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Tommy meets Thomas by Manny

Tommy pulled his polo shirt back on and immediately began smoothing his soft shiny tresses into place. He hated seeing his gleaming carmel-colored hair so disheveled! The department store's changing room was equipped with a deep three-way mirror that afforded him excellent views of his magnificent wavy mane. He struggled a bit with the heavy forelock that objected to resting atop his neatly manscaped brow. After three or four failed attempts to keep it in place, he resorted to running his hands through his long bangs and pushing them straight back.

The fix was temporary, and Tommy knew it. When his bangs got too heavy and fell past his eyes in a sexy, but irritating way, it was time to visit the salon. Another indicator that he was overdue for a trim was his collar in back. Once it was no longer visible, some snippy-snip was in order. He liked it when the stylist would crop the plush locks that hung from his nape to leave a half inch of his collar showing in back.

Although Tommy was a mid-level manager in a non-descript corporation that manufactured machine parts, lots of people told him he could easily get work as a male model....even for his namesake, the Tommy Hilfiger company! With his good looks and luscious locks, he'd fit right into any of their billboards that sported metro-sexual pretty boys.

As Tommy stepped outside, a blast of warm wind quickly dislodged the precarious forelock, and it dangled down over his deep green eyes. The plaza over-hang that lined the walkway in front of the shops offered little relief from the seering heat. The weather forecast had called for a record-breaking 103 degrees; Tommy guessed that it was at least that hot already. Beads of perspiration quickly formed on his forehead beneath the thick padding of hair.

Tommy's mind whirled quickly. There was a salon somewhere in this very plaza he'd used once and had been quite happy with. A daring thought popped into Tommy's mind as he tried to recall where that salon was located. Hi heart raced a bit as he considered his plan....with the heat and everything.....yes, perhaps it was time he got more than just a trim!!

Periodically Tommy would consider requesting a good cropping at the salon. Even the thought of asking for anything more than just a trim always scared and excited him! Usually, he would end up chickening out; but periodically -- once every few years -- he would go through with it. Of course, he could never use his regular stylist, who was absolutely ga-ga about his long locks, to administer the serious pruning. Instead, he would use a vacation opportunity to slip into a new salon. His heart would beat rapidly as he'd tell the untested man or woman holding the shears to "take off a good amount -- two inches at least -- a good cropping!" As soon as the first cut chunk fell to the cape, his stomach would churn. He'd be on pins and needles for the rest of the ordeal, hoping not too much would be taken off.

The last time he'd put his treasured locks on the line, he'd gone too far and regretted it. That had happened four years ago. He'd told the stylist he was interviewing for a new job and needed a more conservative look. It was the shortest cut he'd ever ended up with -- completely off the ears and collar! He still could recall the exact feeling of his stomach sinking and his heart racing as he watched the stylist snip around his ear, exposing it to the world for the first time since he was a small tyke. His carmel-colored hair had piled up in a huge mound atop his caped lap. Seeing the white on his ears and neck, he felt completely naked and swore that he would never jeopardize his trademark tresses like that again.

But, as he walked past the stores in the plaza toward the other department store, the heat was driving him towards wanting a substantial cropping! His mind was in high gear considering the options....a story like the last time or just a flat request to take off....how much?....three inches?! He felt his heavy mane that cascaded past his collar in back. Yes, three inches would fall to the floor of the salon....if he could just find it in the plaza! He couldn't remember if he was walking towards it or away from....what was the name of that fancy salon he was thinking about....Shear Delight?

As he rounded to corner beneath the covered walkway, Tommy came unexpectedly upon a whirling red and white barber pole just above eye level. Simultaneously the door to the shop swung open and out walked a man sporting the most amazing ultra-short haircut!!

