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Mike and the makeshift barber shop by Manny
I did my best to stifle a gasp as Geoff opened the door and I saw the way his hair had been butchered in the most awfully short, amateur hack-job, kitchen haircut!
Normally, Geoff sported his thick, wavy blond hair in a rather longish business cut, always well groomed and brushed neatly into place.
But there he stood, obviously self-conscious, fully aware that he looked terrible. The forelock had been whacked off near the hairline and the sides were uneven. The left was buzzed up to the crown and the right was about half an inch long and lapping over the ear. There were parts on top that were so short the hair would not lay down, amid some longer strands.
His face was red with embarrassment, "I know, I know. I look awful. Helen did it....and the worse part is that she thinks it's a great haircut. She's admired her 'handiwork' several times. Don't say a word about it. I don't want her feeling bad."
"Are you going to go to work like that?" I gasped.
"Fortunately, with this pandemic, we've all been put on leave. Anyways, the pandemic is how I ended up with Helen deciding to play barber on me. She got a call from my salon saying that all appointments were cancelled until further notice and swung right into gear without even asking. When I got home yesterday, she showed me the barber kit she had picked up at the store. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on a chair in the kitchen without a shirt, watching clumps of my hair fall to the floor."
"Huge clumps," by the look of things. "I mean, what happened to your bangs?" I asked, playfully trying to grasp the stubby strands at the top of Geoff's forehead.
"When she unleashed the shears on my forelock, that's when I knew I was in trouble. Real trouble! Helen combed my bangs straight down -- they usually cover my eyes like that, when they're not brushed to the side -- and the next thing I heard the shears crunching shut and I saw five inch clumps in my lap!" Geoff laughed.
"How can you laugh?" I asked.
"It's just hair...." he shrugged. "It'll grow back."
I admired Geoff's reaction. I would have been livid. It was obvious he loved his wife a lot.
Strangely, I got a funny feeling...a bit like....OMG...like, I too wanted to sit in Helen's amateur barber shop and watch my hair get totally butchered.
As I entered Geoff and Helen's foyer, I glanced at myself in the mirror. My chestnut hair shimmered in the hall light. The auburn highlights were on full display. I smoothed my hair down in back. It was quite long -- way past the base of my collar and completely over my ears.
"Is that you, Mike?" came Helen's voice from the kitchen. "I can assure you no one here has the virus! Can I bring you a glass of Scotch?"
"Sure, Helen!" I said, suppressing a desire to make a comment about Geoff's haircut, as we headed into the living room.
But my opportunity came as Helen handed me the glass of whiskey.
"There you go, Mike. So, how do you like Geoff's haircut?" Helen asked.
OMG. She put me right on the spot.
"We were just talking about that...." I stammered. "He told me you are his new barber!"
"That's right. And we both rather enjoyed the new experience, didn't we honey?" Helen replied.
Helen eyed my plush mane that hung almost to my shoulders.
I squirmed in the easy chair imagining that I too would be invited to take a seat on the kitchen chair before the evening was over.
There was an awkward silence, as if Helen was waiting for me to ask more about her newly developed 'talent'.
"I was just sorry when it ended," Geoff said. "Never had a sexier barber! But, I had rather hoped Helen might cut it even shorter than she did. It's so great not to have so much hair to worry about. Do you think you could master a buzzcut, honey?"
"You mean, buzz it all off with the clippers? I thought that was the kind of haircut little boys got, not professional men!" Helen said. Then, she quickly changed the subject. "Ooops, got to check on the souffle. Don't want it to get overdone!"
After she'd left us, I whispered to Geoff, "Good try! At least a buzzcut would be a uniform length instead of that lopsided hack job you got."
"Why don't you ask her to give us both buzzcuts?" Geoff pleaded.
I could tell he was serious! There was a sense of urgency in his plea. There was no way I had ever considered a buzzcut! My tresses were my treasure. Of course, I had always fantasized a bit about having my head shaved, but to actually sit in a chair.... And then I imagined myself, shirtless, in Helen's kitchen!
