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Ready for the Ball by P.J.

ady for the Ball
Nichole leaned in for a last smooch before leaving. "since it's your day off, might want to think about getting this gorgeous mane trimmed for the staff ball tonight. Since your Chief of Surgery, you'll have to look sharp, you need to say a few words to the group." She ran her hands through the soft thick shoulder length mane. "Just a trim though babe, you know I love this mane". "yes, babe I said, thank God I've finally got a day off, maybe I can get in with Ned for my usual trim up". With that she was out the door.

I didn't linger in bed for long though. The phone went off, and I was called in for an emergency surgery consult. The appointment for a trim was quickly forgotten, I headed in PDQ. Finally after 3:00 I was able to leave. Holy cow now I had to really hoof it to get ready for tonight. Ned wasn't available it turned out. No surprise, I guess, that's what happens when you wait till the last possible second, I lamented to myself, oh well.

As I hurried to pick up my tux for the evening, I passed a barber shop with an open sign. Hmm I thought as I hurried into the tux shop. I suppose I could stop there on the way home to get ready. I only want to get things evened up, that can't take long. Barbers can do that stuff on longer hair too, right, I asked myself. I'll see if he's busy on my way back.
Tux paid for and slung over my shoulder I headed back towards the townhouse. We lived in an upscale section of town, the barber should be up on the latest styles, and able to do most anything I thought to myself, I'll ask first before I get in the chair.

I saw the spinning pole, good he's still open I thought, pulling the door open and hearing the jangle of the bell. "Ah, good afternoon sir", said the sharp looking older barber, sporting a perfectly quaffed short back and sides. I said "hello", taking in the shop at a glance. Wow, nice place, single chair, smartly appointed, large chrome and red leather barber chair. It's been soooo many years since I've been in one of these establishments I thought. Brings back memories of those schools out for the summer sheerings dad used to take us in for. "What can I do for you today young man" , the barber said motioning to the chair and smiling politely. I hung my tux on the coat hook. There was no one else on the shop. "well sir, I have a formal function to attend this evening, I was wondering if you could just tidy me up a bit, you know, just a trim up, sir" I said, running my hand through my shoulder length mane, ruffling the soft dense waves.

"My, son, that's quite a head of hair you have there, to be sure. How a about you sit right down here and we see about getting you sorted out then"? The barber replied.
"Well sir, I haven't been in a barbershop in many years sir, not since I grew this out, I said running my hand through my mane again. "I wasn't sure if you would trim up longer hair like this to be honest." I said, sitting down in the big chair. "Oh, son, I've taken care of much longer than this, to be sure." "I'm Bruce, by the way, and your name is"? "Oh, Hi, Bruce, I'm Rick, Dr. Rick Segar. "Ah, a doctor are you, well, this must be an important function for you then to be sure, judging from the tux you hung up over there"? "Looks like it's been quite some time since you've been under a cape then too" Bruce noted, brushing out my long thick dark waves of chestnut hair. "Not really sir, I mean Bruce. I prefer it on the longer side, It's covered most of the time anyways , I'm a surgeon so I'm usually in scrubs." Ah, what are we doing then Dr.?" Bruce replied, running a hand through the thick bangs, they were almost to my lips.

I"Il just need a cleanup sir, even it up , take the split ends off, make it presentable." "Of course Dr. we can get you cleaned right up, looking sharp for tonight" Bruce said demurely.

He turned me away from the big mirror, and set about getting things ready behind me. I was lost in thought about what to say to the staff tonight, this would be my first speech to the staff. I wanted to make a good impression. I felt Bruce put his hand on the top of my head, gently forcing me to look down, chin to the chest. Next I felt his fingers separating the thick bulk on the back of my head at my nape. I was startled by the clack of the clippers starting up, and jumped a bit. " Never mind now Dr. probably haven't had these used in awhile now, leave it to me, we're just cleaning up the back of your neck to start."