After darting his glance into the shop long enough to see two old geezer dressed in matching barber tunics, Tommy's eyes locks on the man who he judged to be about his age. The bottom half of his head had been clipped to a stubble that gradually gave way to a very close taper. The crop ended on top with a brush cut measuring under a half inch in length. Only a small tuft near the fellow's widow's peak was long enough to grasp between his finger tips. It looked like such a fresh, manly, cleancut look! And so cool too in the melting heat. He could not keep his eyes off the severe taper as he trailed behind the shorn man towards the department store.

Judging from the copious amounts of white scalp that showed on his neck and in the stubbled area, as well as by the way the man reached back and felt his shorn nape periodically, Tommy determined that the fellow had gotten a dramatically shorter crop than normal at the shop. Perhaps the heat had driven him to request a good shearing.

Tommy wondered which of the two barbers had administered the haircut -- the heavier one who had been fiddling with a huge set of clippers or the older one who was sweeping up the floor. The shop was a throwback to the the 1950s with its huge chrome-based chairs, checked linoleum floor and tons of bare neon bulbs. Tommy felt a gnawing in his stomach as memories of the shop danced in his head. Perhaps he would entrust his treasured tresses to one of those two barbers! Oh, yes -- either one would be happy to shear him down. And how delightfully nervous he'd be sitting caped, waiting to be shorn! He'd never been in a real barbershop before, but the idea had always tantalized him.

The fellow in front of him entered the department store and headed towards the men's section. Tommy followed discreetly behind. The only thing that distracted him was the recurring image of him on the mirrored pillars of the department store that reminded him he had a gorgeous mane of hair. This idea of visiting a barbershop was total nonsense! He'd ask one of the sales clerks about that salon in the plaza -- and, really, an inch would be enough to send to the cape.

Before he could do so, however, he again caught site of the shorn man casually browsing through shirts on a rack in the men's section. That ultra-short cut was amazing! Why not try to engage him in conversation....just for fun? Find out something about the two geezers and the barbershop?

He saddled up cautiously, took a position on the other side of the rack and started moving toward the shorn man, casually flipping through the shirts but keeping his eyes locked on the short brush top.

After a few seconds, the man looked up and their eyes met for the first time. He had deep blue eyes and a toothy grin. He nodded a sort of greeting, a recognition of Tommy's presence.

Spontaneously Tommy blurted out, "That's a mighty fine haircut -- looks freshly cut and crisp." As he said it, he felt embarrassed....like it was some sort of come-on line.

The man smiled and replied, "Well, given that not 5 minutes ago I was sitting in the barber's chair, it could hardly be a fresher cut than this!"

"I like it! Especially on a hot day like today -- must feel cool," Tommy said, suddenly feeling the urge to mop his bothersome forelock back. Instead of waiting for a reply, he continued, "Did you use the barbershop in the plaza?"

"Yep," replied the fellow. "It's my normal place.....but this isn't my normal cut," he said. "Old Hal got a little too clipper happy with me, I think," he said a bit nervously.

"No way. I think it suits you perfectly." Then Tommy couldn't stand it any longer and ran his fingers through his bangs to push them back from his forehead. Instead of the usual silken feel, his massive forelock felt damp and sticky near the skin. At least the moisture helped it stay back away from his forehead.

"Looks like you could benefit from a visit to the barbershop yourself!" the fellow suggested.

Tommy felt his cock surge. "Well, you read my mind! I was thinking the same thing. Which barber is Hal? The older guy? Would you recommend him?"

"Both Hal and the shop owner Gus are excellent barbers. It depends on what you want. Gus is great at following instructions to the tee. Hal, on the other hand, is very heavy-handed and thinks every man would look better with a military crop like this one!" he said as he ran his hand across the plush velvet-like pile on top of his head. "If you're wanting to end up with something like this, ask for Hal!"

"Did you ask for him today, or was it just luck of the draw?" inquired Tommy.

"I orchestrated it -- waited till Gus was occupied and Hal was free before I went it. Sat in my car watching.....nervously, I might add. For a long time I've been thinking about ditching my boring businesscut, but have always been a bit apprehensive about the reaction at work. I'm going to be in for a lot of ribbing tomorrow.... In fact, that's just what I was thinking about when we started up our little chat here."

