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Craig: Relaxed and Renewed at the Resort by Manny

I'd seen him at the pool several days in a row, always seemingly engrossed in a book or magazine as he worked on his tan. Besides his physique, the fellow was distinguished by a thick mane of long, dark hair that shimmered in the sun. A heavy forelock served more effectively than any visor or cap in keeping the bright sun out of the fellow's eyes. From time to time, though, he would toss his locks back, revealing intense green eyes that were truly captivating. Then he would go back to his book as the mounds of thick hair cascaded forward, providing him some privacy in the midst of the pool area. In the days I'd been at the resort, I never noticed the fellow in the water -- which struck me as strange because the heat was so intense that a dip in the cool pool every 20 minutes or so was the only way I could endure the tropical climate.

I decided to choose the chair right next to his as I settled on a spot for the afternoon. "I hope this chair isn't taken," I said as I put my towel and things down.

The fellow looked up and mopped his mane back with his hand. The green eyes looked at me in a friendly way, and he replied, "It's all yours!"

"I just need to pop into the pool to cool off and I'll be right back. This heat is oppressive," I noted.

Droplets of water clung to my buzzed head as I surfaced from the plunge. I rubbed my hand over the furry pelt that while only a quarter inch was actually on the long side for me. Fortunately, I'd thrown a set of clippers into my luggage to give myself the monthly mow-down while I had a little extra time during my week off.

It had been several years since I'd decided to ditch the stylized locks and simplify my life with a butch cut. A friend of mine had talked me into it -- "here, just let me give you a buzzcut like mine....and it'll be good bye hair care and expenses on personal services related to that prissy look of yours." No kidding! Just the highlights I'd get periodically would set me back a good $150 before tip! From the moment I'd felt the clippers running over the top of my head after a few beers and saw the pretty hair falling away, I'd become a convert. I bought myself a set of Osters and once a month I take it down to an eighth of an inch all over. But in all these years, I'd never sought to convert anyone else, the way my friend had talked me into ditching the sissified locks for a brutal butch. I have to admit, the look was severe -- when I first saw myself buzzed in the mirror, I looked like an escaped convict! Nonetheless, I came to like that look.

I walked back to the chair, soaking wet and quickly dried off with a towel. "Phew, that pool water is cold! But, so refreshing! I hate it when the water in the pool feels like a tub, don't you?" I asked the fellow.

"I virtually never get into the water at all -- prefer sunbathing," he answered, setting down his book like he was interested in continuing our chat.

"So, how do you cool off?" I asked.

"Beer! I'm going to order a big tall draught, actually. Can I treat you to one too?" he asked as he flashed a grin with his pearly white teeth on prominent display. "I'm Craig, by the way."

"I never turn down beer!" I said extending my hand for a shake.

Craig and I hit it off and talked over a whole range of issues....until I couldn't stand the heat any longer. "Come on, let's go for a swim. Race you to the pool," I called out. I could tell Craig felt torn.

He got up from the lounge chair, mopping back his abundant mane, and then hesitated. "You go.....I'll swing by the bar and get us another beer."

"Come on!" I insisted. "What is it? Don't you know how to swim?" I asked.

"Just don't like pool water -- all that chlorine gets in my eyes and hair. Hate the smell and then that means I'll have to wash this before dinner," he said pawing at his locks.

"Okay," I said skeptically, eyeing the silken tresses that seemed to inhibit him. "You go for the beers and I'll take a dip. Meet you back here in a few minutes." Craig seemed relieved and smiled as he strode over to the bar. His thick shoulder length mane danced in the sunlight.

Once back, I felt invigorated. The beer added to the refreshment. "Don't see how you stand it, so long out here without ever getting into the water," I commented. "Must be very hot under all that hair. It's really nice hair, but rather a lot of work to maintain, isn't it?"

Craig seemed embarrassed by the comment, but bounced back quickly, noting, "For me, long hair is liberating. I was a captive of the corporate world for 7 years after I graduated from college. The trim short back and sides look with the dark suit and tie to round out my credentials put me in a corporate box. Then I became my own boss, and this hair," he said tossing his locks about, "is the badge of my independence."

"Except when it comes to diving into the pool because you don't want to hassle with it before dinner. Come on! You look miserable. Let's take a dip!" I urged.

And Craig relented. We both dived in and when he emerged was confronted with a sopping mass of hair in his face. I took advantage of his disorientation to wrestle him a bit and "baptize" him unexpectedly. When he emerged from the cold water the second time, the hair was all slicked back from his face and I could envision him with a total butch, just like mine. His green eyes were more prominent without all that hair in the way. Then it clicked. Craig and I would both be getting butch cuts in my hotel room....he'd be my first convert!

"Wow, that feels great!" he exclaimed. "Refreshing!"

