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"I didn't think what cut to ask you for" by Storyteller


The story I tell here took place when I was 21 years old, in 1987. Since I was 8 years old I had long hair, sometimes longer, at times not so much, but never letting my ears show or the back of my neck uncovered, the bangs were also always large, reaching the eyes or much more. A couple of years before this story, however, that changed a little, because with the advent of the mullet fashion, I decided to accept cutting my hair around the ears and the bangs becoming shorter, but the hair on the back was still long , and even then, longer than I used to have.
By the time of this story mullets had already become outdated and I had simply let my hair grow, covering my ears again and with the bangs going up to my eyes. And with that, the hair on the back was getting even longer, past my shoulders.

At that time, many men my age were already wearing shorter hair, but not extremely short, in a style close to a businessman cut. I hated that cut and didn't want to look like so many others. But at the same time, my hair was already much longer than I would normally accept. In the meantime, when I adopted the mullet and after that not getting my hair cut for a while, I lost touch with the barber where I used to get my haircuts, so I decided to try going downtown to find a different barbershop. When I arrived there, I saw many salons, which I would not like, so, in a less busy spot, I found a small barbershop that, from what I saw from the outside, pleased me. I peeked out the window, and saw a simple but very organized and clean place. I saw that the barber was not busy, he was a bald man with a white mustache, around 75 years old, wearing a white smock and traditional clothes. I liked the image of that gentleman and decided to walk in. "Good morning, Sir," I said as I entered the barbershop. The barber got up and smiling said to me "Good morning, young man, how can I help you?" I said "I need a haircut, Sir" He smiled and said "Yes, you really do" and invited me to sit in his big leather barber chair.

I sat in the barber chair and relaxed. The barber picked up a striped nylon cape and shook it in the air and dropped it around my neck. He carefully prevented my long hair from getting inside the cape and closed it tight. He combed my long hair and asked "How do you want your hair cut, young man?" I thought for a while and said, "Well, sir, actually, I didn't even think about what cut to ask you for." Then he said "What do you think about me choosing the cut for you?" I looked at him, thought about how his way of acting and dealing with the client was appropriate and respectful and said "Yes, Sir, I think it's a good idea". He didn't say anything else, lifted the chair and turned it around, not letting me view the mirror.

Only at that moment did I stop to realize how pleasant the barbershop smell was, and I was relaxed, absorbed in the smell of the barbershop. Meanwhile, the barber was preparing his tools. Without me noticing, in a moment he had his hand firmly pushing my head towards my chest, positioned behind me, with his clippers with blade # 0. He plugged the clippers, quickly turned it on and started moving it on the back of my head, up from the nape. I felt a chill and a sensation I had never felt before, clippers passing through my scalp. A cascade of very long hair was beginning to fall on the cape in front of my eyes. And the movement did not stop when it reached the crown. It followed to my forehead. Causing the long hair on the top to also fall in front of my eyes. And nothing made the barber change the control he had on my head and the precise movement he did with the clippers, and so he was passed by, letting more hair fall in front of me.

Tilting my head, he also moved the clippers on the sides, and around the ears. When he wanted to move the clippers around my ear, he grabbed my ear and bent it. So he did on the left and the right side. Within minutes my long post-mullet hair was transformed into a # 0 all over. He rubbed the top and felt that everything was even. Then he turned off the clipprs and put it away.
I, without reaction, expected what I assumed was the end of the cut. Then a very good smell started to spread through the barbershop and then I started to feel a shaving brush spreading foam on the back and sides of my head, even high above the crown. Then he took a razor, sharpened it on a leather strop next to the chair, held my head very tightly with one hand on the top and said "Quiet, very quiet, young man". With firm movements with the razor, he began to scrape away all the stubble I now had on the sides and back of my head. He reapplied the foam and again ran the razor, now against the grain. After this process he took a small towel and removed the excess of foam, and then gently spread an after-shave with a fantastic smell throughout the shaved area.
He took a duster brush and brushed it over my head, face, neck and nape, removing small bristles that could be there left. Then talcum powder was brushed and passed around the ears and the nape. Another pleasant aroma that reminded me of what I had felt when I entered the barbershop. He didn't turn the chair around, just lowered the height and said "Okay, young man, a cut my style". I smiled, got out of the chair and before looking I said "Thank you, Sir".
So I turned around and didn't recognize myself. I just had a small oval shape of very short hair on the top and around everything was shaved smooth. The barber, who was looking at me, said "This cut will be on the house, come back weekly to do the maintenance". I was amazed but said "Thank you very much for the free cut, yes, I will be back for maintenance, Sir". He smiled and said "If you think the cut has lost its shape in three days, you can come back, I won't extra charge you". I said "OK, Sir", I shook his hand, said "Thank you very much" and left ... Three days later I was opening the barbershop door "Good morning, Sir" ...




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