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Russell's Haircut Adventures: Part III by Just_Me
This is the third in an autobiographical series. I’ve tried to accurately describe the torment my fetishes
caused me as a teen. In certain places, I’ve quoted from the journals I wrote at the time.
This story is about when I let my fetishes take control of me...and they’ve never released me.
I was inspired to write this by a story called "Just Like Dad". Reading that story made me decide to
write my own, just because of the similarities of our stories.
OPERATION LOOK LIKE DAD
"Oh, s**t! This is NOT what I want to do!"
My English teacher had just told us to write an essay called "What I Admire Most About My Father". My first thought was, "I can’t find something I admire about him."
I mumbled and cussed all day, thinking about that paper. I got home and thought, "D**n it, Russell, you might as well write the d**ned paper, and get it over with. It’s gonna ruin your grade for the semester, ‘cuz you ain’t gonna be able to write a thing worth a d**n."
I tried to figure out how to start the f-ing paper, and couldn’t. I started at least a dozen times. My paper looked something like this: "Dad work hards to supply for his family." (Big deal! It’s what a dad’s supposed to do.) "Dad’s patient, and he doesn’t beat us." (So what? He’s not supposed to beat you!) "I think Dad would be a good-looking man if he wasn’t so stuck in the past." (What the h**l is that supposed to mean, and why is it something to admire?)
I thought, "This would be easier if it was called ‘What I Hate Most About My Father’." The idea of writing that paper tickled me. I decided to write it.
"Dad’s stuck in the dark ages. He doesn’t belong in the day and age I’m living in, and God knows he doesn’t relate to someone who grew up in the Seventies."
"I HATE that he still looks like he was a Marine. My God, he’s got the most extreme haircut ever. It’s a goofy looking flattop, with an even goofier name. Who the h**l decided calling something a ‘horseshoe flattop’ would make it appealing? Even if it didn’t look weird, the stupid name should turn people off."
"The way he dresses is as weird as his haircut. Dad wears blue work shirts with his name embroidered on it and matching pants to work. I can’t say too much about that, but I think he could wear jeans if he wanted to. What’s so bad is the clothes he wears when he isn’t working. His clothes are seriously outdated, and to make things even worse, he likes to dress up. How stupid is that? If I say, ‘Dad, would you take me to the store?’ he always says, ‘Hang on, and let me put some decent clothes on.’ He disappears into his room, and comes out wearing a suit that came from eons ago and a tie (those awful, hideous, narrow ties that were popular years and years ago). He always puts a tie clasp on, and that looks stupid. He’s dresses up despite the fact that he probably already has nice clothes on. He’s so weird that he wears slacks and a dress shirt just to sit around the house."
"Dad never goes outside without a hat. I don’t mind when he wears his Stetson cowboy hat. After all, we do live in Texas, but I hate it when he wears an old-fashioned fedora with a stupid red feather on the side. His whole look is asinine, or should I say, ‘ASS-inine’!"
"In addition to wearing ridiculous, outdated clothes and having the stupidest looking haircut ever, he smokes a pipe with a very straight stem. I hate his pipes more than I hate his haircut and clothes! Those d**ned pipes are so archaic. To add insult to injury, he smokes a cigar a few times a week."
"I just wish he’d come into the Seventies with the rest of the world. It seems like Dad is stubbornly determined to keep himself stuck in the Forties and Fifties."
I stopped writing, and sat there thinking. I wished he’d listen if I said, "Dad, why do you insist on being so out of touch with reality? Wear some decent clothes. You have nice hair (I think. I can’t tell for sure, since you keep it so short). It’s thick and dark, and it’s got that great touch of silver in it. You’re still in good shape, and you’d fit in with the modern generation if you’d let your hair grow out, get some great sideburns going and maybe grow a moustache. You’re beard is so thick you could grow some awesome sideburns and a great moustache." My last thought was, "Russell, if you’re going to dream--dream big. Keep hoping he’ll throw those da**n pipes in the trash."
I decided my hate paper was counterproductive, so I went back to trying to write my assigned paper. Inspiration finally hit me. I thought, "How would Dad write this paper if he was describing himself?" Looking at it from that angle made it easier. Dad was proud of his military service. "OK, so Dad’s a vet. That’s something to admire. It takes a lot of guts to fight for your country. That’ll be point one. Point two, Dad still carries himself like a soldier, and that’s pretty cool. He looks distinguished. I guess I can admit I’m proud of the way he carries himself." Then I thought, "Yeah, I like the way he carries himself, but that’s about it."
Looking back, I have to say that on some level I knew he was a good man, and that I was lucky to have him as a father. I even knew I loved him. On a good day, I might would’ve admitted Dad wasn’t too bad. Nothing threw him off. He was always there when I had questions, and nothing embarrassed him. He’d handled the birds and bees conversation well. In fact, he was the one who explained masturbation to me, and he told me it was OK. (God knows I used that lesson. I probably used it more than anything he taught me.) He seemed to remember his teen years, and tried to make mine as smooth as possible—except when he did stupid s**t like making me get a high and tight, or shave my head.
No matter how much I loved Dad, I couldn’t stand how he was firmly stuck in 1948. Worse, he wanted to keep me there with him. I wanted nothing to do with 1948, or for that matter, not even 1958. I didn’t want to be associated with his antiquated looks so I avoided being seen with him.
Dad was a real dichotomy. He was strict about things like manners and presenting a proper appearance, but he was liberal about other things. He even understood being a teenager, and let me be a typical teenager--to a point. "I know boys are going to drink: it’s just going to happen. However, before you start drinking on your own, you’ll have to learn what it does to you. You can have a beer with me occasionally. If you want to see how it feels to get drunk, you can do it here, and I’ll hold your hand during your hangover." His voice got steely, "However, if you drive a car while you’re drunk, you’d better hope the cops lock you up forever. Don’t waste your quarter calling me. I’ll let you rot in jail." He kept on, "I don't care where you are, or what time it is. If you're drinking, do NOT get behind the wheel of a car. Call me. I'll pick you up, bring you home and tuck you in. I promise not to say anything to you." He paused, and said, "Look at me, boy. I’ll make sure you regret the day you ever decided to drive drunk. Don’t even think about testing me to see if I mean it."