"Works even better than beer," I replied. Then I rubbed my head over my buzzed pate. "And this is another thing that would really help you keep cool on hot days like this."

"What?" Craig stammered.

"A nice, tight buzzcut!" I replied. "In fact, that's what next on my agenda when I leave the pool...."

"....what, give me a haircut?" asked Craig.

"No, give myself one! I brought my clippers with me. Once a month I buzz myself down." Then I eyed him playfully and grabbed his mane of sopping hair, "But I could be of assistance with this too....my barber's kit has cape, shears, clippers....ready to go. A second independence day for you." Craig was awkwardly silent. I continued my sales pitch, "You know, I spent years fussing with long hair -- not quite as long as yours, but enough of it to eat away at my time and resources. The day a friend of mine took the clippers to me and I felt the long stuff falling onto my shoulders and then to the floor, was like nirvana! I'll never forget the first drive of the clippers down the top of my head....and stepping with my bare feet onto the silken shorn tresses on the floor."

I could tell Craig was intrigued. "You just let him shave it all off at once."

"That's right....from a salon look with highlights to a brutal butch cut -- eighth of an inch, single length administered in my kitchen!"

"Oh my....I don't think I could ever do that...." murmured Craig. After a second, he added, "But I did consider using the hotel salon to have this pruned back a bit. It is all rather a bit too much, especially the bangs in my face.....but then when I saw the bimbo in the hair salon smacking on gum, I thought I'd wait until I got back home."

"Tell you what. I can easily trim your bangs for you. Let's shower here at the pool, finish our beers, stop by my room where I'll trim your bangs, and then we can head to dinner together. There's a special folkoric show on the outdoor patio."

"Oh, I thought about going to that too. Sure would be fun to enjoy the show with someone," said Craig eagerly.

"What about the haircut....uh, trim, I mean," I asked.

"Why not?" he said bravely. "But first the beers....."

I moved the process forward, steadily and as quickly as I could to minimize any attempt by Craig to wiggle out of his commitment to a "trim". As I watched him lather up his mass of hair in the shower, he did seem to enjoy the routine -- although combing through the tangled wet locks seemed a bit painful for him. The dense mane was very difficult to get under control.

On our walk to the room I struggled internally about how to best engineer his total makeover. One option was to savage his hair unexpectedly once I got him under the cape. But, that probably would not result in a tight butch. He'd probably flee the room as soon as he realized what was happening....plus I'd lose the friendship that had blossomed so quickly that afternoon. So, I would entice him into consenting....lull him into a trust-relationship first.

Once in the room, I pulled out my barbering kit and motioned for Craig to take a seat in the chair. Then I caped him up in the royal blue cloth with white piping around the neck that was securely fastened into place with a big metal clip.

"Wow, you do have all the paraphernalia!" Craig exclaimed. The equipment seem to calm any residual nervousness he might have felt committing his long hair to a virtual stranger who had tried to talk him into a brutal butch cut.

I carefully combed the bangs straight down. The damp locks reached the tip of his prominent Roman-shaped nose. It was a dense veil of hair. "So just trim the tips off a bit? Even it up?" I asked. "Perhaps to here?" I indicated with the shears at the mid-nose length.

"Oh, shorter than that," Craig replied. "My stylist usually takes them off at mid-eye level and then sweeps the hair to the side."

"Two inches then, trimmed off?" I asked.

"Go for it -- it's been forever since I've had a haircut and now is the time to shed some of this, don't you think?" Craig asked.

If he only knew my plans for him!! I slipped the shears into the mane and took a determined snip that sent a chunk of wet hair to the cape. A few more careful snips sent a lot more hair falling. "You have such nice eyes. Why not shorten the bangs a bit more -- perhaps to the brow?" I asked.

Craig seemed hesitant. "Well, let me see how you've done with this. How much longer are you staying at the resort? I might ask for a second round later. And maybe the back and sides a bit too, depending on your work."

"Sure. Let me just layer the bangs a bit, so they don't seem chopped off and heavy." I sectioned off a portion, raised it between my fingers and then snipped away at it, making it a bit jagged for the salon style look.

After I finished, I encouraged Craig to look in the mirror. "Hey, you did a great job with the bangs! Ugh, my hair's gotten so long in back...." he said.

"It'll be hot on that patio tonight. Since you're all caped up, perhaps I should go ahead now and deal with that length in back," I encouraged him.

"Okay..." he said, relenting without a hint as to the plans I had in mind for those flowing locks.

I combed through the long dark hair that reached half way down to the shoulder blades. "Shorter than normal back here too? It's awfully long," I suggested.

"Yeah, a bit shorter would be good," he agreed.

