linoleum floor, the red leather and chrome barber chairs, He and Pete used to face each other in these chars as kids, watching in horror as their hair was buzzed up into short back and sides, moms favorite style. Walt and his son used to turn them away from the big wall to wall mirror behind the chairs. Hmm where was Walt's son, Tim, Ric mused to himself. He'd sworn he'd never come back here and now here he was . Like this would make a difference to his parents. All he'd be after this was a freshly shaved gay man who's parents couldn't deal with . Oh, well, at least it would take heat away from Pete. He would be sorry to see Pete's mane sheared down though, he loved the overgrown look it got. The only way to really cut it was to give it a severe clipping and let it grow out. Pete was right the more he thought about it, he always got an amazing jolt watching it hit the floor.

Walt hung the clippers up under the shelf, on a hook near to others , reached for the talc and brush to finish the older gent off. After a quick inspection with the hand mirror, he unclipped the white cape(who used white caped any more Ric thought absently) Let the old guy get up and walked to the register to cash him out. One of you boys can climb into the chair, I'll be right there. Ric and Pete exchanged glances. Ric said I'm not even sure why I'm here, you wanted to do this Pete, you're up bud, not me.

Pete slid into the chair, Walt came back, snapped the cape a couple of times to freshen it up, taped and caped Pete and said, I remember you two, it's been quite a while hasn't it? He started combing Petes hair. Yep, I remember, you have this perfect hair, I can mess it up, run my hand through it and voila, it looks perfect. and your mom always made me give you tight butches. Honestly I hated shaving off all that hair on you, and I'm a barber. What'll it be today, another tight butch? Pete looked at Ric, smiled sadly, and then smirked...Walt, give me the kind of haircut you think I should have with this kind of hair. Now's your chance. It was Walt's turn to smirk, you just made my day son, I promise you, it won't be a butch, I think you might even like it.

Walt made sure that Pete was now facing Ric. He turned and studied the array of implements of destruction hanging from their hooks under the shelf, selected a small set of Osters, brushed them off and oiled them up, checking to see which clipper guard was in place. He harrumphed, rummaged in the drawer, and changed guards. satisfied, he turned to Pete, put his hand firmly on top of his head, and said, all you need to do is follow my instructions, and this should look great, Ready? Pete had a resigned look on his face, nodded and said O.K. Walt gently tilted his head down, brought the clippers up under the shaggy nape, clicked the on, and slowly advanced up the back of Pete's head. Curiously for Pete, he only went up a short ways, and flicked the clippers back out. Pete remembered him going most of the way up the back of his head for a short back and sides, or all the way up and over the crown for the dreaded butch. What was this? Walt proceeded to do this across Pete's whole nape, barely exposing his hairline. The rest of the back was still covered in a plush thick bronsish brush, tapering from the fresh cut up to almost 2" and the crown. Pete suddenly remembers the awful grow out phase after the butch, the hair on his crown stuck straight out until it was at least 2" long and would lay down somewhat.

Next the same clippers did a gradual sweep up from the nape and around the ears, Walt was holding them at an odd angle. They were only removing the hair that hung over Pete's ears, there was no high white outline around the ear after they'd passed by. Now Walt had Ric's full attention. He'd never seen Pete's hair cut like this, Pete was still looking really good, only shorter, and Ric was getting the well remembered stirring in his crotch. Pete glanced at Ric, knew Ric's look very well, and cracked a smile.
Walt stood back after running the clippers around the other side and ear, tipping Pete's head up straight.

He studied Pete for a bit, fired up the clippers again, this time using a small flat barbers comb with them and tapered the longer hair into the fresh cut, The way Pete's hair laid, when Walt finished, it looked like Walt had taken the clippers to the whole back and side of Pete's head, with about a 1 1/2" or 2" guard on them. Pete's ears and nape were fully, freshly exposed. If Walt stopped now Pete was going to look HOT Ric thought. Not a cut Mom would be proud of but a haircut none the less. Ric was squirming now, very aroused, Pete sat still while Walt combed his thick bangs back down over his face . Ric didn't know if he'd be able to make it through these next few minutes. Pete looked so cool this way, too bad he was his brother Ric thought for a sec. Walt said, Hmm, I can either trim these up a bit, and just trim the top slightly, or I can take them up quite a bit and reduce the top down substantially, do you have a preference son? Walt ran his hand through the top of Pete's hair ruffling it and letting it flip back down into place. Damnedest thing, I've only seen hair like this a couple of other times in all my years. Pete said, I'm leaving it to you Walt, this is your moment. Pete's bangs were straight and thick, just tickling the tip of his nose, the barber lightly sprayed some water on the forelock, took up his larger scissors and comb, and studied Pete again. He slid the scissors in just below Pete's eye, hesitated, slid them higher up , about half way up his eye, and snipped. Ric moaned, hoping no one heard him. Pete laughed, Quite the haircut eh brother? Ric answered with another groan, as Walt finished snipping across Pete's face, about 2" of thick heavy bangs sliding into Pete's lap. Walt made a few minutes worth of scissor work on the bangs and Pete now had plush, layered bangs, like they'd grown out from a much shorter cut. Ric was quite amazed at eh results of the scissor work. Pete looked great. Walt passed his hand through the top of Pete's head and said, I could come through here and remove a lot of this, take it way down, but only if you want, let me show it to you first and you decide. I quite like it like this, and that's not like me at all Walt laughed.
He spun the chair to face the mirror, Ric got his first look at the back and groaned again. Wow, Pete looked hot! Well son, what do you think? Pete was smiling from ear to ear. He loved it. Walt, it's NEVER looked like this, It's neat, tailored , and not buzzed, you're a magician with the scissors. Walt said, I'll put a little Matrix in it in front, just to make it stand up a bit. It'll come up out of your eyes but still hang down, nice and full. He then reached over , got a dab of clay, worked it through the top , then combed it through, next he took a large brush, brushed the bangs straight back a couple of time, of course they flopped right back over Pete's forehead, just above his eyes. Walt said, normally It be chopping away on someone like you , taking it down tight, but the perfectionist in me just couldn't ruin this. Your hair color and texture is one of a kind boy. This was a pleasure. Pete said, if you like it I like it! I have new faith in you Walt. Thank you! It'll never be short enough for Mom but I made the effort, and wow, I'm glad I did, the barber back at school would never have done it like this. Ric? What say you, Pete asked, looking over at his big brother. I wouldn't have picked this style for you little brother, but I have to agree with Walt. YOU LOOK HOT! With that proclamation, Walt uncapped Pete, and let him get up. Pete stood close to the big mirror, turning both ways , Walt held up the hand mirror for him to see the back, Pete smiled, running his hand from the freshly tapered nape all the way up through the crown, feeling the graduation in length of the plush bushy locks, his hair always stood on end a bit, so it always had a bit of a brush look to it. The taper was perfectly graduated, starting at almost a zero on the nape he guessed. Well son, that's star quality good looks there Pete commented.

Pete looked at Ric. Well, whats it going to be? He walked over and pushed his hand through the plush chestnut brown forelock that had slid free, covering half of Ric's face, hanging just below his chin, he pushed it back behind his ear. You could stand to lose a few inches and still have great looking long hair bud.
To be continued....

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