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A New Experience by Snifffffff
A New Experience
"Yep. This should work," he says surveying the empty bathroom.
It’s the communal bathroom for our dorms. We can’t make too much noise. He blasts the thought out of my head as he lays out the folding chair onto the tile with a screech. The white chair is dyed yellow by the lights. Everything is discolored. Even me. Even my anxiety ridden face. No. He doesn’t see it. Or I hope he doesn't.
"Just take a seat there and I’ll get with you shortly," he says in a comfortable tone.
Of course he’s comfortable. He’s done this before. You glance at him as he drops the plastic black box onto the white (as it can be in the yellow light) tile with a friction fueled scratching noise. He looks confident and comfortable. Black hair worked to an even buzz all the way around, so short his scalp is in plain view. Barely more than stubble. How does he do it? Maybe you’ll find out. Maybe you’ll also find out about the white tank top and the black sweatpants he wears. Or maybe he’ll remain a mystery man. This person you say once, had a strange experience with, and then you see them around all the time, reminding you of the weird experience. "Oh! That’s the guy who gave me a buzz cut at 4am in the dorms!"
My legs shake slightly as reality sets in. I might have fallen over if I hadn’t already sat down. No. You wanted this. To change yourself. Even a bit. This is what college is about, right? New experiences?
"You okay, dude?" he says with a laugh caught in his throat (like everything he says), "You look white as a ghost."
You focus in on his face to reply. Instead you get caught by those intoxicating green eyes.
"I’m fine, just nervous is all," I excuse.
I look back at the mirror taking in an image I might not see again for a while. White blond hair flowing down my face. It’s mid length, but still long. Not touching the shoulders, but still free. Perfect. So, why am I ruining it? I don’t know. I just want to.
He clicks the guard into place with a crisp snap again breaking the heavy blanket of silence over the bathroom.
"Um, what guard is that?" I ask, trying not to let my voice quiver.
He walks over, black cord trailing behind the silver machine, and tussles my hair. "No offense, but even if I told you, you don’t look like the type of person to know about that type of thing."
I blush hard and cast my brown eyes to the ground. He’s right. I’ve never had clippers taken to my head.
I don’t reply.
He takes a big breath in as he pulls my head into position with a smile. Neck craned toward the heavens. His face stuck with an exhilarated smile on it. Hair falling into position as gravity tugs on it. The clippers whir to life. I can’t bear to watch either through the mirror or the slow approach of the machine at the edge of my vision. So I squeeze my eyes shut. It doesn’t stop the clippers.
It’s strange. I expected to feel something new, but instead I only feel an absence. I feel the blond lock in my lap, but I still don’t look. And he keeps going too. One stroke after another. The more strokes, the less hair.
And the more excited I get.
"You think it’ll look good?" I ask in a more confident voice, despite the insecure question.
"Yeah, you got the face and head shape for it," he replies coolly.
Suddenly the machine is pulled away from my head and his rough fingers near a buzzed patch. The sensation is odd. Definitely new. Good.
"It’s a number two for future reference, or whenever you get it cut next," he says as he rubs my head. "Listen."
I feel them easily tear through hair as they vibrate against my skull. I get lost in the sound. The humm as they come and go with each stroke. Away from my ears and close to them once again. They cover every part of my head. Not a spot missed, not a hair left uncut. In his hands, the process is quick and painless.
Suddenly, the sound stops. He rubs my head one more time and my heart jumps.
"All done!" he reports as he walks across the tile.
I’m scared. My eyes stay shut, comfortable in their stasis. Maybe if I don’t open them my hair won’t leave. I know it isn’t true, but now I have to see the result of the wonderful process. Will it be better than those few minutes of heaven, or worse? I don’t wanna know.
"It won’t hurt to open your eyes."
His voice is close. He snuck up on me while I was lost in thought.
"It looks good," his vocal chords hum out gently, above the buzz of the lights in the bathroom. "Or, at least, I think it does. You have to decide that for yourself."
"And if I don’t like it?" I ask hesitantly.
"And if I don’t?" I ask once more.
"You will," he says with more force. "Now… go."
I gulp and take a deep breath. I pull my eyelids open. It’s the heaviest thing I’ve ever lifted, and the rewards are equal. Or, I hope they are. I can’t tell. It looks strange. The shape of my skull is prominent in the mirror, leaving my blue eyes unguarded. Only a thick, blond fuzz remains on my head, and between the bristles my scalp reflects yellow light. But I like something about it.
I stand up and my knees don;t buckle by some miracle. I walk forward towards the mirror, trying to get a better look. I press my stomach into the counter as I lean in and examine it. Searching for errors, or love, or something… I don’t know. I’m mesmerized. Captured by the uniform wave of yellow points. And I touch it with my own fingers. Like sandpaper, but puzzlingly soft. Somehow more mesmerizing than the look of it.
I don’t know how long I’m there, but he wakes me from my trance after a time with slender fingers on my exposed head.
"Weird, yet so good, huh?" he says with a laugh and a smile.
I turn around and the hair is gone from the floor. Tossed into a trash can now that it no longer has any use. The chair is folded and set against the counter by his block box.
"Do I need to pay you, or…?"
"Nah, the experience is payment enough." He leaves my side and picks up the chair under his arm with the black box hanging in his hand from its plastic handle. "Just call me when you need it cut again, okay?"
I can’t stop him as he leaves, pushes the metallic door open with a screech and a "Take care!", and leaves me stranded. Nervous. Exhilarated. Horrified. Overjoyed. Euphoric. Petrified. Alone. All these things he stirred within me, and somehow, like a spoiled brat, he has left me wanting more.