My idea of "a bit" was probably going to be quite different than his. Quickly, the shears were right at his nape. Snip, snip, snip. Six inch chunks of heavy, damp hair fell to the floor. I felt Craig tense up a he realized the instrument of destruction was right at his nape. Yet he sat quietly, with just a bit of squirming under the cape. The thick heavy locks resisted, but I prevailed. Heavy chunks hit the floor with a muffle thud as I chopped away. I enjoyed trampling the trophies at my feet. They were the beginning of the end of Craig's dreamy long locks.

Then, more gingerly, I snipped around the side and took the length off at mid ear. Incredibly long chunks fell to the cape. I felt like I had to explain, "Might be a tad short, uh, shorter than I intended, for sure....but you'll feel a lot better."

Craig's hand came out from under the cape and he fingered a long cut lock. "Wow, you really took a lot off," he murmured.

Then I tussled his wet hair, "But plenty remains up here!" I fluffed it out a bit. He looked like a male model from a cologne comercial with his wet hair. "And I'm giving you a salon finish with the blow dryer. I quickly removed the cape and shook the hair to the floor. I saw Craig staring at the cut locks incredulously and feeling how short it was in back as I retrieved the dryer from the bathroom. I smiled secretly as I saw the distraught look on his face as he pawed at the short tufts of hair at his nape.

Once the blast of warm air distracted him, he seemed to relax a bit. I nurtured the heavy mane on top with the dryer and his brush for a long time. The glossy, clean hair felt like silk ribbons between my fingers. Craig absorbed the tender caresses of my hands and warm jet of air as his thick mane was styled into a look worthy of a fashion magazine cover.

"OK - go take a look and let me know what you think," I urged, snapping off the dryer.

Craig came back in the room smiling. "Well, it's pretty short, but I like it. Feels better too -- not so heavy."

"Short?!" I joked. "You're going to see what short is when you finish with me!!" I said handing him the clippers.

Craig looked astonished. "What....?" he stammered.

I took a seat. "Go ahead, cape me up. You're the longest-haired barber in the country! My haircut is pretty simple -- take that machine and peel me like you would a tangerine!"

Craig seemed to enjoy the task I'd given him, starting with the royal blue barber cape. Then he took the clippers straight back across the top of my head, like a pro. "So this is what you wanted to do to me?" he laughed. He paused in his tracks, "Wow -- that's almost down to the scalp!"

"What?" I engineered a panicked voice. "Isn't that plastic guard on?"

"What are you talking about?" he asked nervously.

I pointed to the table, "That small plastic thing should be over the teeth of the machine, to ensure a little length."

He gulped. "Well, all I can say is that it wasn't when you handed me the clippers...."

I laughed. "Oh well, take me down to the wood, all over. I'm on vacation and can deal with a shorter than expected cut! In fact, I think it'll be great. I've often wanted to go all the way, and now I'm getting my wish fulfilled."

"Glad you're feeling that way, because this haircut is radically short," mused Craig as he went to town clipping away my fuzzy top.

"Especially compared to yours. But I absolutely love the feel of the metal teeth on my scalp. It's like heaven. Have you ever had a clippers taken to your head, Craig?" I asked.

He hesitated a bit, before launching into a story. "Only once, and very briefly. It was during my phase as a businessman. We were giving a presentation in New York, and on the flight over there my boss (who was one of those difficult-to-please types) said he thought I should get a haircut after we arrived because I was looking 'shaggy'. It was so demeaning. I felt like a helpless teen suffering under the cruel rule of a domineering father. Anyway, I knew that his 'suggestion' was not really a suggestion. During check-in at the hotel, my boss asked loudly if there was a barber shop nearby. The fellow said yes -- just across the street, but it was closing shortly. So my boss 'suggested' he take my suitcase to his room so that I could get to the shop before it closed. It was clear I had no choice. Well, to make a long story short, it was an old fashioned barber shop. I'd never been in one in my life before and the old geezer looked at me pretty strange when I walked in with my salon hair that was indeed overgrown. I had a bit of a flamboyant business style with plenty of length on top and very full back and sides that lapped over my ears. After he'd caped me up, I told him 'just a trim'; the next thing I knew, he was plowing the clippers into my coif! The vibrating teeth on my nape felt like a jolt of electricity. I made a big fuss and he eventually switched to scissors and comb, but a lot of damage had already done. The thrashing he gave me with the thinning shears knocked the life out of my flamboyant top. I walked out of there with a very, very short haircut -- tapered up the back, parted on the side and slicked over with pomade for a very 'barbered' look. My boss smiled broadly when I stopped by his room to pick up my suitcase. Told me it was the best haircut I'd ever gotten and that we should travel to New York together more often. I felt so humiliated as he inspected my tapered nape and suggested the barber should have clipped it closer and higher up the back. The next day I combed my hair like the barber had for the presentation -- just to please my over-bearing boss. I felt like a geek -- and looked like one too with that awful 'short back and sides' haircut of a 1950s school boy. I think it was that experience that made me determined to break away from the corporate world. Didn't need anyone telling me I looked shaggy! So, I guess, that unexpected haircut lead to something good....." he said with his voice trailing.

