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The Urge (part 2) by tightcutoz
The Urge - part 2
(this story is my own version of a previous one that was deleted by the author. i get where they were coming from but it was one for my favourites and has inspired me greatly. part 2 has the haircut. i am writing part 3. i would enjoy feedback, and if you appreciate this story please say so - positive encouragement will lead me to write more)
the first step might be the hardest, but i’m a bundle of nerves as dad gently pushes on my back further into the shop
cant really turn back now
‘good morning gents’ the barber say brightly
‘one of you i know very well, and the other…..well you were much smaller last time we met’
‘Luke’ i say hold out my hand, which i’ve been taught to do, and which he shakes firmly
Mr Farenilli looks very similar to before, a dark buzzcut on a solid frame with large hairy forearms.
‘yes i do remember, not because i’m good with names but because your dad is very proud of you and often talks about your successes. i swear he tells me more about what you’re up to than what he is doing!
dad looks a little nonplussed
‘my life is boring, Luke seems to have much more interesting stuff going on’
‘well so be it. well you do look different now - a tall young man rather than a little boy, but you still have a thick thatch of hair’
i smile a little
‘so Andrew hop up in the hair’
‘actually it’s Luke’s turn today’ dad say taking a seat on the long bench
‘well thats a new one’ the barber says, pointing towards the large red chair
i take a seat carefully
some tissue goes around my neck before the large cape is secured, much tighter than at my normal barber. i can see myself clearly in the mirror. brown hair, pale skin above the black cape.
‘well’ the barber says combing my hair out ‘how are you getting the haircut done young man?’
i gulp but don’t say anything at first, i get ready to utter the words ‘flattop’ but before i can dad starts up
‘Luke wants a change, thats why were are here Sylvio. he’s decided to take up the family mantle of a flattop’
‘big big change, excellent’ the barber says ‘well you’ve come to the right place’ he chuckles
‘what sort of flattop? he says continuing to brush
‘similar to yours Andrew’
‘maybe a bit shorter’ days says
i can see my panicked expression in the mirror
‘oh i can do shorter, no issues there’ the barber says ‘big change. big change’ he mutters
‘i know’ dad say
‘but Luke is game’ he winks at me
‘good lad’ the barber says pushing my head back and forth
‘you don’t want to specify any length?’ the barber continues
‘oh whatever you think will work Sylvio, we trust you’
‘sure sure. well maybe i could ask a favour? i have a few pics of your own flattop on the instagram page, but i would love some of your son too? would that be ok? maybe some before and after?
‘actually that sounds perfect’ dad says ‘ i’d actually like a few pics of it’
another gulp. now my shearing going to happen on camera.
the barber takes a proper camera out of the draw
‘chin up lad. and try to look happier’
he takes about 20 pictures in various positions as i force a smile
‘very nice’ he says
with that the chair spins and instead of the mirror i face my dad on an angle
a hand is on top of my head and it’s directed down so my chin is almost on the cape
‘relax that neck son’ the barber says
the hand lets go briefly and a loud buzz commences like a drill.
‘Osters. best money can buy’ the barber says lovingly
the hand goes back on the crown and is pushed down even harder
the buzz gets closer and closer and finally makes contact at the nape.
it does not wait there long but slides firmly up and up and up, past the occipital bone all the way tot he crown.
a second later i can feel the temperature change.
my heart is being 150 times per minute yet i cannot yet see anything
my dad stands up and clearly has his phone out, taking a pic or 2
‘first strike: an overview and a close up’ he says
the barber turns my head a tiny bit so i can see a it more of the camera, but my chin is still in my chest.
‘onwards’ the barber says
and the clippers at back at the nape sliding up again
it almost feels like they’ve gone higher but it’s hard to say
the sound is very loud, a BUZZZZ as they’re between passes turning more to a BIUZZZ as they touch my head. i enjoy the sound
as the buzzing swipes continue each almost feels higher than the last
i’m afraid but excited.
my head is let go and goes back to a neutral position. the chair spins little and now i can see myself caped in the chair, but i cannot yet see any damage, it being all at the back
the barber moves to my left and grips my head firmly to tilt it away from him
the clippers come closer as the buzzing get louder
contact is make just below the ear and the clippers slide up. and up. and up.
and now i see some hair fall on to cape in a clump
i dont now whether to look at myself in the mirror or look at the clump, but i can barely take my eyes of the posters which are still going up.
finally at the crown the move away from the scalp, and go to make the next pass behind my ear
i now have a chance to see the length left behind
it’ short for sure, you can see skin, but it’s not stubble - there are bristles there
is it a number 1? i don’t know
i am distracted by more hair accumulating on the cape and then dad taking another picture or 2
‘quite a change’ the barber says ‘ what brought this about’
‘um yeah, well i felt like a change i guess’ i say
‘i always thought you would try a flattop at some stage but i was betting once you were settled in your 20s or 30s’ the barber says working away, busily pushing the clippers around my head.
‘um ok thanks’
the chair is twisted again and now its the other sides turn
loud buzzing and clumps of hair
my excitement is starting to build while my anxiety is resolving.
the barber seems to now be buzzing around the whole sides and back, i guess aiming to make sure it’s all the same length. i can see a small dusting of hair fall on the cape sometimes but nothing major.
finally the clippers are switched off.
‘stage 1 done, but what a stage huh?’ the barber says
he spins me around so i’m centred on the mirror
with his hand he twist my head a little so i can see the damage done.
it’s certainly bristly scalp but he has left some hair.
i don’t now whether to be pleased or not, it’s definitely a change.
