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William by Benjamin Zaltano

I was due for another haircut.
It was a cloudy Tuesday morning on my fall break. When I woke up, I felt that my hair had gotten too long for my liking. I knew I had to do something about it.
When I was younger, I dreaded going to the barber. I feared the barber itself. The idea of trusting someone with my hair was terrible. Then I grew up and became a someone who’s very attached to his looks. Even though I hate it, I go to a barber once every six weeks, to keep my appearance clean and nice.
I went to look at my hair in the mirror. Found out I was quite right; my black curtains were just the length I have before getting them cut. I would just go to my usual barbershop, get an inch cut from the top and a nice low fade on the sides.
I put on a green sweater and black pants and went out. I live alone so I can take as much time as I want at the barber. The wind was blowing on my face as I was racing up the streets.
I realized that my barbershop had closed for holidays just as I was in front of it. I didn’t really know what to do: Did I really need to get my hair cut this week or could it wait a bit? My black strands were flying on my face due to the wind, and I just knew I really had to get my hair cut.
I roamed the streets for a while, and -mind you- I live in a small town, so there aren’t a lot of barbershops out here. I was almost going to quit before I found one just next to me. I entered.
‘Hello, what can I do for you?’ said the guy at the counter, who looked my age, with a shaved head.
‘I would like a regular haircut’
‘Sure, go and have a sit’
I headed for a leather chair and sat. As I was the only one with the guy at the counter, I didn’t need to wait. He then came to me, and I was quite surprised because I didn’t think he was the barber, but he did have a nice shaved head. He threw on a white striped cape on my clothes. It was so soft; I could feel I was about to get premium service.
‘You do know this is not a regular barbershop,’ said he, turning his back to me.
I was waiting for the ‘Our services are high quality, and (seeing that I was a young men) quite expensive, so you need to have the money to pay us’ speech, and I hate it. So, I just said ‘Yes’
‘Great. As it is your first time here, you don’t have to pay’. I was quite surprised, because he knew I never came here, and he would cut my hair for free. I started feeling something weird, but my hair really needed a cut.
I saw him prepare his tools. He still hadn’t ask for what I wanted.
Then I saw him. He took his red clippers, with no guard on them. This was the non-regular aspect of the barbershop; you didn’t choose your haircut.
He approached me, clippers in his hands. ‘I can’t wait to see your head shorn. You will like it for sure’
He turned on the clippers. The sweet mechanical buzzing sound was ringing in my ears.
I could have left the barbershop at that moment, but I just didn’t and couldn’t think of it. For a moment I thought that I would not look good with short hair, yet I just leaned back to enjoy the experience.
He placed the clippers on my forehead. I started to feel a bump rise in my pants. Then he proceeded with his clippers directly down the middle. My black strands of hair were falling everywhere. I couldn’t help myself to let out a smile. The kind of smile that indicates a good decision. The barber also smiled, proud of himself.
He then enlarged the strip of hair missing on my scalp. What a feeling it was to sense the air rushing on your head. It felt freeing.
I could see my bare scalp, but I didn’t care. The barber did short work of the rest of my hair. In a matter of minutes, all these months of growing my hair were gone. I kept looking at the mirror and smiling even more.
He then moved onto the sides, which were shaved even quicker than the rest because they were quite shorter. In the mirror, it was not the dude with girly hair that entered the store. It was a man, with a shaved head.
He finished my sides and told me:
‘You are not going to have a razor shave today, but you may come back to have one another time.’
Boy, oh boy was I going to come back. The idea of having hair as long as it was on the floor disgusted me, just to imagine it.
‘Your smile says it all. You really needed to keep it as short as it is, if not shorter.’ He also was quite happy with his cut. I could see he enjoyed the feeling of his clippers running through girly hair and making me a man, in a way.
He removed the cape from me and I stood up to look at myself fully. I rubbed my head with my hands. It was amazing. I didn’t think I would be this changed just by a haircut, but I was wrong.
I headed to the counter to pay, but he stopped me halfway.
‘As I said before, you don’t need to pay for the first time. However, your head is going to be shaved every week if you want to keep the look.’
‘That’ll be written down. Thanks.’ I said, leaving the shop.
‘Oh, also, my name is Jake.’ He said as I was at the door. ‘You’ll know who to ask when you come back here.’
The wind on my scalp felt amazing. Never, ever will I come back to those black curtains or any haircut that’s longer than an inch. In the opposite, I will for sure go the shortest I could. I am going to come back next week to be shaved smooth. What an experience will that be.

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