"Your haircut is growing on me," I replied with a twinkle in my eye. "I think it's actually quite a nice length for you, Geoff. And it looks so artsy, irregular like that!"
Later, at dinner, Geoff got me back for kidding with him.
"You know, honey, Mike told that he really admired your skill as a barber. He's too shy to ask himself, but he was wondering if perhaps you might give him a haircut too."
"Of course!" Helen exclaimed. "Why so shy, Mr. Moptop? When I saw you this evening I thought you were quite in need of a good haircut. After I clean up the dinner dishes, my barber shop will be open, just for you."
My groin shot into high alert at the sudden turn of events. I squirmed in my chair, struggling to know how to respond.
I ran my fingers through my locks. "My hair has gotten so long....but I do not want to trouble you, Helen. I mean you already cooked me dinner. Asking you to give me a haircut is way too much. And I told Geoff not to bother you about that!" I said, shooting him a withering glare.
"Actually, Mike and I were commenting that we'd both be game for buzzcuts. Tight butch cuts," Geoff said. "They're not just for boys, these days. Men get them too. I'd say there are at least 3-4 young men in my office that sport nothing but a pate of stubble."
"So, you want a buzzcut, Mike?!" Helen exclaimed, eyeing my tresses. "I suppose I can make it happen. For both of you. Butch cuts for the men, right after supper. I should really buy myself a professional barber tunic and a matching cape. You two men will be my first regulars!"
When Helen returned to the kitchen, I hissed at Geoff, "You rat! I don't want a buzzcut!"
Geoff smirked. "Of course you do! If you didn't, you would have told Helen so. But you just went along with her plan to buzz us down after dinner. Missed your chance to turn the butch off! Anyway, I think you might end up liking it. All that long hair, buzzed off. You'll be quite handsome and very manly with a butch, Mike" Geoff said with a wink.
I was glad I was sitting at the table, because the thought of Helen shaving off my long hair in the kitchen....within a matter of minutes....had me in an estate of extreme arousal. All Geoff was losing was his botched haircut. I was going to lose a beautiful mane of chestnut hair highlighted with fiery auburn traces!
"I think I'll need another glass of scotch to put me in the mood for a buzzcut, Buddy! Do you think you could arrange for that?" I asked, stalling for time. It was like I was a convict, asking for a last cigarette before they threw the switch on the electric chair!
"Sure!" Geoff said. He slipped into the kitchen. When he returned he had a huge smile on his face. "I brought you a double. She already has the box with the clippers out on the kitchen table! I say it's time you start bidding this nice, glossy hair of yours adieu, my friend." Geoff's fingers plied through my mane and he caressed my locks tenderly. I basked in his attention. Then he whispered in my ear, "Thanks for going along with this, Mikey. I really owe you. You've been very attached to your pretty boy look for as long as I've known you, and now you're going to shed it for your mate who needs to get out of his botched haircut."
"I'll find a way for you to pay me back....." I sighed with resignation.
"Barber Shop's open!" Helen called out from the kitchen. "Who's going to be first?"
We looked at each other briefly. Then I pushed my chair back from the table. "I am, Helen. I'm in the most desperate need of a haircut. Geoff's convinced me that a nice tight butch will positively transform me!" I ran my fingers through my mane one last time. A pit feeling churned through my stomach.
Geoff grabbed my hand as I turned to head towards the makeshift barber shop. "Oh, I'm sorry, Mike. You don't have to do this for me, really! I'll go in and explain to Helen."
I gave his hand a tender squeeze. "What are friends, best friends, for?"
Mike hugged me tightly. "And you're the best of the best." I tried my best to mask my woody.
His heartfelt, tender embrace gave me the last bit of courage I needed to face my fate -- a butch cut! I walked straight into the kitchen and began peeling off my shirt. The chair was pulled out from the table and the clippers were plugged in.
"I hope I can afford this?" I joked. "How much do you charge for a buzzcut?"
"I'll spring for the fee," offered Geoff who was close on my heels.
Helen patted the chair in a motherly way. "Here you go. Take a seat, big boy!"