I felt the clippers touch down low on my neck, The slowly moved up the back of my head, the gentle massaging vibration a new experience for me. I relaxed a bit, thinking this was O.K., just different that what Ned did with me. Too late I realized they were advancing up much too high to just be cleaning up my neck fuzzies. "Bruce! That's kind of high for a trim isn't it" I inquired loudly to be heard above the clippers. Bruce rocked the clippers out about halfway up, a large handful of chestnut locks sliding off my shoulder and into my lap. I was wide eyed. "Not to worry Dr., You had quite a bit of extra bulk in the back here, I'm just cleaning you up and starting a nice tight taper. You'll look very handsome with this to be sure sir, he said, quickly making a second pass . Mounds of hair were now sliding down to join the first handful. "Bruce, really, that's a lot of hair man. I don't want it short now." Oh, not to worry Dr., There's still plenty back here yet." he quipped, making a third pass up the back. My head was feeling lighter, and cooler. Oh, crap, this was going to be a full on haircut. My first in many years. I should have never set foot in here I lamented to myself.

Bruce had finished shearing off all the long thick bulk in the back, mounds of dense locks now sitting forlornly in my lap. "God that's a lot of hair", I said dejectedly. "Not to worry Dr. , You're in good hands, we'll have you finished up and looking smart momentarily" Bruce quipped as he worked his way around to the side, shearing off everything with the growling clippers as he went. "Bruce, I barked again, there must be a clear misunderstanding here, I have no wish to get a short haircut"! I was getting angry, and realizing at the same time it was much too late to save my precious mane. Nichole was going to be furious. Bruce was shearing off everything brutally short. I hadn't had a haircut this short since the end of second grade! Holy S**t. Bruce was making quick work of shearing everything on the sides off, not paying any attention to me.

"Now we're getting somewhere son", Bruce said as the last thick wave of curls on the side slid free and landed in the huge pile in my lap. "I had to get some of this bulk cleared away to see what we had to work with first" he explained. "SOME, SOME, I exclaimed loudly, I'm pretty sure I don't have any hair left on the sides and back of my head anymore Bruce, what the hell are you doing to me" I was almost shouting at him. "Now, now, Dr. Settle down a minute " he replied, patting me on the shoulder as he turned to exchange implements. He had exchanged clippers and was starting to remove the furry sideburn on my right. "Now then, we just have to clean up around the edges, then we can tackle this thatch up here " he said, fluffing my thick hank of bangs and top hair, now hanging forlornly in my face. I felt him carve off my sideburn, blocking it just at the point where the top of my ear jointed my head. Yikes, I thought, this was going to be ridiculously short, holy crap. He removed the left side also, and quickly outlined around my ears, I could feel him shaving quite close now. He proceeded to even off the back, I could feel him trace an outline across the back, scraping downward with the clippers as he moved across the back, quite high up if I wasn't mistaken. Yikes.... I recalled dim memories of long past sessions in the barber shop as a kid. That felt like he was blocking the neckline if I remember right. Oh, My, God, I thought was going to look like such a freak tonight. I'll be the laughing stock of the evening. They'll all be asking me if I've joined up.
"Now then" Dr. Bruce said, rubbing his hand over the short stubble on the back of my head. My stomach lurched. Oh, s**t, that was sinfully short.

"I imagine you want some length left on top, you younger guys generally don't cotton to the short all over look these days, right"? Bruce said, looking expectantly at me, running his hands through the thick shank of bangs. "Sir, I said indignantly, I had no intention of getting a haircut anything like this , I only wanted you to even up my long hair, this is a total disaster"! I was fairly shouting at him by the time I finished talking.
He smiled calmly, " well you needed a much more severe cleaning up than that, I think we both know that now don't we Dr. ? We can't have you giving a speech tonight in your fancy tux with a long floppy shoulder length mane now can we?" This is much more dignified, respectabe and handsome for someone of your stature sir. Let's just finish getting this long mess off your face now". I'll start by removing the extra length" he stated, quickly sliding the shears in above my left eyebrow, and scissoring off at a pronounced angle as he made his way across my forehead. My long thick wavy lip length bangs gently slide off my face, allowing me to fully see the huge pile of wavy locks that had accumulated in my lap. "Ah, almost there Dr." He said quietly. The next thing I knew , I felt him combing through the top and chopping away at it with a different kind of scissors. " now we'll just thin this down a bit so it lays better. I watched, horrified, as great handfuls of my chestnut colored locks were combed off and fell into my lap. Comb and snip, comb and snip, until I was pretty sure I had no hair left up there. I was furious, and getting light headed at the same time. This will never do for tonight, what the bloody hell am I going to do, I thought.

