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Fifty-Something by Jack


Fifty-Something

The architect’s face appeared blank as he stared into a mirror on the opposite side of the room intentionally looking away from the guy whose iPhone stood ready to capture the moment on video. Just like he’d learned in yoga he took a long, deep breath through his nose and exhaled through his mouth and tried to relax into the moment. The man behind him asked him for the third time if this was really what he wanted to do. David jerked out another nod then looked directly into the phone screen and grinned. Meanwhile he tried to piece together how he ended up being here in the first place.

Because it was his birthday and his driver’s license had to be renewed, David stopped at the State of Illinois Building before heading to the office. Once he’d resigned himself to the fact that he’d be stuck in the line for at least the next hour he calmed down enough to notice the guy in front of him fidgeting with the zipper on his jacket. Not bad looking from behind, he thought, sort of sexy in that renegade, art student sort of way. Instead of saying something, David buried his head in his manual and pondered, as a left handed person, why the driver on the right was entitled to the right away at a four-way stop sign instead of the driver on the left. He glanced beyond the book and noted that the aforementioned guy in front of him was wearing worn-in, classic new balance running shoes and equally as worn-in jeans that were rolled at the ankle. As the people in the line next to him moved a foot closer he gritted his teeth and sighed just loud enough for the guy to glance over his shoulder and shake his head. David looked straight into the hood framing his day old beard and thick, dark eyebrows before shifting his gaze down at the salt on his own four hundred dollar suede boots. The guy’s butt, not so camouflaged behind his snug fitting jeans, looked pretty near perfect. David watched it inch slightly forward and followed.

This deep voice resonated through the still space. "Don’t f***in’ believe this f***in’ s**t!" David fumbled with his manual and looked intently at the variety of signs with arrows pointing in different directions. "I gotta a f***in’ final in two f***in’ hours. F*** this s**t!" The speaker looked over his shoulder again. David buried his head even deeper in his manual. In unison they trudged another half foot closer. The one in the Mackage parka tapped the face of his equally as pricey watch while he watched the guy in front of him scroll away at his iPhone then shove it back in his pocket. This time when he glanced over his shoulder their eyes met. The guy shoved his hood down.

"Um." David tried not to stare at the younger man’s haircut, "looks like we may, possibly, be here for a while yet."

"Probably should just f***in’ forget about this til tomorrow." He repositioned the backpack on his shoulder. "Get here earlier." He smirked and rolled his eyes, "like that’s gonna happen."

David’s heart sank as the guy with the intriguing haircut went to get out of line. "Wow." He lurched almost a foot closer and cocked his head, "look, the line’s really moving now. And, you are already here. Can’t be all that much longer, huh?" He shrugged his shoulders then stared even more intently down at his manual.

The guy wedged his broad shoulders back into the line and spun ninety degrees. He moved his headphones around his neck then ran his hand over the stubble on top of his head, "so, you gonna talk t’me or just pretend like you need t’learn more about what ya’ do at a railroad crossing?"

"Sorry." David adjusted his glasses and smiled politely. "It’s just that I, I haven’t really driven a car in over five years." He sighed, "a little rusty on the rules, you know."

"Kind of a no-brainer, dude. You look like a smart guy."

"The glasses are deceiving." He ran his hand through his greying temple, "and the grey hair."

"The grey is way hot, man."

David blushed, "and, I sort of need to see if the laws are different here in Illinois."

"Just move here?"

"Um. Six months ago. From California. San Francisco."

The guy’s eyes lit up. He reached inside David’s parka and tugged on his tie, "the Castro?"

The older man stammered, "umm, Duboce Triangle, sort of a satellite of the Castro." He smiled his wayward half smile. They marched a baby step closer. "You’ve been there?"

He shook his head.

David craned his neck to see how many people were now in front of them. His eyes shifted to the guy’s haircut before roaming back down to his manual.

"Not that I wouldn’t like t’go. I mean," the guy plucked the book out of David’s hand, "must be lots of easy sex, huh?"

"It’s very beautiful. The hills. The Victorian Houses. The bay."

"Yeah." He zipped his hand over his buzzed head again, "and the bars, and the sex clubs. Grinder’s got be on fire like 24/7."

The older man cleared his throat, "um, something for everyone."

"Trevor. I’m Trevor."

"Um." The one in business attire pried his right hand out of his pocket, "David." He reached for Trevor’s hand, "David Nelson." His fist moved across his mouth, "that usually gets a laugh from people my age."

"Huh?"

