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Vince's Coronavirus Haircut by Manny

I watched my neighbor Vince struggle as he unloaded the bags of mulch from his trunk. His thick brown hair glistened in the sunlight of late spring. I had long admired his locks which were generally kept nicely groomed in a longish executive cut " very full on the top, sides and back. With the stay-at-home order dragging on, his hair was the longest I’d ever seen it. As he struggled with the bags of mulch, his long, heavy bangs fell in his eyes.

"Let me give you a hand with those bags," I called out.

"Oh, thanks, I’m almost finished," Vince replied.

"I don’t have the virus, you know!" I laughed.

"Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that," he said with a big smile in return. "I’m almost done here. So glad the governor is dialing back some of the restrictions. I can finally get my yard in order now that the garden centers are open!"

"And I can play golf. I was starting to go stir crazy on the weekends," I replied.

Vince decided to take a break and sat on the bags of mulch. He ran his fingers back through his hair to get it out of his face. "Now, if they would only permit the salons to open back up. I don’t know how much longer I can stand this. I’m starting to look like a hippy!"

"Take the matter into your own hands!" I replied. "You must have some scissors at home. Snip, snip…and those bangs will be out of your eyes in a jiffy. I’ve got some professional barber shears if you want to borrow them."

"Actually, I’ve thought about doing that." Vince pulled a lock of his fringe straight down. It stretched down to below his eyes. "I’ve never trimmed my own hair before." He paused, and then continued, "Do you have any hair clippers?"

His question startled me. I got an instant woody.

Vince continued, "Three of the fellows who work for me have given themselves buzz cuts. We videoconference every morning and they love the ‘big reveal’. Pull off the baseball cap and….voila…little or no hair! They’ve been insisting it’s my turn to ditch the business cut." He pawed a bit at the lush locks that hung from his nape. "Although, at this length, I’m not sure it’s a business cut anymore. I feel like a Beatles moptop!"

"As a matter of fact, I do have clippers. If you want, I can give you a buzzcut….or, whatever kind of haircut you want, actually. I used to cut hair at college, in the guys’ dorm. Made quite a bit of spending cash giving amateur haircuts in the laundry room. I’m a pretty accomplished amateur barber."

Vince looked up at me. "Seriously? I just might have you give me a trim."

"Sure, or if you worked up the courage, even a buzzcut. Wouldn’t your colleagues be surprised? Your turn for the big reveal " off comes the baseball cap, and voila!" I exclaimed.

There was a bit of awkward silence. I didn’t want to seem too eager, so I didn’t press the matter.

Vince noted that he’d rested long enough and needed to get on with his yard work. There was something in his look that told me he was contemplating a kitchen haircut.

Throughout the rest of the day, I watched Vince work in his yard. It was apparent the ongoing battle with his hair was getting on his nerves. Finally, he went inside and returned with a baseball cap on. But, there was no knock on my kitchen door that evening….

The next day I spotted Vince walking out to his mail box. His hair absolutely shimmered in the morning sun. As he leaned over to put some outgoing mail into the box, his overgrown forelock slid down like a veil of hair. It was a good five inches long, possibly six! He had such a magnificent mane. He flicked it back as he closed the box. His hair was covering over half his ear and almost to the base of his collar in back. He actually looked very handsome with his retro-shag.

Then my heart skipped a beat. Vince was not returning to his house, but was heading to mine! With one hand, he kept exploring the length in back. I was certain he was coming to request my barber services.

I forced myself to not answer immediately when the doorbell rang. ‘Do not appear overly anxious! Do not rush this!’ I told myself. Contain yourself and you could have his trophy hair at your feet " all of it, or most of it!

Finally, I opened the door. "Hey, Vince," I said nonchalant.

"Hey," he replied, shuffling about a little nervously. "I was wondering, uh…"

I could tell he was working up the courage to ask.

He continued, "Uh, it’s my hair. Suppose you have time to give me a bit of a trim? It doesn’t have to be now, but today, may?"

I opened the door. "Now’s as good a time as any. Cup of coffee, perhaps?" I asked as I led the way back to the kitchen.

"Nah, I’m drinking too much of it these days " liquor, as well!" he laughed.

"Take off your shirt and have a seat there. My barber kit is in the basement. I’ll be right back," I said.

All the way down and back I urged myself to practice restraint. My real goal was to get Vince satisfied with my barber skills and become my regular client. I would love to fondle and cut his hair on a regular basis. I would be happy for a trim today and the buzzcut later in the week. A tight butch on Vince! The thought stirred up quite a bit of excitement.

When I came back into the kitchen, Vince sat there without a shirt on. He looked quite trim for a man his age " early to mid-40s was my guess. He was handsome too! And his thick hair was his crowning glory.

I started unpacking the kit. Out came the clippers. "Are we going to need these today? Or just a trim, did you say?" I asked.

Vince pawed a bit at this hair. "I’m not ready for a buzzcut. Thought about it, but I shouldn’t let pressure from my team to force me into something drastic like that. A trim, I guess." He pawed the back again nervously. "Actually, it’s way long. I guess it needs a good cropping. More than a trim, actually. At least an inch, maybe two, off all over?"

I combed his locks straight down. The veil of hair in front of his eyes covered them completely.

"Two inches would take you to about here," I said resting the outer side of the shears just on the eyebrow. "Does that seem right?"

"Yes, or maybe a bit more. Just off the brows. Oh, and just off the ears, maybe touching right at the top" he said, getting fairly precise.

"And in back?" I asked grasping the mass of shimmering hair. It felt divine!

