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A Scenario at the Old-school Barbershop by SGwriter
"Okay just a few more minutes.." said Arjun as he walk towards the somewhat downscale barbershop he saw through his google map. A old-fashioned barbershop which seemingly has been operating for over 20 years with just one barber probably in his 50s. The reviews of the barbershop was given a 5-star ratings by just 7 reviewers. Comments included of the barber's excellent haircutting skills and cleanliness etc. But what catches Arjun's attention was the images of the interior itself which seemed to have been stuck in time. Two vintage leather chair occupying the huge landscaped mirror. With the tabletop filled with various antique items across eras. Combs placed together in what used to be a pencil holder, hair clips placed in a messy arrangment along with various hair clipper attachment in that same manner.
Posters of guys in both western and asian hairstyles surronded the empty spaces on the wall, below was a comfy looking couch where customers await for their turn to get their haircut. All of these pictures from the google review gave it an air of nostalgia. Arjun was intrigued by the idea of experiencing a haircut in a place that seemed untouched by modernity.
Arjun had a thing in making every haircut a unique experience. As this was his first time, he was really anixous in doing anything out of the ordinary due to his soft-spoken nature and took the easy way out of wearing a cap before heading to the barbershop. There he was, in a black baseball cap which hid his jet black hair where the sideburns were untidy and bushy. His back similar to a mullet just slightly hanging over and touching his shirt. As he push the door to enter barbershop, the slight screech alerted both the barber and the customer in the chair draped in a white cape. Arjun who was taken aback could only mouth a few words. "Um cut hair.." said as he motioned with two fingers to imitate the scissors. The barber greeted him with a smile and just told him to sit at the couch. True enough it was as if he just walked into a barbershop that was like a living relic, a place where time seemed to stand still.
The barber started blowdrying the customer whilst removing the cape not before chuckling at Arjun's cap. The barber showed the customer his way out while hanging the cape near the exit door. He then slapped the base of the barber chair and annouce to Arjun it was his turn. Arjun immersing himself from the vintage and antique surronding slowly walked and took a seat on the chair. The barber then took a towel to tucked in under his shirt whilst drapping a maroon colored cape over him and had to lift the back of Arjun's hair in order to secure the cape properly. Arjun started realising what was happening and missed the window to take off his cap. There he was being caped and looking like a fool with the cap on.
"So boy cut botak?!" said the barber as he removed the cap and Arjun's tucked hair stood stiff all over the place. Arjun stunned by the unexpected haircut suggestion timidly rejected the barber's choice and replied him "Uh no just cut the sides and back short..number 5". The barber started ruffling his hands on Arjun's sides and commented on how a number 5 will not make any difference. Arjun nervously looking at him through the mirror, "um number 1 can?" At this point Arjun did not had any idea what came out of his mouth and had accepted his fate. The barber chuckled as he placed his hands on Arjun's shoulders to ease his tension.
The barber started taking a comb with sharp tooth and started combing Arjun's hair aggressively. The barber commented on Arjun for wearing a cap as it messes up his hair before haircuts. "I thought u want to cut botak thats why wear cap like every other boy who comes" said the barber. Arjun replied "oh no haha" as he didn't expect that question to pop up even though it was common among Singaporean boys to cut their hair botak (buzzcut in malay) before serving the army. At this point, Arjun was stuck in a conundrum, he had the perfect scenario and excuse set up for him.
He could cut his hair botak and could cover it up with the cap before leaving the barbershop. As the barber was gelling up the clippers, Arjun said "Umm can cut botak but not too short?" The barber smiled and nodded his head as he approached behind of him and gently pushed Arjun's head down till his chin touched the cape. With a single click, the virbration of the clipper roared and quiet down a little as it touches the nape of Arjun. Arjun flinched due to the cold clipper but was held firmly by the barber's grip. "Buzzz Buzzz" the melody filled the entire barbershop and Arjun back was shaven till a number 1. Arjun could see clumps and clumps of his hair cascading down the cape and knew it was extremely short from the long hair being shorned. After a few minutes, the clipper stopped its roar and the barber switched to another guard. As Arjun was about to lift his head, the barber quickly placed his hand on his head.
The roaring of the clipper came to life but sounding quieter then the previous one as it started buzzing of the sides of Arjun's hair. Arjun took a glimpse of the sides while being held down and was amazed at how the once long sides are now completely gone. The sides were buzzed for a good 5 mintues repeatedly to ensure a proper graduation was formed. As the clippers stopped for its final time, Arjun life his head to see the results and there he was, sides were totally shaven off till the skin. Massive clumps of hair filled the maroon cape to appear as a perfect canvas.
And the only thing left was his long top, Arjun taken aback by the whole shearing wanted to chicken out of the botak haircut but could not. The barber took a brush and started brushing his head. Soon, the barber took the clipper and started shaving his top without any warning. Straight down the middle the clippers went, and made a few rounds before stopping. The botak haircut was done. Arjun was visibly shocked and taken aback by the transformative haircut. The barber started rubbing his hands on Arjun's buzzed head to calm him down while starting to remove the cape.
Arjun stood up while brushing his head to view in the mirror of his transformation. His hair was buzzed down to a number 1 while the sides were a number 0. It was a perfect burr cut as the poster pasted on the wall. The barber placed his cap back on him as Arjun paid and left. All he could think about was having a transformative haircut at the old school barber which was hard to find in Singapore. Feeling elevated he started planning other scenarios and another one specifically for this old school barbershop.