"Sorry. TV. Ozzie and Harriet. You’re way too young." David shook his head and adjusted his coat, "so, um, Trevor, ah, you grow up here?"

"OOOOklahoma. Y’know, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain."

"And the waving wheat, can sure smell swe-e-t." David caught himself singing then stopped abruptly. "So, umm, nice, farm-fed, Great Plains boy."

"You betcha." Trevor grinned, "right down t’the State o’-Oke-la-home-oh seal tattooed on my ass."

David motioned for Trevor to take another step backwards.

"You don’t believe me? You wanna see it, dude?"

"W-well. Maybe, um, another time."

"You’re gonna hafta buy me lunch for that," he joked, "or at least a beer."

"I-I wasn’t. I mean, I, you know." David put his hand back in his pocket and started playing with his keys, "I didn’t mean to, umm."

"You’re way hot, dude." Trevor’s dark brown eyes lit up, "I’d do it with you in a f***in’ minute."

"Umm," David took a deep breath, "you’re very good looking yourself. Umm, but."

"But-t. You’re married. Monogamous. You gotta cute little doggie."

"No. No dog-g."

"Kittie?" Trevor laughed, "hampster?"

"No pets, plants," he smirked and looked back into Trevor’s eyes, "or, um, children."

"I’ll be twenty-five," Trevor asserted then looked up at the clock, "in precisely two hours and," he cleared his throat, "fourteen minutes."

"Happy Birthday. Of course, mine, too." David scrunched his face, "well, not twenty-fifth, but you know."

Trevor went to do a fist bump. The man facing him lamely yanked his hand out of his pocket for the third time. "So, we need t’celebrate, man."

"R-right."

"But, you gotta get back t’work."

"Well. I should be preparing for a presentation tomorrow."

"NEXT." Trevor looked over his shoulder at the woman glaring at him from behind the counter and spun around.

Lightheartedly David waited at the front of the line tapping the sole of his boot against the linoleum floor to the tune of Oklahoma.

"Says I gotta show a f***in’ Social Security card, dude."

"What?" David marched up to the counter and handed the woman his California Driver’s license, a current electric bill and his passport. He got the same response. After explaining that his wallet had been stolen several years ago with the card in it he was told, just like Trevor, that he would need to go to the Federal Building, three blocks south, and get a copy of it before she could issue an Illinois Driver’s license. His defense that he got the California license without it went absolutely nowhere.

Trevor pulled David Nelson along and spoke just loud enough for the woman behind the counter to hear, "come on, Birthday Boy. We got all day t’waste on this f***in’ s**t."

While they trudged down Clark Street with the frigid March wind beating at them David listened to Trevor summarize his current family situation. By the time they got to their destination he knew that his parents were both lawyers, that he had only one, older brother, totally straight and boring, who was also a lawyer, and that all three were still getting over the fact that he was queer, and infinitely more interested in photography than the law, and would never join their practice, and probably never, ever live in Oklahoma ever again.

The bureaucracy at the Federal Building was much more efficient than the DMV. They left twenty-five minutes later clutching the copies of their Social Security cards. Back outside Trevor looked at the guy he was determined not to let get away and grinned, "guess we gotta go back to the State of ILL-ANNOYING Building and wait in that f***in’ line for like the rest of the f***in’ day."

"And take that asinine test that I’m probably going to fail because someone stole my manual and wouldn’t let me study." David wrapped his arm around Trevor’s shoulder and flashed one of his characteristic half-smiles. "What if we take a quick break and I buy you a birthday lunch." His hand moved to the top of Trevor’s head and stroked the stubble. "This haircut is very becoming on you."

"Sounds like somethin’ my gramma’d say." Trevor eyes shifted to David’s, "why don’t you just say it, dude. It’s like f***in’ hot and makes you wanna jump my bones." He laughed then grabbed his companion’s arm and looked at his watch. "Guess I’m blowin’ off the f***in’ final because somebody’s insistin’ on takin’ me t’lunch." He tapped out a quick text while still walking. "No big deal. Some other TA can handle it."

A couple of minutes later they were standing at the entrance of the University Club dining room and Trevor was grudgingly pulling a dress shirt over his tight tee and knotting a tie, something, he whined, that he hadn’t f***in’ done since he left f***in’ Christian prison seven f***in’ years ago. The jacket went on with even more resistance. All David could hear as they made their way into the dining room was Trevor’s favorite refrain, "it’s all f***in’ bulls**t, man."

