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Smashing Pumpkins Adore by HS
- This story was written by Jake -
When you're a teenager, boys want to be different, they want to have their own identity. A neighbor of mine and I started to like an American band called The Smashign Pumpkins. Rock Forever! It was one of the most famous bands of the 90s.
The songs were very good and the band had style. We started dressing in the pumpkin style.
My friend, Ricardo, had short hair at that time, but as Billy Corgan (singer and leader of the band, our idol) had his hair up to his shoulder, he let his hair grow too. I never liked to keep my hair long, so I didn't accompany him in this fanaticism. His hair was black and very straight. At about four months, the hair had reached his ears and covered his eyes. His parents wanted him to cut the ends at least, but he was adamant. He would let his hair grow to his shoulders.
His parents were not very strict, but once or twice the discussion about the hair got serious. Once his father even took him to a barber shop, where he had to let the barber take a few centimeters out of his precious hair.
But even so, in less than two years, he had shoulder-length hair. Until it was cool. His hair was straight and heavy. It was the coolest hair in our class. He loved his hair like he loved the Pumpkins.
But what was his disappointment when we saw Billy Corgan's new look. He had cut his hair. I was using a normal cut, not too long, not too short: a social cut [something like business cut].
Ricardo was very upset when he saw Billy's new hair. I asked him if he would cut it too and he said yes, that he liked Smashing Pumpkins more than his hair. We went to a barber shop in the city center. It was a cool place, a barbershop for young people.
There was only one boy there, cutting his hair very short, with machine 2 [machine is the way we call eletric clippers]. My friend waited impatiently. I could see his hands trembling as he watched the boy cut.
The barber finished cutting the boy and said, "the next one!" [next!]. It was Ricardo's turn. He was very nervous. He looked at me, as if he expected me to say something. I said "in the name of the pumpkins".
He sat on the chair and tried to relax. The barber put the cloak over him, combed his long hair and asked, "just a trim at the ends?" [just a trim?].
I think that at this point Ricardo was unable to take his decisions further. He chickened out and just nodded. I knew he wouldn't have the courage. He loved his hair. The barber only took a few centimeters [two "centimeters" is smaller than one inch] of hair, which could not even tell the difference. When we left the barbershop I told my friend that I knew he wouldn't have the courage to cut his hair. He said he was going to cut it, but he didn't cut it now because he remembered that he wanted to take some pictures before, with his big hair. I didn't believe his excuses, but he was my best friend and I had to support him.
We bought the new Smashing Pumpkins CD, a double record, very good. To this day it is one of my favorites. Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness.
Fanaticism increased. On MTV, a clip of them was shown all the time. And what was my surprise when I saw another new look for Billy: completely bald. He had shaved all of his hair. Ricardo hadn't seen it yet. So I asked him if he intended to imitate Billy's cut, whatever that cut was, and he said yes, that the next week he would cut his hair and make the same excuses.
I told him about Billy's new cut. He didn't believe it until he saw it himself. At first, he said that he wouldn't cut his hair like that. But then he admitted that it might be a good idea. After all, he would no longer have to spend so much time combing his hair, nor spend so much on shampoo and conditioner. He asked me to go to the barbershop with him again. I knew that at the crucial time he would go back and not have the courage to get rid of his long hair.
This time the barber shop was empty. We went in and the barber was soon asking him to sit on the chair. I could tell that this time he was even more nervous. He looked intently at his reflection in the mirror. Then came the crucial question: "just a trim on the ends?" [just a trim?].
I knew he wouldn't have the courage to say that he wanted machine 0. He said, "I was thinking of something shorter, maybe a [bowlcut] surfer." Well, that was a little shorter, but nothing too drastic. The barber took the machine [clippers], put on the tie 2 [# 2] and started cutting the hair on the left side of his head. He was passing the machine and discovering the ears, which for so long had been hidden from the world. He started cutting his hair on the back of his neck and then on the right side. The surfer cut was almost ready, all that was needed was to trim the hair over the eyes.
But Ricardo surprised me by saying: "I think it may be a little shorter, maybe something more social [shorter than business cut]" Well, that was something much shorter, but still a long way from the current cut of the pumpkins leader .
The barber agreed, put the 4 on the machine and cut all the hair on the sides and behind my friend's head. The difference for Ricardo that I had met in the morning was incredible. The barber dropped the machine, took the scissors and started cutting the hair on the top of his head. It looked like he was cutting very little, less than two fingers. It was then that Ricardo took his most courageous attitude: "Maybe it is better to pass the machine over too. I think I want a really short cut".
The barber did not seem to care for another change of opinion of the client, quite the contrary, he seemed to like being cut that hair shorter and shorter.
He took the machine again, with lock 4 and cut all the remaining hair on Ricardo's head. When he ran the machine (slowly) for the first time on top of his head, I could see the size of the damage in my friend's hair. The hair went down to the chin, and with that streak of the machine, there was only a finger of hair left.
Ricardo ran his hand over his head and seemed to like the feeling. He looked at me confidently and then said to the barber, "I was thinking of something more radically short". The interested barber asked: "machine 1? [# 1]". Ricardo replied: "how about 0 [# 0]". The barber seemed to have liked the idea a lot. He didn't even give my friend time to say anything more. He picked up the machine, without any damage, and began to scrape all the remaining short strands. Where he passed the machine, there was a white trail in the middle of his black hair. I could see the skin on his head. In the end, the barber even suggested shaving [to shave] the head with the razor [razor]. Ricardo agreed, he wanted to go as deep as he could. The barber put the shaver cream on his head, and,with the razor, left his head without a hair. He was completely bald [bald]. He paid the barber and left smiling.
I didn't resist and patted him on the head, which we knew would happen a lot the other day, at school. He said he liked the new look. I agreed, although I preferred his big hair. He said I could put my hand on his head, to feel what it was like. I thought it was strange, but I ran my hand over his head. It really felt cool. It was kind of cold. I told him the kids at school were going to be laughing at him, but he said he didn't care and we left for home singing Bullet With Butterfly Wings.