Dad was true to his word. One night I called after a few drinks. He picked me up, gave me some aspirin, and said, "I hope you don't have a major hangover."
Dad hadn't told me there'd be consequences for my actions. The next morning, I was on the roof at 6:00 a.m. cleaning gutters.
He had other maxims he delivered. "Son, you can always disagree without being rude, there is no excuse for rudeness. None!"
"You’re not going to foist an unwanted baby off a girl. If you make a baby, you’re gonna raise a baby. Your whole life will be nothing but work, school and taking care of that baby."
"I’m not saying you have to wait until you’re married. I’m saying wait until you know the feeling is in your heart as well as your cock. Your mother would kill me if she knew I was saying this, but you came a month earlier than was proper, and it wasn’t because you were premature. Your mother and I knew we had something special, and didn’t wait for a minister to say it was OK."
"Son, I know most boys try smoking, and I can’t say anything about it, since I’ve set a bad example for you. Don't get me wrong. I sincerely hope you never take it up, but if you do, I won't say anything. I can't take you to task for doing what I'm doing."
One area Dad was dogmatic about was long hair. Dad hated long hair on a man, and he’d kept my hair short until Mom stepped in. It remained a contentious point, but he gave in to her. My hair got very long--ponytail long. I hadn’t been to our barber, Mr. Callahan, in years.
I started my physical changes young, and was very hairy, just like Dad. I was shaving every day before I was fifteen. Like a typical teenager, I kept pushing boundaries, and one day I thought I’d gone too far. I tried to grow a beard. Dad put a stop to that. I was sure he was going to take me down. When Mom tried to help me, he looked at her, and said, "Hazel, I haven’t said d**ned word about his long hair, but you, nor anyone else is going to talk me into letting the boy have a beard."
Having lost that battle, I went for a mustache. I thought I had a VERY small chance he might let me get by with that.
The first day I walked into the kitchen with the stubble of a moustache, Dad took one look at me and said, "Go get that ridiculous s**t off your lip."
Mom stepped in, and said, "Al, what’s the harm if he grows a moustache? It’s just a fashion, It’ll change, and he’ll shave."
I didn’t say anything. Dad gave me a look, grunted and picked up his newspaper. I took that as him giving in, and left before he could change his mind.
The moustache grew in stages. Originally, I grew a "normal" moustache, centered directly over my mouth and well trimmed. I never let it hang over my lips, or get past the edge of my mouth. It was what I thought of as a cop ‘stache. I put up with a lot of snide comments from Dad. "Russell, you missed a spot while you were shaving" or, "Son, you’d better go wash your face. There’s something stuck below your nose."
Once Dad seemed to handle the fact that his son had a mustache, I started letting it get bigger. I wound up with not just any mustache, but a big biker mustache. Dad was livid--he did NOT like it. He grumble about it—a lot—but he dealt with it. After the mustache, sideburns started creeping down the side of my face.
Not long after that, my fetishes started rearing their ugly heads.
My fetishes grew, and I realized I wasn’t happy. There was no reason to be miserable and I couldn’t figure out why I was. I had a social life most teenagers only dream about. Mom and Dad loved me, and treated me well. Sure, there were conflicts, and I was sometimes grounded (or had my butt busted), but nothing accounted for how I was feeling. I struggled to figure out why I was so unhappy, and came to the conclusion I hated the way I looked.
Like most teens, I was haunted by desires I couldn’t seem to control (I call them fetishes now, but at the time I didn’t know what to call them). At first, they showed up as wet dreams about getting a really short haircut, much like Dad had made me get years ago. Then I realized I wanted to smoke a pipe.
Most of my life had been pretty good, but the next few years were the hardest I’d ever been through.
My fetishes became demons on my shoulders. They whispered all the time. The urge to act on my fetishes started quietly, and would build, and build and build. They’d push—drive—demand that I act on them.
As my fetishes got more and more dominant, I tried to appease them. I combed my hair like a greaser while it was still wet from the shower. It looked close enough to the real thing to satisfy me for a while--as long as I ignored the long hair in the back.
I experimented with my hair. I started putting a bunch of straight Vaseline on my hair and combed it into a pompadour. I slicked it straight back. I tried parting it very low—just above my ear--to make it look like the greasy comb-over our next door neighbor wore. (He was bald on top, and his hair was over his ear on one side, while the other side was so long it fell to his shoulder. He combed the long part over the bald spot, trying to make it look like he had hair).
Some days I’d dream of walking into a barbershop with long hair, and getting it all cut off. Other times, I’d want to cut it off in stages, trying a different barber every day, until I’d achieved my goal. My fantasy went from long hair, to a pompadour with a DA. Then I’d get a flattop with a DA, then a regular flattop. From the flattop, I didn’t know where I’d go. Should I get a horseshoe flattop like Dad? A crewcut? Maybe a crewcut, and then a burr? Did I dare go ahead and shave my whole head at the end?
I imagined what the barber would look like in each shop as I made my way through my haircuts. Each one would be older—some short, some tall. Some friendly, some surly. Some bald, others would have thick hair, cut very short.
The flattop became my ultimate fantasy haircut. Then the idea of smoking a pipe intruded into the fantasy. Pretty soon these ideas were a part of my every waking (and sleeping) moment. By the time I was fifteen, I realized I wanted to make myself look like Dad—a thought that shocked, surprised and disgusted me. Why would I want to look like an out-of-date freak?
I jacked off to my fantasy of a flattop every night and still couldn’t get rid of the desire. The passion my desire inspired made me feel depraved and weird. I felt like a freak and a pervert. I tried to deny the feelings, but they were there, no matter how hard I tried to ignore them.
It all started as a desire I didn’t understand. Then it turned into a painful yearning every time I’d see Dad. In time, the yearning turned into an intense craving. That craving consumed me. It seemed to grow every day. Images of myself in a situation involving a haircut seemed to pop up every day, and each one was better than the last.
I stopped avoiding Dad, and started looking for opportunities to see him—and torment him. "My God, Dad. Why are you dressed like that? A normal person wears jeans on his day off." "I see you got in a fight with the lawn mower, and the lawn mower won. Your hair is awful." "It’s pathetic, Dad. You look like you used to ride a dinosaur to school. Are you ever gonna move into modern times? Your outdated flattop is SO bizarre." "Well, I guess I won’t watch this movie. I can’t stand the smell of that stinky old pipe, and I don’t want to smell like an ashtray."