David rolled his eyes and shook his head, "it’s for an hour, not the rest of your life. And the food is amazing here, ok. And it’s free."

"Only doin’ this cause it’s yer birthday, man, and I wanna f*** you in the worst way." The grad student not so discreetly slid his hand under David’s blazer and pinched his butt. David’s face reddened as he tried to keep walking. "You gotta loosen up, man. Ain’t gettin’ any younger, ok." David raised his eyebrows. Trevor smirked, "just sayin’."

David had to laugh as he watched the maitre’d hold the chair for Trevor and place the napkin on his lap. When he asked if David wanted his usual, he nodded and held up two fingers.

After toasting to each other’s birthdays Trevor took a giant gulp of the mahogany colored liquid. "What the f*** is this, turpentine?"

"A Manhattan. You’ll develop a taste for them." David took a second sip, "like mother’s milk, I always like to say. Learned to make them for my parents back when I was an adolescent."

"My born again parents don’t touch the stuff. Sounds like you had a way more awesome childhood than me." Trevor looked around the room and loosened his tie. "I mostly went to bible school and rodeos."

"It wasn’t perfect, but, in retrospect and after fifteen years in therapy, I can now admit that it wasn’t quite so bad. Grew up in Erie, P-A, Catholic school for twelve years. You know the catholics, love to drink. Not so crazy about fags, but my parents got over it. Imagine they’re still trying to pave the way for me up in heaven." The one speaking made a cursory sign of the cross and looked up toward the ceiling. "My mother sort of had a gay first cousin. You know," he rolled his eyes, "a priest. Figure he must have been gay, 90 percent seem to be, especially from that generation. Raised orchids in his room." David caught the young man across from him staring directly into his eyes and picked up the menu. "So, what looks good to you, Trevor? It’s on me, remember. Get whatever you want. Happy twenty-fifth."

Trevor kept staring, "well, YOU look pretty f***in’ good to me right now, man. Why don’t we cut out’a here and head to my place." His hand reached under the table and landed on David’s knee.

"The steak frites is always good." He motioned to the waiter and started to order a bottle of red then hesitated and looked at his lunch companion. "You do drink wine, right?"

There was a nod and a flirtatious grin. The hand moved up David’s thigh. "So, Mr. Nelson, told you how old I am. Gonna guess you must be somewhere around, maybe forty, umm," Trevor pushed forward in his chair. His nose moved to less than a foot away from David’s, "three-ee?"

David adjusted his glasses, "that’s very kind. Maybe a little bit older." He looked away and mumbled, "fif-f-ty, umm, actually. Can’t say I’m thrilled about it."

"No f***in’ way. My old man’s like forty-nine and you look like twenty years younger. People always think he’s in his sixties. Not that it matters. Just a stupid number. Everybody’s so f***in’ hung up on age and arbitrary s**t like that."

"If that’s really how you feel, maybe I should come clean. More like fifty, umm, something. Why lie, sixty, I’m sixty today." David sighed, "there, I actually said it. Sixty. A landmark, I guess. Officially too old to die young." He crossed his arms over his chest. "Don’t want you to get the wrong idea, not the type that typically lies about my age, but lately, just feel, you know, ancient, like my best years are behind me. And I didn’t want to scare you off."

"Honestly, man, that makes ya’ even sexier. So, what do ya’ wanna do for your landmark sixtieth, dude."

"Having lunch here with you is great. Well, and getting my new driver’s license." David laughed.

"Gotta be somethin’ else. Like what’ve you always wanted to do, but never had the nerve to. You know, like jumpin’ out of an airplane or goin’ down on a priest in a confessional."

"I have no regrets, nothing special."

"F***, didn’t ask if you had regrets, dude. Asked if there was somethin’ you wanna do that you never had the guts t’do before."

David shook his head and shrugged his shoulders then conveniently changed the subject and cut into his steak. After the second bottle of wine the joint decision was to blow off the DMV and head north for another round. Trevor insisted on stopping at his place on the way to let the dog out.

The sub-level studio/living space needed a good cleaning and it appeared that the bedding on the mattress resting directly on the floor hadn’t had much attention since the last time the occupant changed the sheets. And god knows when that was. Pretty quickly David realized that there was no dog, no evidence that there ever had been a dog, nor any further mention of said dog. What was evident was that what Trevor lacked in domestic skills and the telling of white lies he definitely made up in efficiently undressing himself and helping his guest out of his layers of winter clothing. The rumpled bed linens ceased to bother David once he was laying on top of them in just his socks and underwear entwined in Trevor’s firm bi-ceps. His hands kept returning to Trevor’s stubbly head as he groaned and moaned and told him how much the haircut turned him on.