"Ah, now, we'll just shorten this up just a bit more so it lays nice", Bruce said, hacking off the rest of the length up there. Finally he stopped cutting. I gave a heavy sigh. " Now, now, son, (patting my shoulder again),this looks quite sharp if I do say so. we'll just finish it with some Brylcreme" Bruce said. He was squeezing some stuff onto his hand, now working his hands together, then massaging it into my short nubbins on top. I recognized the smell from my youth. Oh my god I thought, shoulders sagging.

Now I felt him give me a sharp left part, God, I couldn't remember the last time I was able to part my hair with a comb. I felt him comb the short hairs on top to the right, then he combed my stubby bangs up a bit.

"there now Dr. looking very sharp if I do say so, let's let you have a look shall we" he said, spinning the chair slowly around so I face the mirror.
I got my first look at myself. My mind reeled. "What do you think now sir, quite smart indeed don't you think? I've left some length on the sides and quite a bit on top for you, as you can see." he said proudly.

I was horrified. My mouth opened but no sound came out. I must have looked like a guppy gasping for air after being taken out of the fish bowl.
I turned my head from side to side taking in the full extent of the carnage.

I had high whitewalls around my ears, a small amount of very short hair above those, higher up on the sides. No hair that I could see at all anymore in back, at least from my reflection. And most humiliating of all, I had s short covering of hair on top, Plastered flat with goo, and a ridiculous little pomp in front. I looked like I was 5 years old again. "OH, MY God! " I shouted. "What have you done to me Bruce."

"Well sir, you were looking quite shaggy when you came in, I knew then and there I was going to see that you were cleaned up properly." This is a haircut much more befitting a man of you status sir". "Nice an short, easy to manage." I gave you a nice high neckline in back, and tightened it up on the sides, nice high arches, getting rid of all that long shag, you won't have to worry about getting back in again so soon , I'm sure you're a busy man. The top is left long, so you have something to comb as you can see." "LONG, LONG, you say, I groaned, reaching up and tugging on the probably inch long tufts on top of my head. This was down almost to my mouth when I walked in sir!" "Oh, I know, it needed shortening desperately Dr., this is much more respectable. If you don't want it any shorter, I think we're finished, yes? Bruce said innocently. "Oh, we're quite finished here Bruce, to be sure." I sighed. He dusted me off, unsnapped the cape and the huge pile of locks slid to the floor. I stood up, wobbly kneed, light headed, almost swooning as I looked at the geek in the big mirror.

"There you are now Dr., all ready for the ball, you'll cut a dashing figure tonight in that tux, with this smart haircut." Bruce said smiling. I groaned, Oh, God, how was I going to get through the evening. Nichole is going to kill me, that's O.K. I thought , about now I wanted to die. "What do I owe you for this disaster Bruce," I inquired quietly? Oh, I don't charge for first timers sir, you can pay when you return for a clean up in a couple of weeks time, how's that? "Bruce said smiling demurely. I got a $20 dollar bill out of my wallet, handed it to him and said, here, keep the change, I dare say you won't be seeing the likes of me again anytime soon. I grabbed my tux and exited the shop before he could reply.

This was going to be one hell of an evening I said to myself, running a hand up over the #1 stubble on the back of my head where my shoulder length locks had been only a short time ago.

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