To improve my sex life (solo though it may have been) I filled one of Dad’s cigar boxes with pictures that reflected my fantasies. The pictures of men from all walks of life with a crewcut or flattop, or a cigar or pipe overflowed out of the box. I even tore pages out of books and magazines in the library. Everything in the box represented the type of man I wanted to become.
Soon the pictures in my box weren’t enough. I wanted reality--I started putting other things in there. I stole one of Dad’s cigars, and found an old pipe he was throwing away. They went into the box. I bought some Brylcreem and it went into the box.
I kept the box where it would be handy when I needed it (under the bed), and I used the items in it to stimulate my imagination...and other parts of me.
After jerking off, I’d feel like I’d escaped a firing squad. I was always disgusted with myself, and it felt good to know I didn’t look like a freak, or smell like Dad did after smoking a cigar.
I started looking for men with a "real" haircut. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much success. Not many men in our town still had a "real" haircut. Most had long sideburns, and there wasn’t any skin showing on the sides of their heads. For that matter, there weren’t many ears showing on men’s heads either. I thought about watching those "long-hairs" getting a "real" haircut. I knew I’d enjoy the sight of hair falling and I longed to hear the sound of the clippers.
Two friends had dads with crewcuts. I started spending time at their houses, hoping their father would be home. We’d sit around and b***h about how old-fashioned our fathers were—and then I’d run home and jack off to the image of my friend’s father.
I had a recurring dream that involved me talking a really cute guy from school into getting a military haircut (really short back and sides--like what Dad had inflicted on me for so long). After we left the barbershop, we went to a wooded spot by a stream. He had a cigar and I had my pipe. We stared into each other's eyes and watched each other smoke. Then we exchanged kisses and explored each other’s haircuts.
After about the third dream, I thought, "Great, Russell. You not only have a weird obsession about haircuts, now you’re a homo. Just kill yourself!"
Eventually, I gave my torment a name. I called it "Operation Look Like Dad".
"Operation Look Like Dad" urged me to become "me," and harassed me endlessly. "Operation Look Like Dad" was with me everywhere I went. I’d sit at my desk, wondering what rubbing my hands over a bristly flattop would feel like. If the wind blew I’d imagined it blowing over a horseshoe. I was rarely at school—at least in my head. I was always daydreaming about getting a haircut. I'd see myself with a flattop and pipe in almost every situation, whether I was getting gas, playing baseball or mowing the yard.
One morning I was thinking about haircuts (as usual) and had a thought that stopped me dead in my tracks. "Does Dad get turned on by a haircut?!"
I started a conversation with myself.
"Of course he does. Why else would be insist on his rigid, radical regime of weekly haircuts?"
"You're crazy, Russell. Dad's normal, not psychotic like."
"Normal or not, he gets a thrill out of a short haircut. It's the only thing that explains his behavior."
"Russell, you're a d**ned idiot!"
"Dad DOES get turned on. You know it."
I was pretty sure I was right, and it felt good to think I wasn't the only one with this weird obsession. I felt less isolated, less like a bizarre aberration, less like a freak.
I started wondering if my haircut "thing" was normal, or at least not as abnormal as I’d assumed.
Another question popped up. "Does Mr. Callahan get turned on too?"
More thought led me to think, "He has to. Why else would he get so excited about cutting someone's hair off, and why would he force it on so many people? It's a logical deduction."
I wondered if any of my friends had secret desires like I did. "How many more freaks are there in the world? What if we're really not freaks?"
It wasn’t long before I knew something had to give. I was afraid of giving in to "Operation Look Like Dad" but I knew I wouldn’t be happy until I did.
"Operation Look Like Dad" got stronger, and I got more frustrated. I took it out on Dad. I did everything I thought I could get by with to make his life a living h**l. I guess I thought it was his fault that I wanted to be a flattop-wearing, pipe-smoking man.
I probably should’ve been shipped off to a military school, but Dad was almost always patient with me.
Looking back, I see that I was being a normal 17-year-old—which means I was a complete jerk.
Pretty soon "Operation Look Like Dad" wasn’t content to stay a fantasy. It started screaming to become a reality. I knew "Operation Look Like Dad" wasn’t going away. It wasn’t just a part of me. It was me. Eventually I realized that no matter what, this inner person was going to force its way into reality—but I kept fighting it. I didn’t want to be that person.
I reached a point where "Operation Look Like Dad" couldn’t be controlled.
I spent more time than ever doing make-believe haircuts. More often than not, I tried to make it look like a flattop. I could comb it straight back, square it off and make a decent facsimile--not of a short flattop, but a flattop. (All the molding and combing wasn't the same as getting a haircut. Fortunately, I had a vivid imagination, and it worked, up to a point.) When I had my hair perfectly combed, I would stand in front of the mirror, admiring the way I looked with my imaginary flattop. Sometimes I’d add a pipe or cigar. While admiring my pseudo-flattop, I started learning how to hold a pipe or cigar so it looked natural.
While I was trying to fix my hair so it looked like a flattop, I often wondered what I could do that’d make Dad take me to the barbershop for another forced haircut—hopefully a flattop! (I knew he’d never do something like that again. Sometimes Dad said things that let me know he still felt bad about the head shave he’d made me get years ago).
After "Operation Look Like Dad" came into full force, I decided I loved the clean, crisp way he looked in his uniform (they were so stiff from the starch Mom put in them they’d almost stand up by themselves). My dick got hard when he’d dress up and put a pipe in his mouth. Despite looking ridiculously old-fashioned, he looked like a model—maybe a model from an old Life magazine ad, but a model nonetheless.
I never knew which look I preferred. His work clothes fascinated me as much as his suits did.
One day I wandered into his closet. I inspected every suit, and I loved the old-fashioned feel of the fabrics. I was fascinated by how different the cuts of the suits were, and how narrow the legs on the pants were. I started smelling my way through his clothes, looking for the smell that would tell if Dad had smoked a pipe or cigar the last time he wore that outfit. Then I explored his tie rack, engrossed by the narrow ties, the tie clasps and the cufflinks.
