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I know what you want by Storyteller


For almost all my childhood and teenage days I used to go to the same barbershop, a small and humble place, only one barber worked there, despite having two barber chairs.
The barber was a nice gentleman and, at the time, when long hair was almost mandatory for boys my age, he was very easy about cuts, he never cut much, and in fact I don't even need to ask him which cut I wanted, I just sat and said "don't cut too much, please" and he kept my hair covering my ears that were big and flapping, the bangs without looking like they have been cut too much and the hair touching the collar.
Usually, after a cut, it took me about 3 to 4 months to get back to the barbershop. One morning, during this period, I asked my mother for money to pay and went to the barbershop to get my trim.
When I got there, I noticed that the barbershop was open, but that there was no customer and that the barber was not there. As I knew that sometimes he went to the back after some cut and, knowing that there was no problem, I sat down in the barber chair and said "Good morning, Sir, I'm going to sit down" knowing that he would recognize my voice.
"OK" a voice said coming from the other side. Then the barber came and caped me tight. "Good morning" he said and then I realized that he was not my friend, the usual barber. I turned around in surprise and he said "Are you new here?" and I replied "No Sir, I am a frequent customer".
He said "I have been here for 4 months in the place of the old barber who retired". I smiled and he said "I imagine you only come a few times and make a cut to come back after a while". I, somewhat embarrassed, said "Yes Sir, that's what I do". He smiled and said "Okay, so I know what you want"
He straightened my hair better outside the cape, took a comb and combed my hair. Then he swung the chair around, facing the barbershop door, watching the movement of the street. I, surprised, said "Wow, Sir, I didn't even know this chair could spin around". "Yes, it does," he said. "I like to work like this". "Okay, Sir," I said politely. And then he smiled and said "You look like a very well-mannered boy". I bowed my head a little and said "Thank you Sir".
The barber then held my head very tightly with one hand while in the other he had clippers with the #0 blade. He switched clippers on and immediately started running them on my head from forehead to nape, and in the end with a slight hand movement he made the cut hair fall to the floor.
I was terrified, for the first time I was seeing those clippers that I always saw hanging on a hook, for the first time I heard their buzz sound and for the first time I felt that metal in my head.
My eyes widened and my jaw dropped. The barber said, "You haven't felt clippers in a while, huh?" I looked up at him, not knowing what to say, and gave a shy smile. He said, smirking, "Good shy boy" and ran the clippers over my head again, opening another band of very short hair.
Then he started talking, asking me things like my age, where I lived, where and when I go to school. I politely answered all the questions and always called him Sir at the end of every sentence.
While he was talking he zeroed all the hair on my head, bending it to one side or the other when necessary. In the middle of the conversation, he said "I can give you some financial help, son, you can come here at the barbershop in your free time and help me with the organization and cleaning and I'll give you some change".
I felt very surprised and grateful, surprised that he thought I needed financial help (which later I found out was for my long time between cuts). I politely said that I would need to ask permission from my parents and that afterwards I would give him news about it.
He smiled and said "Well done, boy". And he went back to work. When he got close to the first ear he looked surprised at the size and shape, and molded it with his fingers to move clippers around and cut hair there perfectly. The same he did on the other side. He looked at me, from above, and said "You will need to tan this head well, son"
And then he turned off and hung up clippers and ran his hand over my head, slowly, looking for uneven spots. He stopped at a certain point and said "Hey, you have a bump here" and picked up the clippers again, turned them on and ran them carefully in that place, moving in different directions.
He then got rid of the clippers and took a duster brush. He dusted my head, face, neck and part of the cape. Then he shook the cape to let the cut hair fall on the floor.
He turned the chair around, leaving me facing the mirror and said "Okay, now you can leave it for a long time until you get your haircut again".
I saw myself in the mirror, and I looked like someone else. I looked at the barber, and, as I was very shy and respectful, I just said "Yes, sir", while he had already picked up his broom and was sweeping all the hair to a corner.
He came back and said "You look a little unhappy, I can cut it a little shorter for you". I said nothing and smiled a very shy smile. He took his clippers and exchanged blade # 0 for # 00000. Meanwhile, an elderly man entered the barbershop and sat on the waiting couch, greeting the barber and me. I respectfully greeted him also.
And then the barber was running clippers over my head once again. I now saw the cut being made and saw the tiny hairs flying where the clippers were passing.
The gentleman, looking in the mirror, said to me "What an example of a boy, while these young hooligans leave their hair as if they were girls, a boy like yourself with his hair already very short comes to the barber to get it cut shorter".
The barber looked at me, blinked and smiled. He looked at the old man and said "Yes, this is a very special boy, I am looking to hire him to be my assistant". I smiled and said "Thank you, Sirs". Then the barber was finished and all my head was already at # 00000.
The barber dusted my head again and shook the cape. Then he uncaped me and moved the chair slightly so that I could get down. I put my hand in my pocket to get the money and pay him. He shook his head and made a sign with his hand that he would talk to me later. I shook hands with the barber and said goodbye politely to him and the waiting man. Soon I was in the street going back home with my white head and my big ears all exposed…




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