While David continued rubbing Trevor’s head he mused. "Always been into guys with haircuts like yours. Back when I was in high school, like a hundred years ago, all the jocks had to cut their hair like that to be on the wrestling squad. You know, straight boy comraderie." He joked, "obviously, I was never part of that."

"Why the f*** not, man."

"Well, for one thing, I was pretty definitely not a straight boy and was not the least bit athletic, ok. Just some scrawny, artsy kid who was afraid of his own shadow." He shook his head and the hair that had been fashionably slicked back fell over his face, "my kind was more into growing our hair out and going to museums and art house movies. And you can imagine the high caliber of that there was in Erie. Plus, truth be told, I was way too self-conscious to do anything so drastic. Definitely never wanted to call attention to myself."

Trevor shook his head, "like I said before, man, you ain’t gettin’ any younger." He moved on, "so, did ‘ya have sex with these jocks with the buzzcuts."

"Are you crazy. No. Absolutely not." David sat up and crossed his legs. "Way too afraid. It was an all boys Catholic school. Kind of instant death if someone even suspected you were a fag. Had to be ridiculously vigilant back then."

"I wrestled. Never had to cut my hair though. Sucked some of the guys off. The Christian boys believed premarital sex with a girl was a one-way ticket to hell, but getting sucked off by a guy was no problem." Trevor shrugged his shoulders, "anyway, that singlet thing really turned me on. Still got mine somewhere." He bounced off the mattress and started tearing through the boxes piled on the other side of the compact space. Within a couple of minutes he unearthed it and pulled it up over his hard dick, then modeled it while rubbing his head. "Turn you on, man. Just like high school, only no f***in’ secrets no more. And you can do whatever the f*** you want with me." He pulled the singlet off his shoulders and wrapped the straps down around his waist and dove back onto the mattress. "Especially today, Birthday Boy."

David rolled over and straddled him. He pinned the younger guy down before letting his left hand reached inside the snug garment and latch onto Trevor’s erect dick. He victoriously rose up and grinned down into Trevor’s face, "definitely not like high school." Trevor pulled him down and rolled over on top of him then stuck his tongue between his new friend’s lips. He tugged on David’s tee shirt and pulled it over his head. The boxers came off next. David arched his back and cradled his head in his arms.

"You are f***in’ full a’s**t, man. F***in’ sixty? F*** for thirty, you’re body rocks. Look at those f***in’ kick-ass abs." Trevor put his hands just above David’s hip bones and tried to pinch his obliques, "like zero percent body fat."

David blushed, "work out a lot, actually just about every day. What can I say, I’m a neurotic, middle-aged queen, terrified of getting old. And I have this relentless trainer. He keeps me in pretty good shape."

"Some ripped thirty year old with a buzzcut wearin’ a f***in’ jacket ’n tie."

"Not nearly as hot as you, ok." David reached for Trevor’s head and started fondling the bristle. The fondling became more intense when Trevor’s head moved down to his dick and he started sucking him off. When David shot his hands were still holding tight to the his afternoon fling’s head.

Trevor sat up on his knees, "so, truth. No holdin’ back, ok. What was your fantasy back then. You know, with those skinhead jocks."