"You can actually take quite a bit off in back. It’s so long and heavy. I mean working in the yard yesterday, my neck got all wet and the hair matted. Very short in back and longish on top," he instructed.

"So, sides and back very short and just a bit longer on top. Got it!" I replied. I combed through the back and studied the full mane of glorious hair streaming down his manly neck. "You know, if you’d let me suggest a bit of a change for summer -- how about a taper? Tapered short around the ears and up the back? I think it would suit you nice and you have great hair for a classic taper."

His eyes darted to the clippers. "You mean, with the electric hair clippers?"

"Yep, it would be easier for me," I noted. "More what I’m used to then a scissor salon-type cut. But I can try with the scissors…."

Vince’s leg jiggled nervously, a bit. Then he pushed out his reply. "Why not? A change would be good. Shoot, I’m still toying with the idea of a buzzcut!" he exclaimed amid a burst of nervous laughter.

"And, the big reveal on Monday morning!" I laughed.

"Okay, give me a taper with the clippers. And, you know what? Cut it really short!" he instructed, suddenly feeling emboldened. "All over. I want a very, very short haircut. There will be some time for it to grow out before we’re back in the office. I’ve never had really short hair before, and this is my chance."

"You’re on. I always favor a good spring shearing. It’s such a relief when the winter overgrowth comes off and the hair piles up on the floor," I commented. Then, I plugged in the clippers as I watched him try to control the nervous leg shake. Then he started fiddling with his hands, as well. Poor guy. We both knew one thing, a LOT of his thick brown hair was going to come off!

"Ever had a barber use a clippers on you before, Vince?" I asked as I slowly forced his head down and noticed the #1 blade I’d be using on him…..he did say short!

"Maybe just my neck cleaned up. I had long hair growing up " really long, to my shoulders. Gradually got shorter and shorter as I aged, but no clippers."

I snapped on the machine. The pleasing hum of the clippers filled the kitchen! I could feel the tension in his body as I steadied his head for the assault of the clippers. Vince didn’t know it yet, but he was going to get a military length regulation cut!

My hands twitched with anticipation of his drastic makeover as I moved the machine very tight up the neck, under the shimmering overgrowth and steadily plowed it up through the dense locks. The shriek of the metal teeth was followed by mounds of shiny brown hair falling to my feet. It was a glorious sight to behold and to feel. Shanks of his soft hair slipping over my fingers as it fell to my kitchen floor. The white neck poked out between locks of brown hair.

Vince shuddered as the vibration lingered on his sensitive scalp a bit before the clippers eased off half way up the back of his head. It was going to be incredibly short!

"Whoa!" Vince exclaimed as he leaned to see the hair on the floor. "That’s a lot of hair!"

"That’s just the beginning. A whole lot more will be coming off, Vince," I reminded him. "Here feel it in back."

Vince was curious to feel the extremely short stubs and ran his fingers up the back a bit.

"Wow, what a difference!" he said anxiously, but with noticeable enthusiasm.

I pushed his head down again and brought the clippers up through the lush locks a second time. More of Vince’s hair collected at my feet.

"How are you doing there, buddy?" I asked.

"All right. It’s a little scary, I guess, seeing all my hair piling up on the floor. I hope you know what you’re doing!" he commented nervously.

I stopped. "Would you feel better watching? I could go get a mirror and set it up on the counter. Might be fun.

"I think I’d like that!" he replied.

When I came back with the mirror he was exploring his clipped nape with one hand and fingering a lock of his cut hair with the other. I face the chair toward the counter and propped up the mirror. As he adjusted to the new position, his forelock slipped in front of his eyes.

"Let’s take care of this next, so there’s nothing obstructing your view," I said, combing down his veil of hair.

I know we had settled on ‘just above the eyebrow’ for the desired length, but I thought I would push the envelope a bit.

I combed the thick hair repeatedly. Yes, most of it would come off, and the remnant thinned!

"Nice and short?" I suggested as I snapped the shears open and shut a few times.

Vince squirmed in the chair, not responding.

I slipped the blade of the shears under the vulnerable lock, just above the brow. Then I moved it up a bit. It was about half way up the forehead. A good three inches would tumble to his lap.

My hand hovered at mid-forehead. ‘Here, Vince? Or possibly shorter. All the way up to here…." I suggested as I slid the blades to very hear the hairline.

"Yes, to there," his voice stammered.

I did not hesitate. SNIP, SNIP, SNIP.

The whole fringe fell with a drama that screamed out "point of no return".

"I think you’re ready for your butch! Everything buzzed off close to the scalp," I pronounced.

"Yes, please," Vince eked out.

I picked up the clippers, snapped them on and pushed them right back through Vince’s thatch across the top of his head.

"Holy s**t!" he shrieked. "I’m going to be bald!"

"Almost bald," I confirmed. "It’s at an eighth of an inch now .

I stripped away all of Vince’s magnificent hair. I collected in piles at my feet.

"OMG!" he murmured like a little nervous Nelly.

I became quite forceful in moving his head about. Poor Vince looked so different without his glistening mane.

"This is called a simple butch!" I proclaimed as I stroked his stubble.

Vince explored his clipped head. "It feels so different."

"And it looks quite different too," I added. "Actually, you look much younger, Vince. How old are you? 30, 32?"

He smiled broadly. "Pushing 50!"

Then he looked at all the hair on my kitchen floor. "Do you want me to help you sweep that up?" Vince asked. "I mean, if you’re going to become my regular barber, I can at least help out in some way…." He smiled shyly while he stroked his clipped head.

"Sure, Handsome! Let me get you the broom and dustpan…." I said.

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