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Joining by Storyteller


This story happened when I was 17 and I was about to start at the University. It was 1983 and here in Brazil many young guys my age still had long hair. My hair was brown, straight, it completely covered my huge ears and almost reached my shoulders, the bangs often fell in front of my eyes. This happened after a summer vacation season, which I spent on the beach as a prize for having good results in the entrance exam. I haven't received a haircut since the beginning of summer, and anyway the cuts I received then were nothing more than trims. My face was quite tanned after the summer season, but my skin, under all that hair, after so many years, was very pale white. I was a quiet, studious, well-mannered and respectful young, I never disobeyed my parents or a teacher. A few days before classes started at the University, I decided that it would be good to go to the barber to trim my hair. As I wanted to know more about the area where the University was located, I decided that it would be interesting to look for a barbershop near the University.

It didn't take long for me to find an open barbershop. It was located relatively close to the University and almost in front of an army preparation school. When I realized that the barbershop was open, I opened the door and went in. I saw the barber, a man about 70 years old, and noticed that there was no customer. I smiled and said "Good afternoon, Sir" and walk in his direction to shake his hand. He said "Good afternoon, young man, welcome" and pointed to his big old-style barber chair. I understood the signal, went to the barber chair and sat down. He gently put a big white cape over me and closed it tightly around my neck, making sure my long hair didn't get stuck. I noticed how careful and firm this gentleman was in his work. He said to me "Are you new to this area, young man? I've never seen you here before". To which I replied "Yes, Sir, next week I'm joining..." pointing outside, and before I finished, he said "Ah, so you came for a haircut before joining?" I smiled at the gentleness of his question and said "Yes, Sir, that's right". He combed my hair and said "Great, this is something I'm used to do". He lifted the chair up and turned it around, leaving me with my back to the mirror.
As I waited for him to ask me what cut I wanted, I realized that he was moving around and picking up something behind the chair, but I couldn't see.
In a few moments he held my head with a very firm hand and with the other he turned on clippers, with a # 1 blade and immediately put it in front of the top of my head. He held my head and at the same time took clippers from the front to the back of the neck, going all over the head. In the end, with a slight movement he made all the cut hair fall behind the chair.
And so he did it again, and again, gradually opening up a huge stripe of very short hair on my head while there were still parts with the long hair that I had until then. I, completely stunned, had no reaction, and if I did the barber didn't even see it, he was concentrating on his work. In the meantime he was asking me things like my age, where do I live, and I was responding politely, in the middle of that he said "You are a good boy, you will like it there" and I said "Ah, I'm sure I will , thank you Sir". In the middle of the conversation I noticed that now he had tilted my head a little and started to run the clippers on the right side, again in very wide movements. And when he got close to my ear, he looked a little surprised with the size of my ear and folded it so he could work better around that area.

Then he was tilting my head to the other side, immediately starting the same process on the other side, again surprising himself with the size of my ear and folding it to pass clippers around it. Too much hair falling all the time. This lasted only a few minutes. Soon, he turned off clippers and put them back on a hook on the wall. He turned the chair front to the mirror again, rubbed my head and said "There, young man, ready to join." I looked very surprised and somehow showed some discontent. He promptly said, "Wasn't that the cut you wanted, young man?" I, trying to be as polite as possible, given the unusual situation, slowly said "Sir, in fact, this cut was not what I was hoping for". He said "Oh, I see, okay, I'll fix it" and promptly picked up the clippers again, changing the blade from # 1 to # 00000. He put his hand on the top of my shorn head, turned clippers on again, and started to move it on the sides and back. At this point, what I saw were just very small stubble flying as the clippers passed and my very white skin was now really starting to show. He said "You will need some tan here, young man", patting the back of my head. He did this job very quickly but very accurately. While he was working he said to me "It is better to start already with the standard cut". In a few moments, I only had hair on top of my head and very short. He turned off the clippers again and put them away. He took a shaving brush and spread foam around my ears and on the nape, the smell of the foam was very good. He took a razor, held my head firm, and started to make the outline. Very firmly and carefully, he shaved the hair around my ears and on my nape.
After putting away the razor he took a duster brush and ran it over my head, face, neck and nape. Then he put talcum powder on the brush and passed it on the area that had been shaved. The smell of talc was very characteristic, it smelled like a barbershop.
He then took a hand mirror and positioned himself behind the chair showing me the cut from all angles, waiting for my answer. Not knowing what to say or do, I simply nodded. He gave a satisfied smile, brushed off the cape to make all the hair fall to the floor, and opened the cape carefully. He, gently, with his hand on my back, led me to get up from the barber chair. I took the wallet to pay him and said "Keep the change, Sir". He said "Thank you very much, young man", then he directed me to the door and pointing outside said "Now, are you ready to join the Army Preparatory School" I shook his hand, smiled and said "Yes, Sir, now I'm ready".
I left the barbershop, rubbing my head.
The days passed until the beginning of classes, I managed to tan my head a little, and got used to my new haircut. When classes started, it was funny to think that those new classmates thought I was someone who always had short hair. Some even asked me if I came from the army. And everyone treated me with a lot of respect.
This was making me sure that the haircut was now part of my image and in a week I was back at the barbershop to get the standard cut again ...




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