My dreams of looking like Dad pounced on me like a cat on a mouse--and went a step further than it had ever gone. I knew I was in trouble. A longing more intense than anything I’d ever felt hit me. I thought I’d die if I didn’t experience how I looked in Dad’s suit. I took the next step. I picked a shirt, put it on and buttoned it up. One of Dad’s suits followed. I put on the trousers and a narrow belt. I picked the tie I I liked most, and added a tie clasp and cufflinks. A goose walked on my grave, and I shivered. I got a pair of his socks, and put on his best cowboy boots. Finally, I put the jacket on. The feel of that old suit on my young body almost made me explode. The jacket felt so good, and I was surprised that it fit so perfectly. I hadn’t realized I was as big as Dad until I saw myself in his suit. I moved around, enjoying the sound of the satin lining. I had goosebumps. It all seemed so perfect--exquisite even. The smell of Dad’s pipe was still strong on the suit, and I breathed deeply, savoring the smell.
I looked into the mirror for a long time, absorbing how I looked. I was thrilled…until I wasn’t thrilled. My long hair completely ruined the look. I greased my hair up, and combed it straight back--as severely as I could. I grabbed Dad’s hat with the red feather and put it on, making sure I hid as much hair as possible.
I looked into the mirror again, and I couldn’t absorb everything I was feeling. I felt whole. I felt complete. I felt like the real "me". I looked incredible, and thought about walking the streets dressed like this.
All of the images in my head from the past months flooded through me, and I’m surprised I didn’t die of erotic, sensory-overload shock.
I had to see how I’d look in Dad’s work uniform. I took his suit off and put on a pair of work pants and a work shirt, and ran to the mirror. As I looked at myself, I knew something was wrong. Finally, I figured it out. There were two things. First, I wanted to replace his name with my own. Second, his uniform needed a cigar to make it look right in my eyes. I ran into my room and grabbed the cigar I had stashed there (it was rather tattered because it had been through so many fantasy sessions.) Looking in the mirror, I popped the cigar in my mouth, and let out a deep sigh. Yes! This was the real me—or as close to the real me as I was going to get with my ridiculous-looking long hair (yes, I actually used the words, "ridiculous looking long hair." I was glad Dad hadn’t heard me say it). After seeing myself in Dad’s work clothes I started to fantasize about being a mechanic. I dreamed I was in an auto repair shop wearing Dad’s uniform. I could see myself standing there, bent over the engine (showing off my horseshoe) while talking to the car’s owner. I’d take my cigar out of my mouth, and use it as a pointer while describing what was wrong with the car. I envisioned the tattoo that would be on my arm, and wondered what the car’s owner would think about it. I wanted to look like a mechanic with greasy hands and greasy hair. I didn’t want to be a mechanic, I just though the image was tough and super sexy.
I changed back into one of Dad’s suits, and grabbed his pipe, so I could really see what I’d look like if I gave in to "Operation Look Like Dad". I could see the real me shining through.
I dreamed of going out dressed like that, but knew I’d never have the nerve.
Once I had seen myself in Dad’s clothes, I began to really wonder what I’d look like with a real flattop, instead of a headful of Brylcreemed hair. I thought about how it’d feel to get it cut. I’d never had a flattop, and I wanted one--badly.
This was when the idea of really getting a horseshoe lodged in my brain. I quickly squashed the thought. I didn’t want the idea of taking my fantasy into reality to get rooted in my mind. I figured it’d never go away, and I’d do something stupid like ask Dad to take me to the barbershop.
That idea sobered me up--very quickly. I hung the suit up, and ran from the closet. I was scared of the depth of emotions I’d felt. Back in my room, I jacked off to relieve the tension that had built up while I was in Dad’s closet, and fell asleep.
After seeing how I looked in Dad’s clothes, I didn’t pass up any opportunity to grease up my hair and put his clothes on.
My cigar box (jack off box) got bigger. I haunted garage sales and bought a bunch of old, skinny ties and a fedora that fit me (yes, it had a "stupid red feather" on the side).
My dick got hard any time I saw Dad dressed up. I’d assume Mom and Dad were going out, and I’d have a few hours by myself. I knew what I’d be doing. I’d get so impatient while waiting for them to leave, and Mom always took way too long. She always forgot something, and had to come back to get it. Once I was fairly certain they were gone for the evening, I'd head to the bathroom to slick my hair flat. Next, I'd be in Dad's closet.
Normally, I’d opt for one of Dad’s suits. The familiar ritual of dress shirt, pants, tie, tie clasp and suit coat followed. The final touch was always a cigar or a pipe…but most often his pipe. A pipe just fit in with the image of his suit better. I saved the cigar for days I dressed in his work uniform.
Once I was properly dressed, I spent hours looking at myself. Seeing myself all dressed up and with a pipe in my mouth made my imagination go wild. I loved the idea of being out with Dad with a short flattop, suit and a pipe: going to dinner, headed to the barbershop, going shopping...I even went out in the front yard one time--after dark.
I'd stay dressed up as long as I could. My stomach would be churning by then. I was always so turned on that I’d have pre-cum in my pants. Sometimes I'd jack off dressed in Dad’s clothes, but most of the time I’d delay until I went to bed.
One Wednesday morning Mom told me that she and Dad were going out of town over the weekend, and asked if I wanted to stay home alone. Of course I said, "Yes." I decided I would smoke a pipe for the first time while they were gone. Mom’s sensitive nose wouldn’t be there, so I’d have nothing to fear. I couldn’t wait for Friday night to arrive.
As they pulled out of the driveway I ran to the den and picked up my favorite pipe (thankfully Dad hadn’t carried it with him) and put it in my mouth. I could taste the stale smoke on the stem. It made my dick come to full attention. I quickly filled it (I knew how, because Dad had taught me years ago. When I was a kid, the highlight of my day was for Dad to ask me to fill his pipe). As soon as I felt sure they hadn’t forgotten anything, I filled my hair with Brylcreem, put on a suit and lit the pipe.
I didn’t leave the house all weekend except to go sit on the patio. I drank a beer and some of Dad’s whiskey—but I was careful not to get too much. I didn’t want Dad noticing the bottle was emptier than it had been. I put the beer bottle in the neighbor’s trash, so there was no evidence.