There was something in his voice and story-like delivery of the account that made me question whether it was actually true.....or maybe a fantasy he wished for himself. No matter, his story persuaded me that dear Craig would get more than a short haircut at my hands. He would be subjected to an experience as I introduced his precious locks to my heavy-duty, fast-feed electric hair clippers!

I chatted on, "I'll tell you, hair clippers are miracle workers. From the first swipe through my long hair, it was like a love affair....seeing the locks fall away was like 'good riddance'. Looking at myself shorn, I felt like a macho-man.....not some prancy, prissy, pretty-boy."

"That's not what you think of me," Craig stated defensively, "is it?"

"Hey, you've got nice hair. You can't help looking pretty with it all fluffy and blow-dried like that."

Craig abruptly changed the subject as he snapped off the clippers. "There Mr. Bald-to-the-Bone. You look like a convict. Now, let's go eat. I'm famished." He unfastened the cape, and my fuzz wafted down to rest atop the huge collection of wet, six-inch locks that covered the floor around the impromptu barber chair.

I swung by the bathroom. "Love it! This is super sleek on me. I feel totally free," I said rubbing the sandpaper stubble as I came back into the room. "Come on, Mr. Pretty Boy, let's get some chow!"

During the meal, I could see Craig discreetly feeling how short his hair had been cut at the nape. He tugged on the little stubble at the hairline in back that was covered by the long silken locks which flowed down from the crown. At other moments, he absent-mindedly measured the hair over his ears, how short it had been cut. And he stared intently at my clipped head throughout. I fondled my stubble and took full pleasure in the baldy look he'd given me.

When we sat down from loading up at the dessert bar, I decided to broach the subject. "So you said you didn't think you could ever do what I did...." Craig looked puzzled. "Shed it all at once." I ran my hand over my shorn head.

Craig blushed. "I admire you....your bravery."

"And my shorn head?" I added.

He partly dodged the question. "I've been thinking about our discussion -- me thinking my long hair was liberating, but in reality.... Well, maybe it was at first. But you pointing out I've become prisoner to it, and you're right. My hair rules me. When I felt the shears at my nape today giving me far more than 'just a trim' I knew that my love affair with long hair was over. I felt like being set free of it."

"You will be. Tomorrow at the pool, we'll be sporting twin cueball cuts! Come on, let's go....." I said.

Just then a fellow bounded up onto stage and grabbed the mike. "Good evening ladies and gentlemen." He had a fantastic mane of dark hair like Craig's that flowed down to his waist. A luxurious mustache gave him an extra aura of pinache. He ran his hand through his locks as he introduced himself.

Craig whined a bit as he surveyed the longhaired emcee, "But once you've shaved my hair off....what if I don't like it?"

"You can blame me. Turn me over your knee and give me a spanking!" I joked.

Then I decided to throw down the gauntlet. I looked Craig in the eye. "My guess is that once I've scalped you -- shaved you down to the wood -- and all that beautiful hair is at my feet.....your stomach will be in knots and your legs will be like jelly as I lead you into the bathroom to see the new you. You'll have a crisis of confidence when you see yourself shorn from the first time. You'll grasp your bald head and be overcome by a horrible sense of remorse. The deeply tanned face of yours will contrast awkwardly with the virgin white scalp of the 0000 length crop I'm going to inflict on you. You'll feel vulnerable and insecure. And I'll point at you and laugh and call you my little baldy boy and make you sweep up your shorn hair from the floor and kiss it goodbye."

Craig's face was ashen. He gulped. "I'm ready. Take me back to your room. I want to feel those clippers on my head, the metal teeth mercilessly chewing off my beloved hair right at the scalp....I've never felt the clippers before."

Just as I suspected! "Oh, you will tonight....make up for all those years you spent brushing the pretty silken tresses. As soon as we're out of this restaurant, I'm going to grab you by that mop and drag you back to my room to administer a punishingly short induction cut....."

"Yes, that's what I want....." Craig murmured, as he stood as if in a transe and headed to the door.

I whispered to him the scene that would unfold next, in my room, "Those scared green eyes staring at me helplessly as the pretty boy hair is brutally stripped off.... The look on your face will be priceless. Move it, Baldy-boy-to-be!" I growled, close on his heels, as my gaze locked onto the shimmering, beautiful mahogony-colored hair.

I glanced at the emcee on-stage who was flinging his waist-length hair about as he crooned. One convert might not be enough on this trip.....shears to his nape, clippers to his head and razor to his face. Baldy Boy Craig could help me strap him down by force, if need be, for a conversion by the clippers....

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