"Oh, that's nothing to worry about," offered Tommy. "If they poke some fun, it's probably just because they're jealous that you had the balls to get what you wanted. Man, that haircut is perfect for you!"

"Well, I think so too. You know, when old Hal spun me around and I saw myself for the first time shorn like this I thought....'whoa! that's sooo short -- too short!' Then after things sunk in and I took a second look, I thought....'hey, that looks good! I like it!' Those positive feelings lasted for a few minutes....until I saw myself again in those mirrored pillars in here; I started worrying about what my colleagues and friends would think. There's a big drive for conformity in our office. People tend to dress and look alike....and all the men with cookie cutter business cuts -- like the one I just ditched!"

"Well, I stick out plenty in my office with this long hair....the other guys all looking similar to what you've described with blase business cuts," said Tommy disdainfully. "Of course, none of them has such a great head of hair as...."

"...as that mop you've decided to chop off! My suggestion is definitely to ask for Hal! He'll shear you like a sheep! You'll still stick out in the office -- but with a military crop instead of your current girly-boy look. But you'd better hurry. Barbershop should be closing in 10-15 minutes," said the fellow glancing at his watch.

"Oh, no, I'll come back another day. There's no time this afternoon. Wouldn't want him in a rush or anything....." said Tommy, smarting from having been called a girly-boy and his treasured mane having been referred to as a mop!

The fellow whipped out a cell phone, pressed a few buttons and held it to his ear. "Hal won't be in a rush.....I can assure...." he broke off his conversation with Tommy and continued speaking into the phone, "Ah, Hal? This is Jamie. Oh, yeah, Ha! No, I'm still happy with it....I mean in I weren't that would be tough s**t, right? Ha! Hey, uh...."

Tommy began waving a bit nervously, trying to pre-empt the phone conversation.

"Listen, a little favor. Um, well, I'm heading back there right now with a friend....we'll be there in three minutes. He saw my new haircut and decided on the spot to go ultra-short himself. Can you hang in there? Like he's desperate to get a decent haircut...." With the cell phone conversation still on-going, Jamie guided Tommy by the arm towards the doors that led back to the plaza. Tommy briefly tried to drag his feet a bit but then started moving more quickly as Jamie wrapped up his conversation with Hal. "You'll see -- it'll be a mission of mercy and a community service. He's got a mop that is just itching to fall in the wake of your Oster's! Wants to be on the receiving end of a real close crop like the one I just got."

The hot air buffetted the two fellows as they exited the store. Tommy saw the whirling barber pole at the end of the row of shops and watched as the neon glow that emanated from the plate glass window was extinguished. "Look, the shop is closing. Thanks for making the call, but I really think it should wait for another day," Tommy argued, as he tried to make a break towards the parking lot.

Jamie stopped in his tracks. "Look, do you like my haircut?!"

"Yes," eeked out Tommy.

"Are you wanting to getting something more than 'just a trim'?" he continued.

"Affirmative," Tommy replied, unable to hide the truth even to save his precious tresses.

"Have you ever felt like having an assertive barber cape you up and take the clippers to your precious tresses?!" he pressed.

"Yes!" Tommy ejaculated.

"Then you are coming with me and that settles it! You're going to get taken down nice and tight. Old Hal is going to strip you to the wood. And that's a promise!"

Without another word, he jerked Tommy by the arm towards the shop. "Two of us are going to be sticking out in the office tomorrow looking like knob heads. We can exchange stories at the end of the day....who got kidded the most!"

The blast of the frigid air conditioning hit Tommy hard as Jamie thrust him into the open door. The two old barbers grinned with satisfaction as they surveyed the shimmering mane of girly-boy hair. The older barber motioned to the seat and then snapped the cape to chase away a few loose hairs that clung to the worn burgundy vinyl.