The only time I took Dad’s clothes off was the few hours I was able to sleep (I was so excited I couldn’t sleep much. My dreams kept waking me, and I thought, "Why dream about it when I can experience it?")
I imagined how surprised Dad would be if I had a flattop when he came home. I got totally lost in the idea of walking into the barbershop with long hair, and walking out with a short, bristly flattop that matched the old-fashioned suit I had one. My fantasy was so real that I was shocked when I reached up and touched my slick hair. It wasn’t what I wanted to feel.
I switched back and forth between Dad’s suits and work clothes all weekend, wearing whichever one fit my mood at the time.
I got depressed when I had to change out of Dad’s clothes that Sunday evening. Putting on "normal" clothes felt so wrong, but in some ways it was a relief.
After my parents got home, I thought, "Hopefully this weekend will help me get over ‘Operation Look Like Dad’." It didn’t. It made "Operation Look Like Dad" more insistent. I kept masturbating to images of me wearing a suit with a flattop and pipe.
I hoped Mom and Dad would go somewhere again soon, so I could see if dressing up was as wonderful as I remembered it. They didn’t leave the house together what seemed like forever.
Somehow, one of Dad’s pipes "disappeared", and he searched for weeks, but never thought to search my room. I started leaving for school early so I could smoke before starting my day, while thinking about a flattop. When I got to school, I wondered if any of the guys were as turned on by the smell as I was. I got brave enough to sneak out at night after Mom and Dad went to bed.
I kept trying to chase my demons away. Sometimes I’d think I’d ran them off, only to discover they’d been lurking in the shadows, waiting for a chance to show back up…and they ALWAYS showed back up.
I developed a scenario in my head where I’d find a real old barber, and walk in wearing one of Dad’s uniforms and long hair. I’d say, "Don’t waste my time and money cutting my hair if you’re not going to give me a real haircut. I don’t care how you cut it, I just want it SHORT. Tell me if you can’t give me a real man’s haircut and I’ll go find a real barber". I knew exactly the attitude I’d have when I walked in.
I could imagine the barber’s shock, and then the haste with which he’d assure me he would give me a real man’s haircut. I could see the desire in his eyes as he thought about getting to take his clippers to my long hair. I knew the longing he’d have to whack the long hair off my head.
I spent many hours imagining what kind of haircut I’d wind up with--if I ever got brave enough to do it.
I wished I could tell Dad about my desire to have a horseshoe and smoke a pipe. Thoughts of that conversation filled me with fear. My imagination supplied me with lots of ideas about what he’d say, and none of them were positive. I thought he’d most likely take me to a mental institution. I’d think, "You probably need to be in a mental institution. You’re acting down right crazy."
Sometimes I thought he’d laugh, and yell, "Hazel, come here. You won’t believe what your idiotic son just said!" Other times I thought he’d dismiss me, and say, "Go away, Russell. I don’t have time for this foolishness. I’m busy."
Several times I thought about going to the barbershop, getting the haircut I desperately wanted and going home. Every time I thought about going to the barbershop alone, I’d think, "That’s not right. After all, you’ve given Dad so much s**t that he deserves to at least watch you get the haircut." Taking Dad with me meant I’d have to have "the talk" with him first.
I finally went out in public that year dressed up in one of Dad’s suits, his hat and a pipe. I went to a Halloween party. I had never felt better.
I tried to figure out why I had this hair "thing". I knew it wasn’t normal, and I couldn’t blame raging hormones any more. After all, it wasn’t like I had just entered puberty. I was long past that stage of my life. I didn’t understand why there was a sexual charge in the idea of getting a haircut. Why was a visit to an old-fashioned barbershop an instant hard-on? (I never did figure out the "why" of it.) I just had to acknowledge it was real, and find a way to deal with it. I finally admitted that the only way to deal with it was to go through with it.
I woke up before dawn on New Year’s Eve, with a massively engorged cock. I thought, "Ok, ‘Operation Look Like Dad,’ you win. I’m going to have ‘the talk’ with Dad. I can’t handle any more or your s**t. This constant battle with you has exhausted me. I’m tired of thinking about it. I want to get it over with, and get on with my life. I don’t want fear and unfulfilled desire chasing me everywhere I go. We’re doing this."
I justified having the talk with Dad that day because it was New Year’s Eve. I kept saying, "Russell, you’ve got to start the New Year as yourself. It’s too symbolic to pass up. On top of that, it’s Saturday, and Dad’s going to the barbershop anyway. You might as well tag along."
My heart pounded. My hands shook. My mouth went dry. Fear tried to keep me in bed, but "Operation Look Like Dad" pushed me out of bed to go have ‘the talk’. I wondered again how he was going to react, but figured knowing was better than guessing.
Fear tried to talk me out of having "the talk". Fear said, "Hey, Russell, if you’re looking for a symbolic date, you’re 18th birthday is in February. That’s pretty symbolic. Why not wait until then?" I squashed that idea. I knew I wanted to get this done, and get it done now. Fear kept talking, "Why don’t you jack off? That’ll take the pressure off, and you won’t want this so badly." I jacked off, thinking it might relieve the urge. Boy, was I wrong. It did absolutely nothing to ease the ache. I knew I had to just get it over with. I thought, "No matter how Dad reacts, it can’t be any worse than this. Just do it, Russell."
I shaved without Dad having to remind me (I hated shaving, but Dad wouldn’t let me out of the house without shaving. That was one battle Mom and I hadn’t won). I put my hair in a ponytail, and tried to hide it. I used some Brylcreem from my jack off stash, and greased my hair up. A few moves with the comb had the front slicked back with a sharp side part. This was the most old-fashioned look I could create with long hair, but I didn’t look like the man of my dreams. I sighed. It was the best I could do.
Instead of jeans, I put on slacks that I only wore to weddings and funerals. I put on a dress shirt. It felt wrong. It was a fashionable, stylish, polyester shirt, and it was too soft. I looked at myself in the mirror, and wasn’t happy with what I saw.
I couldn’t stand it. Even though I had my best clothes on, it was wrong. I got one of Dad’s shirts. After putting it on, I dropped my ponytail between my back and the collar. I knew I looked better, just by the way it felt.