David rolled over on his stomach and tried to ignore the question, but Trevor wouldn’t let it go. While Trevor gave him a very special shoulder massage the older man started rambling about the haircut thing and how he used to fantasize about this kid he had his first giant crush on. "Jim Anderson," he reminisced, "that was the guy’s name, he actually, come to think of it, looked a whole lot like you, Trevor. Anyway." He continued, "so in this, umm, ‘scenario’, I’m walking to the bus after school and I spot Jim in front of me. He turns the corner and I see him go into this barbershop. The place was just half a block away from the high school, and I knew it was the go-to place where Fr. Daily, the wrestling coach, sent all his boys to be sheared. So I’m standing outside, staring through the big window and I see Jim climb into the barber chair. My heart skips a beat. I keep staring through the window then finally, I muster up the nerve to slip inside. Neither of them notice me and I hear Jim tell the barber that he’s on the wrestling squad at Cathedral Prep and that Fr. Daily sent him. The barber kind of nods and grabs a pair of clippers. He tells Jim he knows how Daily likes it and Jim slides back in the chair. I’m hovering by the door, frozen in place, and I hear the barber flip the clippers on, and then I see them hover and land on Jim’s forehead. The old barber doesn’t hesitate, he shoots the clippers straight back, all the way to the crown and a couple of inches of Jim’s thick, dark hair go flying. There’s this wide stripe of white scalp right down the middle of his head at this point. Jim looks in the mirror and rubs a few fingers over it. He doesn’t seem to know whether to laugh or cry, but he’s a tough jock so he kind of tosses his shoulders back and grunts a little. I’m still standing there by the door and my heart is beating really fast and I walk over, just a little closer. My dick is already hard and every time the barber takes another swipe and more scalp shines through it gets even harder. Jim’s sitting very still, facing forward, he still doesn’t see me. His head gets shoved into his chest and the barber continues shearing him, randomly moving the clippers around his head, dumping his hair all over the floor. Couple of minutes later Jim is looking in the mirror and rubbing his bald head and the barber’s removing the cutting cape. He’s got these skimpy gym shorts on like we all wore then, really short and tight and I can see that he’s got this big boner and my eyes are shifting back and forth between it and his bald head. It’s around then that he sees me gawking and he comes over and stands like an inch in front of my face and stares me down. His eyes just stay fixed on me. Then he grabs my shoulder and his big hand starts shoving me toward the barber chair." David hesitated, took a deep breath and stopped talking.

"And?"

"And, nothing."

"F***. I know that ain’t the end, man." The guy on top pulled the other one’s hair just enough to lift his chin. "Finish the f***in’ story, ok."

"It’s not a real story, just something I made up back then to beat off. Something I invented, some longing." David tried to laugh. "So then Jim leaves and I go home. There. End of story. Happy?"

"You are so full of s**t. So then you jerk off and that’s the end. F*** off." Trevor stood up on the mattress. He pealed the singlet down his thighs, tossed it at David and told him to put it on. He slid back into his jeans and grabbed a pair of sweats from the pile of clothes on the only chair in the room. At Trevor’s insistence, David pulled them up over the singlet. "You’re gonna need to put your shoes back on and grab that fancy coat, too." David looked around the room for his boots and slowly slid his feet inside. Trevor waited at the door encouraging him to move it along.

"Can I at least ask where we’re going?"

"Surprise, ok. That’s all ya’ need t’know." They hit the street, walked a few blocks then stood in front of this barbershop. David looked over at Trevor.

"Ok, man. In-side. This one’s on me. Happy Birthday."

The place was empty, obviously getting ready to close, but the barber recognized Trevor and let them in then decisively flipped the CLOSED sign over and drew the blinds. Trevor charged toward the big chair leaving a stream of clothes in his wake and grinned at David. He was stripped to the waist by the time he plopped into the barber’s chair and told the barber to take it down to an eighth inch all over this time. He saw David studying him, "what the f***, make it a sixteenth!" Just hearing the directive coming out of Trevor’s mouth made David’s dick lunge forward and when the clippers started ripping through almost three quarters inch of stubble on top of his head, taking it almost down to the scalp, his dick got as hard as it had been twenty minutes before when Trevor was on top of him sucking him off. By this point David was just starting to come down from his high. He was still reeling from the excitement of the day, but this was certainly the icing on his sixtieth birthday cake. He steadied himself and walked closer to the chair and stood there mesmerized by the sound the clippers were making as they rounded the perimeter of his companion’s head exposing more and more of his scalp, delighting as the severed bits of hair sprinkled onto his bare shoulders. When the barber signaled that he was done Trevor rubbed his scalp and encouraged David to do the same. David’s eyes lit up as he gazed at Trevor’s denuded head and his hands began stroking it. They remained glued there as Trevor hopped out of the chair then motioned for David to take his place. David looked the other way and started backing toward the door.

"No f***in’ way, man." Trevor stared right into David’s eyes and held his gaze. He grabbed him by the shoulder and pointed to the chair. Like a scared, teenage boy David dropped his parka and inched toward the barber. He glanced down at the red singlet we was wearing and shook his head. His hair fell over his forehead.

While creeping toward the chair the still inebriated architect looked over his shoulder. Trevor was right on his heels, one hand still on David’s shoulder the other stroking his own fresh haircut, grinning all the way. His eyes shifted to the barber, "same as me. My friend here wants a buzz just like mine." David perched on the edge of the chair as if in a trance and barely noticed Trevor sliding the sweat pants down. The younger man’s hand inched to the tight leg of the singlet before settling on the crotch, "sixteenth inch all over." His eyes shifted up, "right, Birthday Boy."

