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No Average Son by Geoff
It was about four in the afternoon when my son got home from school. He was a good kid who did well in school and was popular with his friends. He and I had a great father son relationship too. We talked about everything and frequently had time to throw the football around. Since his mother and I divorced when he was five, it’s just been Scott and me.
For years I had been cutting Scott’s hair, well really trimming it. Scott had long, really long, dark brown hair that flowed down his back to over his shoulder blades. Scott always used his shoulder blades as a guide for how long it should remain. His hair was curly and looked really good with his always-present tan.
Scott’s hair was meticulous and he always kept it silky and soft despite how thick it was. His hair was so curly that he pretty much had to shampoo and condition it every day just to keep in under control and with that much hair, he really went through the shampoo and conditioner. I didn’t mind the cost because he looked great and I enjoyed seeing him that happy about his own appearance. He and I made an agreement several years ago that he could wear his hair any way he wanted as long as he kept it maintained properly. Scott always kept his end of the bargain. Despite the fact that drying it often took a couple of hours, he loved it.
He often wore his hair pulled back into a huge silky ponytail that really set off his square features. He took care of his hair as well as his body. Scott is 6’5” tall and weighs 171 lbs. He was one of those guys that other guys loved to hate because he easily maintained six-pack abs and had rock-hard arms and a chest to match.
Every month or so I would cape Scotty up and brush through his hair until the curls were under control. He would ask me to trim his mane, which always meant cleaning up his neck and trimming the ends. His hair grew more luxurious with each passing month and I was the only one he ever let touch it. At 17, he was one great looking kid.
Scott and I became interested in eastern religions and started attending a Zen center near our home. We would get together each morning and before bed and spend one hour in meditation. It is difficult to describe the bond that he and I developed over the past few years but meditation brought us even closer. Admittedly, Scotty did a lot more reading about religion than I did and frequently provided me with information that I didn’t know. Actually, he became a better follower than I did.
One night, without notice, Scotty and I were just concluding our nightly meditation session and he dropped a bombshell. “I want to show how dedicated I am to Buddhism and I have given this a lot of personal thought,” Scotty said. In a very calm voice he simply said, “I want to make a sacrifice that will show the level of my faith. I would like you to shave my head.” I smiled and said no way Scotty, your hair is too important to you and everyone loves it. He said, “exactly, my hair is too important to me and that’s why I must do this”. “I want you to do it now dad.” With that, he got out and left the room. I was relieved that that over. I sat there both there confused and yet relieved.
Within five minutes Scotty arrived back into the light of the candles with the burgundy-colored Oster clippers and his shirt off. He plugged in the clippers and then sat quietly in front of me on the floor. His hair glistened in the candlelight as he sat with his eyes closed, his mind calm. “Scotty, please don’t make me do this. Your hair is too important to you.” My eyes were filling with tears at the prospect of this life-changing event. He sat quietly for a couple of minutes and then said, “please”. I sat hugging my child and crying for several more minutes. I kept running my hands through his hair hoping he would change his mind. I reluctantly picked up the clippers. They had the same #00000 blade on them that I had always used to trim his neck so clean. These would do some major damage to hair like his. I flicked them on and intense buzzing filled the air.
I lifted the hair off of his back with my arm and rested the clippers at the base of his neck desperately hoping he would change his mind. He just sat quietly. This was going to change his life and he wanted me to be there for it. It was an incredibly moving moment despite my overwhelming hesitation. I then placed my left hand squarely on his forehead and slid my fingers into his curls. I moved the clippers slowly up the back of his head from his neck to the crown. I could see the hair move but it still looked full and thick. I made another pass and the same thing happened. And a third time produced nothing. I reached up to see what was going on and a mass of curls over two feet long dropped into my lap. His head retained the faintest dark stubble. My God, what had I done? His head dropped limply back encouraging me to proceed. I then pulled the clippers straight back over the top of his head over and over and over until only the sides remained. I was covered in his glorious curly hair. It was literally everywhere except that I was careful not to drop hair into Scott’s closed eyes. I had some how managed to pull it all backwards onto my lap.
At last the transformation was complete and I turned the warm clippers off. Scott’s head reflected in the candlelight. I rubbed his stubble-head for several minutes. He calmly turned around and thanked me, “I know this wasn’t easy for you”. He never looked down at the pile of what used to be his hair. He simply rose to his feet and walked out. I followed him to the bathroom to make sure he was all right. He smiled and he asked me to shave the remaining stubble off of his head. I gladly lathered his head and proceeded with the Mach 3. His head has shiny and perfectly shaped.
I have to admit, he looked great bald too. Scotty’s head remains shaved even today and, yes, he converted me too. A few weeks later Scotty shaved my head.