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Ears by Stroyteller

When I was a teenager in the late 70's, I had long hair like most boys my age, with my parents' permission. My straight brown hair completely covered my ears and the length was almost to my shoulders, the bangs covered my eyes.

At school, by those days, a new student was recently transferred. His name was Mario. As soon as he arrived, you could see that he had a bully attitude. Another feature that caught my attention was the fact that he had very short hair, in a military style.

Talking to another classmate who was my friend, I said I was worried that Mario's very short hair would teachers or parents to tell us to cut our hair short, and I wanted to keep my hair fashionable, long. So I told my friend that I didn't like hair that way.

At the end of classes that day, Mario came to talk to me. I was already scared, due to his attitude. But what didn't cross my mind was that he might have overheard my conversation. So he said "hey boy you said you don't like the way I have my hair". I was very surprised and scared, so I quickly thought of a way to avoid arguing and said, "oh, you heard me talking to my friend, but you must have only heard part of it, I was telling him how original and authentic you are and that hair like this, very short, is really cool".

Mario then shook my hand and said, with a tricky smile "oh, good, then we can be friends." I, who didn't want to get into trouble with my new classmate, being him a bully, said "oh, yes, of course" and I was already on my way to leave. He then interrupted me and said "wait, buddy, let's take a walk together, there's a place I want to show you". I faked a smile and said "oh cool" and went with him.
Not far away, we arrived in front of a very old and traditional barbershop. He opened the door and motioned me to walk in, and I grudgingly entered. The barber was a man in his mid-60s, with short gray hair and a gray mustache, he was wearing an old-fashioned barber's uniform. The barbershop was very simple, small, but well-organized and had an old-fashioned barbershop smell, which I only knew from when I was a little boy.

The barber, who currently had no customers, smiled when he saw Mario and said, "Welcome, young man, have you brought a friend?" And Mario said "Yes, Sir, this is my new friend from the new school". I smiled and said "Good morning, Sir" to the barber, politely.

The barber then asked "and what brings you here today?" Mario said "my friend was telling me he likes my hairstyle a lot, and I thought you would be the best person to give him a haircut." I froze.
The barber said "oh good, sit here, son" looking at me and pointing to his barberchair. I made a move to say something or refuse. Mario looked at me defiantly and looked at the chair, almost telling me to sit down. I, not knowing what to do or say, walked to the chair, which was quite high, climbed up and sat down, trying to adjust myself in the seat.
The barber took a huge cape, placed it around me, and closed it very tightly. He soon grabbed a comb and started to comb my hair, just after he swiveled the chair around, leaving me with my back to the mirror and facing Mario, who was sitting in a waiting chair. The bangs, covering my eyes, didn't allow me to see much.
The barber asked "how do we do it today, son?" Before I could say anything, Mario said, "give him a very short cut, shorter than what you usually give me, so he can get the most of the cut he likes, Sir." The barber asked me "is that it, son?" I was already sweating and shaking and could barely speak. Mario said "answer the barber, buddy" in a tone that indicated I'd better say something. I, choking, said "Yes, Sir, that's it"

The barber picked up clippers with the #2 blade and immediately turned them on and started buzzing the top of my head from forehead to back. A strong and different sound took over the place, I felt the vibration in my head. My long hair started to fall out, the bangs started to fall making room for my eyes, and I saw Mario smiling in the waiting chair. I smiled completely awkwardly, terrified to start crying and embarrassing myself. Mario said "see his joy, Sir"
The barber continued to work, pass after pass, on top of my head the long hair was giving way to stubble. I actually didn't see any of it, I was so upset I barely saw a blurry image of Mario in front of me, smiling.

After a few passes from the clippers on top of my head, the barber turned them off and replaced the blade with a #00000. Then he held my head with his steady hand, high up. I could feel how short my hair was at the touch of his hand. He firmly forced my head down, making my chin touch my chest, and he turned the clippers back on and began to run them very tightly, from the nape almost to the top.
The hair, very long, was falling into my lap, over the cape, a lot of hair. And I felt the shiver of the blade going through the back of my head. The barber was running the clippers, pass after pass leaving almost no hair in that area. When he got to my ear, which was huge and was always hidden by my hair, he pushed it to the side to get through with the clippers, he did it on both sides, but from the front view the ears were still covered.

The barber then lifted my head again and moved it slightly to start running the clippers down the right side. Then, my huge ear appeared. Mario, who had been watching the cut, couldn't help but laugh. I blushed, angry, but tried not to show it, and kept quiet.

The barber moved to the left side and did the same procedure he had done on the left side, and soon all my hair on the sides and back was almost completely gone. Mario looked at me and said "my friend, from now on you have a new nickname: Ears". I got really red, my ears got even more red and I couldn't do anything, I just looked at Mario and smiled, embarrassed. The barber, who was kind, and wasn't realizing exactly what was going on, ran his hand over my head and tugged on my ear and said, "True, it's a nickname that suits you, son: Ears".

The barber took a duster brush and began to dust my head, passing it well, and often, around my ears. When he started to swivel his barberchair around, indicating that he was done, Mario said "aren't you going to shave his sides and back with the razor, Sir?" The barber said "I didn't think it was necessary" and Mario said "oh yes, please shave with the razor, Ears likes the extremely short cut" The barber rubbed my head and said "oh yes, Ears, it will be very nice shaved". I was totally embarrassed and had no reaction anymore and just smiled.

The barber took a mug with shaving soap and a shaving brush and began making foam, a lot of foam, with a very strong aroma. Soon he started to spread that foam all over the sides and back of my head with his shaving brush. Then he took a razor, sharpened it on the leather strap that was attached to the barberchair, and said, "now be very still, Ears," and I, almost helplessly, made an effort to keep still.

He started to scrape with the razor, I heard the sound of tiny stubble being shaved, which was the only sound in the barbershop, while Mario had a victorious smile. With care and firmness, the barber went about his work until the entire side and back was perfectly smooth. He then applied a strong-smelling, slightly burning aftershave. I stayed firm and quiet. He ran the duster brush one more time and opened the cape saying "ready, Ears, you can get off the chair." I went down and put my hand in my pocket, ready to pay and the barber said, "no, Ears, your first cut here is free" and I resignedly said "Thank you, Sir"

I looked at Mario, who said "Goodbye, Sir" to the barber and I said the same. We walked out of the barbershop and Mario shook my hand once more and said "okay, Ears, now you have the same kind of haircut you liked on me" he kept talking "now that we are friends, if any guy tries to do anything to you, count on my protection", and winked...

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