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I'll make you a soldier. by Som
I was the only child, my name is Alex. My parents were happy with me and I trusted them. They gave me what I wanted, nice clothes, long hair, a lot of toys. I was proud of my long blond curly hair. Many girls envied them.
In 1974, when I was 12, things started to change. I found a new friend, Noel. I spent a lot of time with him and it happened that we didn't even go to school, we smoked and I stopped being a good boy. My parents called the school to tell them about my behavior. My parents first dealt with my offenses by negotiating, and later by beating my ass, and I promised them improvement.
But my behavior didn't improve and Noel and I went on a carefree life and sometimes we didn't go to school again, smoked and there were small thefts in the store. Once my parents returned from school, my father said to me: Alex, one more offense and I will make you a soldier. I should have been 13 years old in 2 months and I knew that such young soldiers did not exist, so I laughed at my father that no one would take me to war. My behavior has not improved.
On Saturday morning at breakfast, my father told me to wait for him at 9:00 by the car that we would go to town. When I got in the car all the way we were both quiet. I didn't know where we were going and I didn't even ask my father. I noticed when we parked near Wilson's barber shop. He was the most feared barber in town for boys my age. He was also called by the Sergeant, because he had once worked as a military barber.
When we got out of the car I asked my father where we were going and he replied to the barber shop. I wanted to resist, but my father grabbed my shoulder hard and said if you were going to make trouble, I'd put your pants down and you'll get a spanking on your cane. I got scared, I had never seen a father as angry as he was then, and I was sure he would fulfill what he promised in front of a audience of strangers.
We went to the barber shop. The barber was old maybe he was over 60 years old, he was slim, tall with short hair. We sat down on the waiting chairs. There were 6 old men in front of us. In about 15 minutes, the door opened and two boys and their father entered the barber shop. Both boys went to our school. The older one was called Gregory and he was a year older than me and the younger Issac was about 10 years old. I had laughed at both of them before when they were cut and had white arches around their ears and neck. I didn't know they went to this barber too. When they saw me, they smiled and sat down next to their father. I didn't know what hairstyle I would get but I assumed it wouldn't be as short as Gregory and Issac.
When the barber called Next, my father told me Alex, go sit there and point to the barber's chair. I got up and walked uncertainly to the barber and sat down in his chair. As he wrapped me in a white-black striped tarp, he asked: What will it be today? I pulled my hand out from under the tarpaulin and wanted to show him how a small piece of hair cut me off. But the father called the Sergeant to give him an Induction Cut. Barber asked # 0? My father replied that it would be better # 000. I didn't know what they were talking about, but when I looked in the mirror I saw Gregory and Issac laughing on the waiting chairs.
The barber took the heavy shears, tilted my head so that I could only see the ceiling of the room, and placed them on my forehead. When he turned them on, I was frightened not only by the loud sound but also by the vibration on my head. The barber walked the entire top of his head with them several times from his forehead. When my father came to the barber's chair, the barber cut off his scissors and I had the opportunity to look in the mirror. I still had long hair, covering my ears and reaching to my shoulders, but I had about 1/50 of an inch of stubble on the top of my head. The father asked the barber out loud that the new male recruits had often received such a haircut when he was in the military. He replied that first every 2 weeks, their hair grew to about 1/4 inch, when they were more capable about once every 3 weeks and had about 3/8 inch long, and when they deserved it about once a month and then they had about 1/4 inch long. His father thanked the barber and went to sit on the waiting chair again. The barber tilted my head, put the scissors under my hair under my temporal bone, and continued to cut. I noticed my hair falling on the sheet, and an increasing area of stubble appeared on my head. Tears pressed into my eyes as I noticed my hairless ear. The barber was still shaking my head, the scissors were vibrating around my head and I could feel the cold on my head where my hair had been cut. When the barber turned off the scissors in the mirror, I saw a boy with a small stubble and protruding ears. The barber made some small adjustments to my head. When he freed me from under the sail, my father stood by us, put his hand on my shoulder and said out loud: Sergeant, I present to you a new recruit, his name is Alex. The barber smiled and agreed with his father. Before I left the barber shop, Gregory called to me quietly: Hi Recruit! Thanks to Gregory, this new nickname of mine took over not only at the whole school but also over time in the immediate vicinity or the city, and when someone wanted to humiliate me, he called REGRÚT !!!
My father kept his words, I looked like a soldier, I went to the Sergeant every two weeks for a new haircut, and if I didn't look so young, people would think I was a military deserter.