The barber looked down at David’s slicked hair and raised his eyebrows. David’s pulse quickened. His face looked pained as if in anticipation of the killer, post drinking headache that was about to erupt. He secured his hands to the arms of the chair determined not to look at the guy who had led him here. His eyes darted around the narrow storefront quickly surveying it like a frantic bird looking for an open window. They hesitated and zeroed in on Trevor’s severely short haircut. He took a long, deep breath the kind you take just before you do something incredibly brave, then blew it out. The barber watched the guy in his chair jerk out a nod, "just like he said." The slurred pronouncement was barely comprehensible. The long hair on top of his head got a gentle tug good bye. His voice was uncertain and difficult to hear, "sixteenth inch all over, just like my friend said." He looked down at Trevor’s hand kneading his crotch and eased back in the chair, now pretty oblivious to the barber repeating his instructions a second, then a third time. Just as Trevor started fidgeting with his iPhone David’s voice became louder. He sat up straight in the chair, adjusted his shoulders and asserted, "you heard me, sir. All off, all the way down. Sixteenth inch all over, just like his."

The video begins right there with David self-assuredly grinning into the camera. He takes a last look in the mirror, his glasses are removed then the phone zooms in for a close up and records David’s reaction as he watches the clippers edge toward him and land front and center and begin their journey through the thick mound of hair on the top of his head. His lips turn up as this giant wad of pomaded hair nosedives past his face and belly flops onto the singlet.

Without his glasses David was only able to see a blurred reflection of how the haircut was progressing. He could make out that the top of his head was completely bare and the sides were still in tact, sort of like a bald guy with heavy fringe. But the erotic sensation of the clippers running back and forth over his head was more than enough to make his hard dick throb and Trevor’s reassuring hand, occassionally moving in to caress his thigh, only added to the adrenaline rush. His mind chased back to hazy thoughts of high school and Jim Anderson and suddenly he felt different, liberated, like this enormous thing that had both stimulated and terrified him for over forty years had just exploded.

Trevor’s camera studied the expression on David’s face as the barber rested the clippers on the left sideburn and eased them all the way up liberating him of the greying hair on his temple, taking it almost all the way down to the scalp. The barber took his time and drew the process out, going up and down the sides and over the top several times before massaging a bit of oil into the fresh haircut. The short video ends with the barber handing a very shiny headed David his glasses and him squinting into the mirror and rubbing his hands back and forth across his barren scalp. He smiles and starts laughing.

As soon as David hopped out of the chair Trevor turned the phone off. His one hand reached for David’s head, the other for his groin and he started massaging both simultaneously. David’s body leaned into Trevor’s and he shot for the second time that afternoon, only this time his ample load was contained inside Trevor’s singlet.

Back at Trevor’s place David moved from bliss to the state of shock. He kept holding his head and gasping, "people are going to think I’ve completely taken leave of my senses, totally lost my mind."

"What the f*** do you care what people f***in’ think. Yer f***in’ sixty. You finally did it, man. Who the f*** cares. Plus," Trevor started rubbing David’s head again and joking, "it’s f***in’ all gone, dude, this is what you f***in’ look like now, bald, just like me, and you know you are f***in’ lovin’ it." He pealed David’s coat off and glanced down at the singlet. "Birthday gift, part two, that thing you just came in is officially yours, but you gotta promise to wear it whenever we hang out, especially when we hit the barbershop next time." He caressed David’s temples. "And, every time you f***in’ beat off wearin’ it you gotta think of me and the best f***in’ birthday of yer whole f***in’ life."





Epilogue

The rest of David’s day was pretty much a blur especially after he got the frantic call imploring him to return to the office to review some drawings that had to be finalized for the next day’s meeting. The thirty plus architects and friends screaming, SURPRISE, and staring at his shiny head when he appeared in the doorway only added to the surreal birthday experience.

Not so bright, but exceptionally early for Trevor, the shorn duo met the following morning at the DMV. After barely passing the written exam David stood in front of the white backdrop and tried to smile. The photo of him with the shiny bald head remained forever etched in his brain, the memory especially vivid every time he had to pull out his drivers license at airport security.

Four years later Trevor punched the snooze button for the fourth time before dragging himself out of bed. Shaved, showered and dressed in a jacket and tie he chased into the kitchen. A still buzzed David, wearing worn-in jeans and even more worn-in running shoes, shoved a cup of coffee at him. They used their cups to toast and wish each other a happy birthday and a happy anniversary then headed back downtown to the same DMV where it all began.




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