She studied my mane and then exclaimed, "You have amazing hair, Mike! Now that I'm staring at it like this, I see it is quite healthy and has natural highlights. Why, every woman I know would die for this hair! I hate to buzz it all off."
"Well, then let me, Helen," Geoff said stepping in. "It's my time to have some fun playing barber!"
Helen submitted to her husband's will. "Of course, honey." There was a tone of relief in her voice.
Geoff ran a comb through my locks. "Wow, this is long! A lot of hair is coming off...."
"Just do it...." I snapped, a bit irritated.
The next thing I knew, the clippers roared to life. The buzzing sound was infernally loud!
My mouth felt dry and tense. Call it off -- the buzzcut! That's what raced through my mind as Geoff grasped my forelock and held it up from my face. But, my mouth was paralyzed, speechless as I watched the chattering teeth of the clippers advance.
The metal teeth hit my hair. A shriek rang out as Geoff pushed the clippers into the dense mane.
"Oh, honey! Poor Mike!" Helen gasped.
Geoff was undeterred. He thrust the machine back through my glossy locks, firmly across the top of my head. Then he pulled off a massive shank of my hair and dropped it into my lap.
"One minute a pretty boy and soon it'll be a baldy boy!" Geoff taunted.
I felt queasy and my stomach churned mercilessly.
"I can't wait to see the new me," I forced myself to say as I examined the mass of cut hair on my lap.
Geoff returned to the top of my head and pushed the clippers through the dense mane again. Mounds of hair tumbled onto my shoulder and slid down my chest.
There was an electric silence in the kitchen as Helen watched the butchering and Geoff hummed with delight as he inflicted my transformation.
"Oh, my! Look at you. Like an old man with male pattern baldness!" Geoff laughed. Then he stroked the stubble on top. "Wow, that's almost prickly!"
"Just finish it off," I murmured. "I can wait to see the new me."
"You're looking....uh, quite....um, different. Youthful," said Helen with a tinge of nervousness in her voice. "All that nice hair.... I mean I took a lot of Geoff too, but the floor didn't look anything like this.
I ventured to peer down and saw quite a large throw rug of shorn hair at Geoff's feet.
Geoff pushed my head down and brought the clippers up through my nape.
"Wow! That feels fantastic," I giggled.
He rubbed my stubble lightly. "Um....glad. I can't wait to feel the clippers at my nape."
"I'm going to go get a hand mirror," Helen said, quickly leaving the kitchen.
Geoff leaned over, "I really, really owe you, Buddy! I hope you get used to seeing your ears stick out...."
OMG! My ears uncovered! That why I had always let my hair long, covering them.
"Does it look too bad?" I asked.
"Hope people at your office don't start referring to you as Dumbo," he chortled.
By the time Helen got back and handed me the mirror, I was a nervous wreck.
Slowly, I held it up. "Holy sh...!" I gasped.
My bald head and big, huge ears! I stared in disbelief, numb....not wanting to acknowledge the new me.
Geoff and Helen didn't know what to say.
Finally, Helen offered, "Geoff says short hair is a lot easier to deal with. Right honey?"
"And this feels amazing," Geoff said rubbing my clipped pate.
"But I look like an idiot," I mumbled.
"No, you look like the best friend a person could ever wish for!" Geoff said.
"And now it's your turn in the chair, and my turn to play barber!" I replied.
As I stood, a load of my cut hair fell from my lap and shoulders and chest to the floor.
"Are you sure you want to obliterate Helen's artsy hair style?" I asked as I stared at the horribly botched haircut.
"It really wasn't good, was it?" asked Helen with a slight pout. "My career as a barber was so short."
I grabbed the hand mirror again and looked at it. Strangely, the puny head with huge ears grew on me. "But, Geoff's will not be. You know what? The butch is a keeper! It feels great not having that mass of hair...."
"Well be each other's barber from here on out, Mike!" Geoff chirped.
I snapped on the clippers.....savored every minute as I reduced his blond, wavy hair to stubble.