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Ready! by BaldSurfer

I got out of the shower, dripping wet and wiped the fog off the mirror. With both hands holding down and hiding my hair, I stared in the mirror trying to picture myself with a buzz cut. Today was the day. It was all coming off and the new me would be complete.

I took my hands away and shook my wet curly hair loose for the last time. I'd never really like my hair. It was a nondescript dirty blonde, not curly enough for the kind of ironic retro afro that some kids wore, but so wavy that when I tried to grow it longer than a few inches, it just got bigger and harder to comb or style. My high school buddies generally fell into one extreme or the other. A few, like Denny, grew it long - at least down to their shoulders. Others, like Marc, wore buzzed hair, some as long as half an inch, others nearly bald. But my hair never looked good long, and I always thought I was too skinny to pull off a buzz. So my hair was always just boring - a wavy, shaggy mess.

But knowing that college was coming, I'd wanted to make some changes. I wanted to look more mature, more like a man and less like a boy. So a few months before graduation, I'd started working out at the gym. Five days a week, I'd lift weights to bulk up and run a few miles to look "ripped". Now, as I examined at myself in the mirror, I was really proud of the changes I'd made. I was 20 pounds heavier, all of it muscle - and my six pack was really starting to show. I'd started getting chest hair that summer too, so my pecs were now covered with downy blonde hair, and a slightly darker trail ran down the center between my abs. Some of my workout buddies tried to convince me to start shaving my chest, but I had no interest in that. I was trying to look more mature so why would I shave off that manly hair?

And now, today I was ready to put the finishing touch on the new me. I was getting my hair buzzed off. With my bigger frame, I was now sure I would look good with short hair. After asking some of my friends about lengths, I was going to start off easy and get a #4. If it looked good, maybe next time I'd go shorter. I toweled off and got dressed and headed down to Tony's Barber Shop.

I wasn't nervous at all. I couldn't wait! I parked my car and walked toward Tony's. He'd been my barber my whole life, giving me a slight trim every few months. As I walked in, Tony was finishing off a really short buzz cut. A kid around my age was in the chair, piles of really long black hair all over the floor. The sides of his head were covered with tiny black stubble, the top not much longer - no more than a 1/4 inch I thought. Tony wiped the remnants of shaving foam from the back of his head and asked the kid how he liked it. The kid reached up from under the cape, rubbed his nearly bald head, and I heard a familiar voice say "Awesome!". Tony spun the chair around and there was my good friend Denny, his trademark black pony tail on the floor at his feet. And he looked great. It was the same kind of transformation I wanted - although I hadn't planned to go that short. I couldn't believe Denny had beaten me to the punch. We joked for a few minutes and I told him I was there to chop all my hair off too. I kept staring at his short, sharp looking hair and I knew that I needed to go that short too. Denny and I made plans to meet up later, and he left as I sat down in the chair.

Tony had heard me say I wanted a short cut too, and asked me how short I wanted to go. I asked him what he had just given Denny and he said it was a #2 on top and faded to a zero on the sides. I asked for the same thing. Tony warned me that it was REALLY short, but I was positive. Denny looked great and I wanted the same cut Without another word, Tony snapped a blade on his big black clippers and the powerful motor started with a whir. He placed the clippers at the bottom of my below-the-ear sideburn and pushed them upward, leaving a line of bald scalp.I started to panic. Denny didn't look this bald. I asked Tony if this was the same blade he used and he said it was, but because my hair was so much lighter in color, the remaining stubble was less noticeable. Too late to change my mind, I thought and told him it was fine. As he worked his way around my head and the hair continued to fall, I was already starting to like the change. My thicker neck was now more pronounced, my face somehow looked less boyish without hair "framing" it. With the sides done, Tony changed blades on the clippers and placed them at the top of my head. As he pushed backward, the rest of my hair fell, the remaining hair on my head standing up in tiny sharp spikes. After the top was all sheered down, Tony used 3 different clippers to blend the top to the sides. With his hand full of warm lather, Tony asked me how long I wanted the sideburns. I told him to leave them to the bottom of my ear. He lathered around my ears and at the nape of my neck and scraped the edges clean with a straight razor. Then he swept away the remaining hairs, and held a hand mirror behind me to show me the back. Pale white skin almost all the way up the back of my head, with a barely visible layer of fuzz. But I loved it. He took off the cape and I stood up.

From the mirror, staring back at me was a new man - tight white t-shirt stretched over defined muscles. A Marine-like haircut that gave off an aura of strength and confidence. That was me! This is the guy that people will meet when I leave for college in a few months. I paid Tony and started to walk out of the shop, but I could feel a change in even the way I moved. It wasn't a "walk" - it was a strut! Look out world, here I come!

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