Another look in the mirror. I did look better, but I still didn’t look like the man I wanted to portray. The man who was me was still hidden behind long hair, a mustache and sideburns.
A thought hit me. I had worn a button-up sweater and bow tie when I played a father in a school play. I pulled the sweater out and put it on. A look in the mirror confirmed I was closer to the look I wanted. I tried to add the bow tie, but couldn’t get the collar buttoned with the ponytail in my collar. I pulled the ponytail out, and just tried to keep it in the back. I put the tie on. Looking at myself, I thought, "One step closer."
I really wanted to stop, crawl in bed and forget the insanity of it all. Somehow, I couldn’t. I started downstairs to see if I could survive "the talk" with Dad. The idea of a horseshoe loomed in my head like a thundercloud: dark and looming with exciting flickers of lightning followed by booming bursts of thunder.
The voices that had been in my head quieted down a bit, but soon they started in again, even louder than before.
"Dummy, why are you so scared? You’re almost an adult, and you can pick any d**ned haircut you want…and anyway, why will Dad care? He’s wanted it for years. Also, you don’t have to get a horseshoe. You could get a flattop with fenders, and it wouldn’t take as long to grow out if you hate it."
"Russell, you’re a moron. A flattop with fenders? Seriously? Why would you do that? If you’re going to do it, do it right."
The voices kept talking. "Why are you so worked up about telling Dad you’ve been smoking? It’s not illegal. H**l, there’s a smoking area at school. You’ll be able to smoke during lunch if you want."
"Boy, what the h**l do you think you’re doing? You’re acting like you’re on drugs. Forget this nonsense. Do you wanna be a circus freak? That’s exactly what you’re going to be if you do this. There ain’t another teen-ager on the planet with a flattop, much less one who smokes a pipe. Forget this stupid s**t."
"Operation Look Like Dad" proved to be too strong. No matter how much I talked to myself, I knew I was going through with it. I was shaking so hard I could barely stand when I walked into the den.
Dad was already dressed (nicely) and he had a cigar in his mouth. I sighed. I had thought Dad would be smoking his pipe when we had "the talk". I almost took it as a sign that I shouldn’t go through with my stupidity, but decided this would work.
Seeing his cigar made me wonder whether I should tackle the haircut or smoking first. I knew I had to cover both. The trip to the barber wouldn’t be the same if I couldn’t smoke. My fantasy wouldn’t be fulfilled.
As I walked into the room, I saw he was balancing his checkbook. I thought, "Oh s**t, I hope Mom hasn’t spent too much money. Dad’ll be pissed if she has."
He didn't notice me and I wondered how to start. I thought, "The fact that he hasn’t noticed me is the second sign I’m not supposed to do this. Get the h**l out of here while you can." I was ready to leave when Dad saw something that made him growl. He rubbed his hand over his flattop and looked up. Silently, I cursed, "D**n! It’s too late. You might as well get it over with. You know it’s what you want."
When he saw me, he looked puzzled, and then curious. He gave me a smile though, and I felt relieved.
"Damn, son! You’re up early."
"I…" My voice cracked. Silently, I cursed. I froze up completely. My body was as stiff as my dick. My lungs didn’t seem to be working.
He took a draw on his cigar, took it out of his mouth and blew a fragrant cloud of smoke toward the ceiling. He sat back in his chair and relaxed. His eyes smiled at me through the thick haze of smoke. He put the cigar back in his mouth and ran his hand over his flattop (which needed to be touched up. I was glad it was his day for a haircut. I hated it when his hair was less than pristine).
Dad picked up the conversation, and said, "Thanks for coming in. I need a break. Seeing how much your mother spent on new drapes is making my blood pressure go up, and I know this isn’t the end. New drapes lead to new rugs. New pillows. New lamps. Before it’s all over, we’ll have new furniture too. I just know it."
I found my voice. "No problem, Dad. I can come back if you’re busy."
"No, I need the distraction. By the way, I haven’t seen you look this nice in a while. Are you going courting?"
I managed to draw a breath. I laughed. "No, Dad. No courting going on here. I guess I decided I’m close to being an adult, and I thought I’d try to look the part." I reminded myself not act scared.
"Well, I like the way you look, even if you just shocked the s**t out of me." Despite his profanity, he wasn’t mad. His eyes were inquisitive, but there wasn’t anything in them to fear. His eyes invited me to keep going.
He took another draw on his cigar, and picked up his coffee, waiting for me to tell him what I needed.
"I know it’s weird, but there’s things going on I need to talk to you about, if you’ve got the time."
Dad took another draw on his cigar, and put it in his ashtray. "Of course I’ve got the time, and God knows I need a break. Let’s sit down. I’ll leave my smelly old cigar here so you can stand to be near me."
Him saying that about his cigar made me decide I’d tackle the smoking first.
I said, "That’s OK, Dad. I don’t mind. It really is OK."
He left his cigar on his desk anyway, and I followed him to the sofa. I sat down—amazed that my legs were working. He sat down beside me, instead of where he normally sat.
The smell of his cigar was so arousing I almost wished he’d move over. I was already trembling, and the aroma of his cigar caused a longing in me that almost pushed me over the edge.
Something must’ve told him I was serious. He put his hand on my shoulder. I took it as a sign of support, and sighed.
"What’s going on? When you said, ‘there’s things going on in my life’ what were you talking about? Maybe some residual puberty? I thought you were past that point."
I tried to talk. "Uhm…I…Do…What…" was all that came out.
"It’s OK, son. You can tell me. I’m not promising I won’t get mad if you’ve done something stupid, but I’ll promise you it’s OK." I drew as much comfort from the gentleness of his voice as I got from the words he spoke.
I took a deep breath, and let it all come out. "Dad, I understand about puberty and stuff. This isn’t about that." I laughed. "I should probably be ashamed to say this, but I’ve dealt with that part of my life just fine since you told me about jacking off. Here’s the real deal. Would it be OK if I started smoking a pipe? While I’m at it, I want to get a shorter haircut. A flattop like yours."
Dad looked at me like I’d grow a second and third head. It was obvious he couldn’t figure out what was going on.
