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Such a good boy by Storyteller
In 1976, when I was 10 years old, all I wanted was not to be a little boy anymore. I wanted to be like the cool guys, who had long hair like pop stars. Following the trend of the time, my parents had already allowed us to let our hair grow, as long as we cut it every two or three months. I was obedient and followed this rule, always hoping that the barber would cut my hair a little less each time, and he even did it, but I wanted more, I wanted a modern cut like my schoolmates had.
That spring morning, Mom said that since winter was over it was time for me to go to the barber and get a trim. I agreed. Mom gave me the money to pay the barber and told me to bring the change back and I said "Yes, ma'am". As I dreamed of pop star haircuts like my friends, I decided I wouldn't go to the usual barbershop. I walked a few blocks and was in a new neighborhood that I didn't know. After passing in front of some stores I finally saw a barber shop. It looked like an ordinary barbershop from that time.
I walked over and opened the door. Upon entering I looked around and saw that it was a small barber shop with only one barber chair, the smell of products was strong. The barber was a gentleman in his 60s or 70s, wearing a white smock, old-fashioned pants and dress shoes, he had very short white hair and a well-kept white mustache. I smiled and politely said "Good morning, Sir, may I walk in your barbershop?" He looked at me and said "Good morning, young man, welcome". I was happy that he called me young instead of kid or boy. He stood beside the big leather barber chair and just patted the seat to indicate that I was supposed to sit.
I walked over to the chair, went up and sat down carefully. The barber soon put a blue fabric cape around me and closed it with a pin, taking care that my hair didn't stay inside the cape. I looked around and said to the barber: "Your barbershop is very clean and organized, Sir" He said: "Thank you very much, son, you are a very polite boy". Although he then called me boy, I liked the compliment and, now that I was sitting and caped, I could do nothing but sit still. "Thank you very much, Sir," I said. And he looked at me, touched my shoulder and said "And I know what a good boy like you expects me to do." I looked up smiling and said, "Do you, Sir?" He nodded, pumped the chair up and turned it opposite side of the mirror.
He took a comb that was in a pocket in his smock and started to comb my hair, as I took good care and always washed my hair, he didn’t find any knots and said "I see that you are a very tidy boy who doesn’t let the hair get dirty". I smiled. He said "I'm going to make your hair perfect for a boy like you". Then he took a pair of scissors from his smock pocket and quickly started cutting my hair. I saw him move around my head and the scissors were snip-snip-snip. Big strands of hair were falling. I was a little scared by the amount of hair that fell out, but I thought it had been a long time since I had cut my hair so that's fine.
Then, he took manual hair clippers with a #000 blade, said "Head down, boy" and started running clippers on the back of my head. The sound it made was very different, I felt a chill, and saw my hair falling in front of me. And the barber moved it over the back of my head. He moved it very high, at the crown. If I tried to move my head a little, he would hold on tight and say "Head down, boy".
Then he turned my head to the side and started cutting the hair from sideburns to crown. When he needed to work around my ear he would fold my ear like an envelope. One thing that I liked when I was been able to grow my hair was that I always had big ears and was called Dumbo and by then I could have my ears hidden. I was so astonished by the surprise of the cut that I didn't even remember that now the ears were exposed again. Then the barber said: "Big ears, huh, son. That's good, you know you have to behave well or they will be pulled nicely". I just said "Yes, Sir" and he kept on cutting my hair and said, "Such a good boy".
He did the same process by turning my head to the other side. It was amazing how perfectly he handled those hand clippers and how strong he was to handle them and hold my head.
He put my head back upright and looked me in the face. He examined my head and said; "Hmm, I know what will be good". He then switched to another hand clippers with a # 1 blade and started cutting the hair on the top of my head. He looked at me and smiling said: "You are really enjoying this cut, aren't you?" I, having no alternative, smiled and said "Yes, I like it a lot, Sir". And he kept cutting my hair off the top and said, "Such a good boy". In a short time I had a very strict cut, exactly contrary to what I expected. But, somehow, I felt obliged to obey that barber.
He finished the cut, then used a brush to dust my head and turned the chair to face the mirror and said "Look. What a great cut for you." I was left without a reaction and said "Yes, Sir". He rubbed my head, shook the cape well so that all the hair fell to the floor, opened the cape and said: "There, boy" and immediately said: "This cut will be on the house, boy, come back weekly and I will charge you only one cut per month" patting my back as if sending me away. I thanked him and thought that there was nothing else to do but obey.