Tommy was frozen in place at the threshold of the shop until he felt Jamie pushing him forward gently but firmly.

"Don't keep that door open so long," Gus snapped. "We'll lose the cool air!"

Tommy couldn't decide....fight or flight? Or.....comply!! Yes, meekly....submissively....walk forward and take a seat. The clippers looked menacingly large and powerful. His throat felt dry -- almost to the point of choking. His legs wobbled and his knees threatened to buckle as he stepped into the cool shop. The door closed behind.

Hal's smile bared his teeth....oh, boy, did he ever look eager! "Come on now, have a seat here." There was no attempt to disguise his delight in snaring a longhaired pretty boy.

Tommy looked pleadingly at Jamie as he eased himself into the large, padded barber chair. He fantasized that Jamie would rush to his rescue and save his treasured locks from Hal's greedy clutches. Tommy's eyes appealed silently to his new friend, hoping to be released from the misery....but Jamie showed no sign of anything other than a firm determination to witness a brutal massacre of the pampered mane.

In an instant, the barber cast the huge white cotton cape. Tommy felt the loss of his freedom as it floated into place! The old geezer fastened the neck band with a huge metal clip so tightly that it greatly added to Tommy's discomfort. There was no turning back. Tommy had been locked in! He stared at himself in the mirror -- a huge mop of hair obliterating much of his head which emerged at the top of the snowy white cloth drape. But not for much longer....

Hal began dragging a comb through the sweaty clumps of hair. "So, your friend's new haircut inspired you...uh, what's your name?"

"Tommy," the caped lad replied softly.

"You're coming to me a timid Tommy but will walk out that door a tenacious Thomas or Tom! Once I've relieved you of this gender-bending mop, you'll no doubt clearly identify as a man. I'm always amazed at how much a haircut can change a person." He yanked the comb through the carmel-colored mane a few more times as he spoke, surveying the treat before him in advance of actually plowing into it. "Like today, this bratty teenager got dragged in here by his father. Oh, did that lad ever have an attitude! Mouthing off and acting ugly when they walked in.....the kid with a huge mop of curls that were totally out of control."

Gus took over the story. "He sat there in the waiting area sulking and sullen. A sort of defiant posture, even though he'd lost the battle to keep the curls. Hal asked him if he was related to Little Orphan Annie and the whole shop errupted into laughter. The dad told us he was tired of the mange in front of his boy's eyes and took away the car keys alleging he feared the boy would get in a wreck. No clear line of vision through the mop! Takes a firm father to clip a teen's wings these days, but Curly Sue's old man did it! And, Hal there went to town on the mass of curls before the kid even knew what was happening to him."

Hal held up a set of huge black, fast-feed clippers. "My secret weapon. Zero up the sides and back and a #1 on top! Oh how the kid squirmed as I peeled off that overgrown helmet of hair...."

"Looked like a newly minted marine when he left here. A respectful young fellow who deferred to and was mindful of his father!" chirped Gus.

Jamie stepped forward, grasped Tommy's silken locks and fondled them momentarily. The caped man was silent. "I think my friend here might benefit from a similar cut!" he said firmly.

Tommy looked up, half in agony, half in awe over the take-charge attitude Jamie exercised. He had not even been consulted! The vulnerability he felt at the hands of both Hal and Jamie weakened and nourished him in a strange way. He felt glad that he had no control over his impending drastic makeover. The helplessness was a comfort. He was such a little sissy boy, he deserved to be stripped, mocked and ridiculed by real men!

Hal snapped on the clippers and slowly whirled the chair away from the mirror.

Tommy looked on with horror, dread and secret delight as he saw his proud shimmering mane of caramel-colored hair for the last time.

Then Hal grasped his locks near the nape tightly and yanked Tommy's head back as if he were dealing with a nervous recruit in the bootcamp barbershop. In a split second the clippers tackled the dense mane right at the hairline above his forehead. The determined old man plowed the shrieking maching straight back, peeling off an immense shank of shimmering hair!