"Whatever you’ve done must be worse than I thought if you’re willing to get a flattop. I’m listening. Keep talking. Tell me what you’ve done and what you’re thinking."
I took a deep breath. "Honestly, I haven’t done anything wrong. I’ve wanted a flattop for a long time, and I decided to do it. I know people won’t understand, and I’ll probably get made fun of, but I’m OK with that. Getting to look like I want will be worth a few jokes at my expense."
Dad’s eyebrows raised, and he looked confused. He patted his flattop and said, "What the h**l? A flattop? Really? I must be dreaming. I know you’d never say that to me." He put his hand on his forehead like he was checking his temperature. "Do I have a fever? Should I call Dr. Curry?"
"What made you decide my haircut isn’t the weirdest thing in the world?" I heard the rasping sound his hair made as he rubbed the bristles on his head. "I seem to remember you saying a horseshoe is ridiculous, hideous, disgusting, ugly and a few dozen other things. You've been giving me s**t about it for years, and now you want one?"
He looked completely dazed, but I could see he liked what I was saying. "I must be delusional. Did I just hear you say you wanted to smoke a pipe? What the h**l? You’ve whined and complained about ‘those smelly old things’ for longer than I can remember."
"There ain’t no going back now, Russell." I thought. "Go for it, and see what happens."
"Yes, sir. You’re right, and I owe you an apology for all the nasty things I’ve said to you about your haircut, clothes and smoking. Every time I gave you shi…crap about your haircut, I’ve really been wanting one for myself. The only reason I can think of for the way I acted is that I didn’t want to admit to myself, much less you, that I like the way you look. I’ve wanted a horseshoe for a few years now, and I’ve almost told you hundreds of times. Honestly, I think your flattop is pretty cool, and I like the way you don’t care what others think. I want to be man enough to do what’s right for me, and not worry about others’ opinions. I don't know why, but it's what I need to be happy with myself."
He smiled, but the look on his face told me he didn’t understand it, and wouldn’t buy in until I convinced him I knew what I wanted.
"Dad, I’m serious. I really want a flattop. Would you take me with you when you go to the barbershop? I really want to get this shi…crap cut off. I’ll pay for it, but I need your support, or I might change my mind, and then I’d be as unhappy as I’ve been the last few years."
He looked at me as if to see if I was joking. I said, "Dad, this is no joke. I really want it."
I could see he still had a lot of questions. He looked at me some more, and then said, "H**l, nothing would make me happier than to take you with me, and I sure as h**l don’t mind paying for something that great. I just want to make sure you know what you’re doing. I mean, I really want to know that you know what you’re getting yourself into. I’d be willing to bet you’ll be the only kid in the world with a voluntary flattop, and I sure as h**l don’t know any kids your age who smoke a pipe. Are you sure you’re willing to deal with all of that? You know it’ll take months for a flattop to grow out if you decide you hate it, don’t you?"
I thought about changing my mind, but went with what was in my heart. My voice was quaking just about as much as my body when I said, "Honestly…I've wanted a horseshoe a long time. I’ve dreamed about smoking a pipe with you while we read the paper together or us smoking cigars while we’re fishing. To be perfectly honest, it’s more than that. I want to be the type of man you are."
Dad just stared at me for a moment, and I could see his mind whirling.
Suddenly, he stood up. "What the h**l? I don't get it, but who am I to argue? Let's get the h**l out of Dodge. Come on. We might be the first customers, and not have to wait. "
I wanted to jump for joy. I wanted to pass out. I wanted to run and hide...but I was so relieved. It had gone much better than I’d expected, and none of the bad stuff I’d imagined had happened. I thought, "I should’ve known Dad would be cool."
Dad called, "Hazel, don’t worry about breakfast. Russell and I are going out and take care of a few things. We’ll see you in a bit."
She called back, "What’s going on? I’ve heard that before!"
I said, "Don’t worry, Mom. We’re just going spend some father/son time together."
He tossed me my coat, and put on a coat--and his cowboy hat. He handed me one of his hats (yes, it was the one with a "stupid red feather"). ‘You might wanna wear this. Your head’s gonna get mighty cold once all that s**t is gone."
We were in the garage when Dad stopped. I thought, "Oh s**t! He’s changed his mind."
Dad said, "Hang on, Russell. I’ll be right back."
I thought, "What the f**k is he doing?" Then I thought, "Knowing Dad, he's gone to put a suit on." I was so nervous I couldn’t get in the truck. I paced, waiting for him to come back.
It seemed like it took forever, but I’m sure he wasn’t gone more than a few minutes. I knew dad was excited when he came back with the same clothes on. I think this was the first time we’d ever gone somewhere that he hadn't changed clothes.
I breathed deeply when we got in the truck, enjoying the smell of the many pipes and cigars he’d smoked in there. I felt a thrill when Dad backed out. We were finally on our way.
He said, "Are you sure you want to smoke?"
"Absolutely. There’s no doubt."
"Well, I can’t say that I don’t wish I’d set a better example, but I can’t change that now. I might would’ve set a better example if I’d known you were gonna follow in my footsteps."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out two pipes, and then got his tobacco pouch. Very casually he said, "How about filling a pipe for both of us?" He pulled out some cigars and put them in my shirt pocket.
I almost passed out. In the excitement of Dad agreeing with me about my haircut, I had forgotten about this part of my fantasy. Thankfully Dad had covered it for me. When the pipe was filled, I handed it to him, but he said, "Go ahead and take this one. You can fill mine after yours is lit."
I was shaking so hard I couldn’t get the pipe lit. Dad said, "Here, give me the d**ned thing. I’ll get you started this time."
That act of kindness cut deeply, and I had to wipe a few tears. The kindness steadied me, and I quickly got his pipe ready. Then we were just two men driving down the road, smoking their pipes and enjoying a companionable silence.
Even though I loved the way Dad had accepted everything, I was self-conscious every time he looked at me. There was no choice but to endure it. I figured it’d get easier each time he saw me smoking. After a few minutes, Dad said, "You’re handing that pipe like it’s the best friend you’ve got. Obviously, this ain’t your first time with a pipe. How long have you been smoking?"
I shook my head, and said, "I don’t know…a while."
He said, "I know. I’ve been going through a h**luva lot of tobacco for a while, and couldn’t figure out why. I think I just figured it out."