‘i’m going to have to get rid of a bit of the bulk before blowdrying it in place to do the flattop’ the barber says
with that he brushes my hair forward and grabs a set of scissors
standing directly behind he grabs my hair at the front, the fringe and clamps it between his fingers
the scissors then go along his fingers
and with that 75% of my fringe is gone.
over and over, he reduces the hair down to a more manageable length. snip. snip. sip
slowly an appearance change occurs with the bulk removed.
he sprays the top a little ahdn then brushes the hair back, he then grabs a hair drier and starts to blow it straight up in the hair with a brush.
it mostly works but doesn’t stay perfect straight up in the air.
‘i have so many men that would kill for this thick hair. not just for flattops!. but it certainly will work well’
he grabs a small tin, opening it up he shows me inside. this is avalon crew wax. have a sniff.
i do, it’s a gentle masculine smell and one i know well from my dad.
‘if you’re keeping a flattop this is the only way to go. good hold, comes out easy. dry look. of course if you want a wet look we can do that too?
‘um dry is fine’ i say quite
‘your dad never does, says it makes him feel like a greaser’
‘i heard that’
‘you can have a tub on the house hows that? cant have you looking messy with competitors products;
with that he gets a serious finger worth and spreads it throughout
he blow dries again, and this time it’s like the hair has been beaten into compliance: straight up, thick brown hair
‘ok - onto stage 2: the actual flattop bit ha ha’ he the barber says
again the chair is twisted, and i’m not sure whether i am happy i cannot see or sad
i feel the a comb being lined up at the front and the sound of clippers going over, but it’s not until the 3rd pass or so that i can see the hair come off and land on the cape
considering how much hair was taken with the scissors, there is still much hair coming off
i can feel the comb and clippers, and the barber solidly directing my head to the right spot
‘you’ve come to the right place for this, not many barbers do as many flattops as me’ the barber says
the chair is spun again and i get my first look at the flat-topped me
the top is straight across and shorter than i expected
it’s little boxy
i’m about to twist my head the the barber says ‘hang on. no moving yet. this is the big you need to stay perfectly still for Luke’
i comply and the clippers come up and he freehand the top
i can even see anything come but i can feel it as the clippers gently pass over the bristles of hair up top
i can see dad paying close attention too. i look of quiet pleasure on this face.
‘ok then’ the barber says
with that the the lather machine is turned on and a towel is put on my neck
‘just will clear up the hairline now Luke’ he says ‘almost over young man’
warm lather is applied to my nape and around the ears
the head is pushed forward again and i feel a straight razor scraping away.
scrape. wipe. scrape. wipe. scrape. wipe.
i quick wipe her the the neck with a towel and the barber grabs the wax again.
this time his puts a small amount on the comb itself and brushes my hair lightly
the feeling is hypnotic and totally new
he then uses a proper brush to shape the hair and ensure it’s perfect
hes certainly a perfectionist as a watch in the moire
the brush goes down and he picks up the camera
‘aright - so straight ahead young Luke’
he takes a dozen pics of the hair across many angles, his spare hand directing my head where he wants it to be.
the camera goes down and a mirror is grabbed from the counter
‘tada Luke - a vital improvement i have to say’
the mirror is finally elevated so i can see the back, and it’s pale skin and bristles to the crown
the barber gain turns my head side to side with his spare hand
‘and the highlight…’the barber says before pushing my head forward a little
now i can see a different angle of the top and how the hair in the centre of the scalp is shorter than the that of the rim.
‘its called a landingstrip, like what a plane has’
‘oh wow’ i say
‘what do you think?’ the barber asks
‘i….it’s really different but i like it
with that the cape is removed and the chair spun so i again face my father.
‘very nice Luke’ dad says with a smile on his face
‘honestly i think it’s great, i hope you do too’’
‘yeah i do’
with that i stand up and go closer to the mirror while standing
i hesitantly reach up and touch the top at the front
firm bristles are under my fingers as i run my hand slowly back, while watching in the mirror
i am paying such close attention to doing that that i only notice that my dad has been filming me doing it once it’s over.
‘back now luke’ is all he says
i turn my head a little and have my first touch of the back. again gentle bristles but obviously much shorter.i can feel the shaved hairline at my nape.
‘how short is this?’
‘ostered down to a X, the top…well that about 3/4 of an inch. has to be a little shorter than your dads as your hair is a little wavier. but it suits you anyway’
dad comes closer and reaches up i feel his hand wrap around the back of my head, fingers toughing both bristles and skin. he tilts my head forward a little, and does the same with his own head. both our landing strips are on display.
a hear a click and the barber has taken another photos
‘alright now one from the front too!’ he says
and we turn to face him and while i smile lightly my dad is beaming
after that he rubs the back and then the top again
‘awesome luke. real proud of you.’
‘i have your email Andrew, i’ll send you the pics if’ve taken’ the barber says
‘that would be nice’ dad says
‘my pleasure’ the barber says as i turn back to the mirror to looks agin
the flattop haircut sits perfectly on my head. the family resemblance is now undeniable
‘so how much do i owe you’ dad says
‘ $25 as usual’ the barber says
‘ $25 for the cut, you deserve a tip though’
‘ you are not paying me one cent more for doing my job. you just make sure that lad comes back to me when he needs a redo. 2 weeks, yes’
‘ ha ha ok sylvio - i think i can do that’
my dad hands over $25 in cash, which goes straight in the register
‘well you men have a pleasant day. i wont get to do such a fun cut this month i’m sure, so i do thank you for that’ the barber says sitting on back on his stool at the door
‘ not that there is any other business yet!’ he continues
i walk towards my dad at the door and we step out into the light, his hand again on the back of my head.
(to be continued)