The first drive of the clipper sent a jolt through Tommy from the tip of his quickly denuded head to the tip of his toe that rested on the fancy cast iron foot rest of the old fashioned barber chair. His stomach lurched as a huge wad of thick, gleaming hair hit is lap.

"Good riddance, eh, Tom?" the barber asked rhetorically before inflicting the proud mane with a second swipe of the clippers. Tommy struggled to keep his lower lip from quivering. He had to start taking things like a man....

"So you're leaving him with a #1 ontop?" asked Jamie.

"Yep, 1/32 of an inch -- just like your taper up from the nape! It'll be the longest part of his new look once I'm thru -- with the appearance and feel of medium grade sandpaper!" chirped Hal with delight. Tommy's stomach churned at the description as he watched a few more sheaves of his nutured mane fall down past his face. What would his stylist say if she could be there witnessing old Hal's heavy hand with the clippers? He reached out from under the cape and touched the clumps shorn hair in his lap. Then Hal pushed his captive client's head forward. His chin almost rested on his chest as he was forced into a prostrate position. Tommy stared in disbelieve at the huge cauldron of hair that had collected in his lap. He jumped as the screaming clippers plowed up through the sensitive nape area. "Sit still! Don't squirm!" admonished the barber.

Hal paused briefly, then addressed Jamie, "You know, this is the cut I almost gave you. Except you looked like you were going to piss in your pants when I took the clippers up the back of your tidy little business cut. I let you off easy this time....but the next time you're under my cape, don't expect the easy touch you got today! Hear that, Gus, in case he comes back when I'm not here? Our little businessmen are getting matching marine cuts from now on -- Tom and James, formerly known as Tommy and Jamie."

"Wow, that's quite a blinding shade of white on the sides and back," noted Jamie, with a bit of anxiety in his voice now that the barber had decreed he too would be getting the same cut.

"Oh, yes, virgin skin! Must be the first time it's ever seen the light of day since Tom here was in diapers!" chuckled Hal. "Ever had a balding clippers taken to you like this, Tom?" he asked.

"No sir," the muffled response came back from the caped man who was still being made to bow his head by force into a prostrate position.

By this time, the mass of hair had been totally clipped off and Hal was drawing Tommy's scalping to a close. The sides and back had been stripped clean and the top consisted of nothing more than a 5 o'clock stubble. The old geezer snapped off the balding clippers. Tommy was on the verge of meeting the new him! Hal stroked his head a few times and then proclaimed, "Yep, that's a nice tight top I left you with. You could sand a board down with this! You've got a patch of strong, healthy stubble up here."

The chair turned slowly and the image of a knob head surrounded by mounds of shorn, glimmering caramel-colored hair resting on his shoulders and the front of the cape emerged in the mirror. It was worse that anything Tommy ever could have imagined. He was a virtual cueball!! Hal gloated as he watched the shorn, aghast Tommy react to his newly imposed marine baldy look. He went a step further to signal his dominance over the subdued client by carefully fingering the balded pate up from the nape. "Oh, yes, almost smooth as satin. How about I lather shave you and turn this into a real silken feel. What do you say, James? Should I strip him clean?"

Quite humbled after finding out he was in line for similar treatment, Jamie became much more sympathetic to his suffering pal. "Oh, no! We've already kept you way past your closing....and I really need to be on my way." In a flash, Jamie was up and out of the shop, leaving poor Tommy alone with the two barbers. It happened so quickly. Tommy panicked. He'd been abandoned by his friend and now was alone in the shop with two tormentors. His only consolation was that there was little further damage either could inflict.

Gus quickly moved to the door and locked it. "We're closed, but I'm sure Hal wouldn't mind finishing you up with the full treatment! The lather machine is still on....you'll love the feeling of nice, warm lather being massaged into your scalp to soften it up before the big scrape."

"I have a good mind to scrape you clean -- all over -- have you leave here with the cueball shining like a lightbulb!" Hal said.