I didn't know what to say.
I decided to brazen it out and took a draw on my pipe. I said, ‘’I’m sorry, Dad, and you’re right. I’ve been smoking a pretty long time. I guess I owe you a lot of money.''
I decided to steal a look at Dad. He was shaking with suppressed laughter. Once he saw me looking through the hair that was hanging in my eyes (my hair had lost its perfect shape, and I hadn’t tried to get it back in place) he burst out laughing.
We sat in silence, and then Dad said, "Son, I oughta box your ears. I’ve been thinking I’ve been smoking too damned much, and all along it was you. I should’ve suspected you, but you really had me fooled with your ‘stinky old things’ routine! You little brat! I thought that day I let you try my cigar ended any thoughts you had about smoking. I think you telling me you wanted to smoke was a bigger shock than the idea of you with a horseshoe. I can't believe you kept quiet about all of this, if you've been thinking about it for years. You're normally not good at keeping secrets."
"Yep! I've been thinking about it since you made me get that first, horribly drastic haircut. It's weird that I hated that haircut so much, and now I'm willingly--happily--getting one very much like it."
"Short hair is like that. It grows on you. I guess I should say it doesn’t grows on you--as long as you keep it cut."
Then very quietly, he said, "You know you could’ve come to me, don’t you?"
"Yes, sir. I’m not sure why I didn’t, but I know I could’ve."
When we got to the shop, he said, "I’ve been thinking. I know you want a truck. If you don't want to tell Hazel this was your idea, I'll tell her I said I'd buy you one if you'd cut your hair." He laughed. "Maybe enough time has gone by since I made you shave your head that she won't kill me."
"Thanks, Dad. I really appreciate it, but this is my choice. I'm not gonna do it under false pretenses. If I'm gonna do it, I'm going to own it. You’re not gonna get in trouble for something I want to do. No scratch that. It's not something I want to do. It's something I need to do."
"I admire that attitude. You're really growing up to be a man I like and respect--except for that ridiculous long hair. You can't imagine what a relief it's going to be not to have to look at that s**t!"
Then he said, "I really hate to say this, but this isn’t something you have to do for me. It's true I'd love to see a lot less hair on your head, but you don't have to get a cut like mine--or any cut for that matter. I'll still love you, long hair or no."
I took a draw on my pipe to give myself time to think. "I guess in some ways I’m doing this to apologize for being such an asshole, but 99% of it is just something I want and need. Don’t think I'm getting my hair cut for any reason other than I want to."
"Well, if you’re gonna do this, let’s get it done."
I got a sinking feeling in my gut, and really didn’t want to get out of the truck. I wondered if I could talk myself out of the hole I had talked myself into. I said, "Hang on, Dad. I can’t go in a barbershop with my hair hanging in my face. Let me comb it before we go in."
Dad laughed. "Son, don’t worry. Sarge is gonna be on that hair of yours like a duck on a June bug. He’ll deal with it real quick-like, and you won’t have to worry about combing it again for a long time--if you ever do. I know a few men whose flattops refuse to grow out, and I’m one of them."
I gave him a goofy grin, and pulled the comb out that had been my faithful companion since I let my hair got long. I thought, "Mr. Comb, you’ve just got fired. You won’t be my faithful friend any more. I won’t need you."
I sat there, combing my hair for what I knew was going to be the last time. For some reason I wanted to give my hair a death with dignity. I wanted my long hair to go out looking neat…and who knows. I was probably procrastinating too.
Combing my hair before going to see Mr. Callahan made as much sense as rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic as it sank.
We walked into the barbershop, with out pipes preceding us--just like in my fantasy. When I opened the door I smelled all the familiar smells: Wildroot, Lucky Tiger talcum, stale smoke (Mr. Callahan kept a box of King Edward cigars on the counter, and half the men who came in helped themselves to one. There was always a thick cloud of smoke in his shop). The smells made me feel like I was in the right place. I had forgotten how much I love that smell. I took off my hat and coat, and turned around. The smile fell off my face, and my heart sank into the pit of my gut. Mr. Callahan wasn’t there--his daughter was. I looked around, just to make sure. Sarge was nowhere in sight.
She spoke, "Good morning, Let me move these gowns, and you can have a seat."
I almost s**t in my pants. It seemed disgusting that she had evening gowns laying across a barber chair. The idea of sequins in a barbershop was repulsive! She said, "I haven’t had a chance to take these to the back. I’m going to some parties tonight, and I’m leaving from here."
I knew she was a hairdresser. I prayed she wasn’t working there.
I couldn’t imagine Mr. Callahan letting a woman cut hair in his shop, but it was the only thing that made sense.
I didn’t want her to cut my hair. I wanted a real old-time barber, one who really knew how to cut hair. I didn’t know what to do. I looked at Dad and could tell he was as confused as I was.
I went ahead sat in the chair. I didn’t know what else to do. I felt helpless.
She said, "Pop’s in the back having breakfast. He won’t be very long, but I promise, you want him to have his breakfast. He’s meaner than a bear when he gets hungry. Do you mind waiting for him?"
I think I heard the angels singing the "Hallelujah Chorus." I assured her I didn’t mind waiting.
She said, "I’m heading out. Pop’ll be here in a minute."
I went back and sat by Dad, while she called out, "Pop, you’ve got someone waiting."
I heard a familiar voice call back, "Tell ‘em I’m eating my god-d**ned breakfast! They’ll just have to wait."
"They don’t mind waiting," she said as she hurried out the door.
Dad and I sat smoking and making small talk. I was all smiles. It felt like Dad was meeting the adult me for the first time, and I realized what kind of friendship we’d have in the future.
I thought about the I-don’t-care-how-you-cut-it-just-make-it-short speech from my fantasies, and thought it was a shame I couldn’t use it. It was a waste of time in this shop. Mr. Callahan always gave a real haircut and you didn’t have to worry about saying anything to him. You never had to tell him to cut it short--you just assumed it was going to be short. As a matter of fact, you had to beg him to leave some hair on your head. I had no doubt, I was going to leave with a very short haircut.
As I was sitting there, I thought, "What the h**l, I’m going to give him my fantasy speech anyway, just to see how he reacts."