Tommy gulped and felt totally trapped. His only option was to submit. "Okay, sir, it's whatever you say...."

Unexpectedly, Hal began unfastening the cape. He carefully pulled it off. Tommy felt the weight of the hair-laden cloth suddenly be lifted from his oppressed shoulders and chest. The old barber shook it and Tommy was treated to a dazzling display of shorn clumps sailing through the air. Finally, the barber placed his hand atop the stubbled pate and rubbed it vigorously. "You've had enough for one day. And I've always been partial to stubble! The haircut's on the house! Now, be on your way, Thomas. The old Tommy-girl is a relic of the past," he noted as he kicked some of the shorn clumps together into a pile of hair clippings, "and you have me to thank for that!"

Tommy jumped up quickly from the chair and bolted from the shop. "Thank you very much, Hal. The heat won't be so oppressive without all that hair," he said as he fled from the scene of his divestiture. As the door squeaked shut he heard the two old men laughing. He felt totally humiliated. The hot air quickly enveloped him. At least he didn't have the mop to deal with in addition to the blazing heat! He felt his head for the first time. A sick sensation overwhelmed him. What must he look like? He needed to know!

Tommy hustled back to the department store with the changing rooms that offered 360 degree views. He needed to see the totality of his shorn head. He looked to neither the left nor right as he dashed past a bewildered salesman into the changing rooms without any garment to try on. As he yanked open the curtain of the changing booth, he saw his naked head in the bright light! In all directions, at least 120 heads of a bewildered-looking, confused man with a shorn head were in his line of site. He lifted his hand to the stubble and all 120 men followed suit. He could not believe his eyes....and to think, the last time he'd been in the changing room he had surveyed a copious mane of thick, silken locks that made him look like a male model. Now he was a total jarhead! He drew up close to the main mirror and stared at the stubble....1/32 of an inch. That was all that Hal left him! He felt naked and humiliated. The barbers had mocked the one thing that he treasured most....then stripped it off and left him bald. Thomas missed seeing Tommy smiling back approvingly of the flowing locks of caramel-colored hair.....

As he fondled his stubble mournfully, the curtain of the changing booth ripped open. Standing before him was Jamie! Looking like a studly saint! "I followed you here and have been waiting for you to come out. Are you very mad at me?"

His new friend was the one bright spot to his tragedy. "Oh, Jamie! How could I be?" Tommy gasped as he stepped toward him. "You had no idea how Hal would leave me!"

Jamie flashed a grin and touched the shorn pate. "Oh my, your ears are so big and goofy looking. See how they stick out!" he said turning Tommy slowly back to the mirrors. "This white scalp really accentuates them too....you look like a total dork!"

Tommy's spirit, which had momentarily been lifted, crashed. "Oh...." No one would mistake him for a male model looking like that.

"And when I get you back to my place, I'm going to lather you up and scrape you clean myself...and you'll sit very still like a good boy, okay?" said the handsome guy as he led the sorry looking friend out of the changing area.

"Yes, Jamie, I just want you to be happy...." he murmured.

"Once you've been skinned, we'll dress you up in a power suit and tie....but, my guess is that it will be no use. You'll slink into work and people will come out of the woodwork just to look and point at you without your pampered mane. Oh, how they'll laugh! Maybe one of the bully types will flick your big ear like this!" he said as he snapped the ear with his finger so that it pained poor Tommy momentarily.

"Oh, that hurt!" gasped Tommy.

"Not as much as all those snide remarks will tomorrow when you're feeling vulnerable at the office...." laughed Jamie.

"But you'll stride into your office, confidently with your manly haircut. The aggressive taper and the authoritative brush cut are a picture of power. You'll ooze confidence and laugh at all the cookie cutter wannabes with the drab business cuts. You'll marshal them and dominate over them, won't you Jamie?"

"You're damned right! And you can call me James...." he said as he led Tommy out to the parking lot.

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