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I had finally worked up the courage to go into the barbershop. After all, she had a customer in the chair and it was near closing time. If I chickened out I was close to the door so I could make a hasty departure.

The barbershop was a small two-chair shop with a half dozen waiting chairs. It was in the old part of town and the black and white checkered linoleum was yellowed from the years of wear and tear. There were pictures of Navy ships and other military items on the walls. A small television blared the news in the background as I took a seat in one of the waiting chairs by the window.

I had been checking out this barbershop in a distant town for much of the afternoon. I have a thing about lady barbers. I can?t remember the last time a man cut my hair. It probably has been since my dad took me to his barber in the 1960?s for my ritual crew cuts. In the 1960?s long hair on both men and women was ?in?. Short haircuts were for the poor bastards being sent to Vietnam and ?pigs? as police were sometimes called. My older sister would tease me mercilessly about my ?pig shaves?. I hated those haircuts so much that I have never had very short hair or gotten my hair cut by a man since. I guess I always thought that a woman would have more compassion and not cut my hair shorter than I wanted.

Now the barbershop was getting ready to close for the day, the old man barber who worked the shop with the attractive blonde had left and I thought it was now or never. The guy in the chair was on the receiving end of a high-and-tight. The barber whose name was Tammy obviously knew him because they were joking back and forth. Whenever he would crack a joke, she would roughly push his head sideways and tell him to knock it off. The guy in the chair pointed to a row of ball caps hanging on the coat rack and said that they were for Tammy?s clients. She seemed irritated at his banter.

Tammy was in her thirties or early forties, about my age. While not a raving beauty, she had shoulder length blonde hair in one of the new flippy styles. She had a slender body and wore a low cut shirt that showed some cleavage. Tammy had more attitude than most haircutters.

It had been a rough afternoon for Tammy. The business had been steady and not too long before I entered a mother had been in the shop with her three youngsters and her youngest boy DID NOT want his hair cut!! He was probably 3 or 4 years old and when his mother put him in Tammy?s barber chair he immediately squirmed out. This went on for some time. I could see through the window that both the mother and Tammy were trying to get the little guy to settle down, but to no avail. This scene ended with the mother dragging her son to the car by his arm. The little guy was kicking and screaming the whole way.

Finally when the guy in the chair was done he had no hair on the back or sides of his head and she had combed the top into a very short ?Caesar? style. As he got up and left Tammy walked over to the door and turned the sign to ?Closed?. Tammy turned to me and in a halfway irritated voice asked ?Well, what are you waiting for? Get in the chair.? As I hung my coat on the rack she swept up the short clippings from her previous client.

She said ?I don?t recognize you, have you been in here before?? To which I replied ?No, I?m new in town?. Actually this was a lie as I had been in the shop about a year prior and had chickened out on getting my hair cut. At that time both the old man and Tammy had clients in their chairs and it looked like the old man was going to finish first. So rather than take a chance on having him cut my hair I looked at my watch and said that I would have to come back later, which I never did.

As she began to cape me Tammy asked ?So what do you do for a living?? to which I replied that I was in between jobs and was looking for employment. ?Where do you live?? she pressed. ?I live outside of town on a farm? I replied. ?So where did you move from?? she asked. To which I replied ?the city?. My answers didn?t seem to satisfy her curiosity.

By now she had finished caping me and placed a small white towel at the base of my neck. ?So how do you want it?? she asked. I replied that I sure didn?t want it like her last client. I wear my hair in a longer businessman?s style. Usually around ? to an inch long on the back and sides with the top 3 or 4 inches long and somewhat parted to the side with bangs. I lifted up my cowlick at the crown and told her that I have a ?Dennis the Menace? cowlick at the back and asked her to not cut it too short or it will stand up straight. Today I wanted a light trim, just over the ears, because it was getting close to winter and I like a little more hair to keep my head warm. My description of how I wanted my hair was met with silence.

Tammy roughly grabbed the hair on the back and top of my head and pulled it out straight, checking the length. After checking out the length and texture of my hair for about a minute she replied ?I know what you want?. Soon I heard rustling on the counter behind me and the clicking sound of a blade being inserted onto her black Oster 111?s. I heard a click followed by a whirring sound that only the big Oster clippers make. She grabbed the hair on my crown with her left hand and very firmly pushed my chin into my chest. I had expected her to use a comb-over-clippers to trim the customary ? to one half inch off but instead I felt the cold steel of the clippers at the base of my neck as she pushed them up the back of my head to my occipital bone. Instantly I felt a rush of cool air on the back of my head as she plopped a pile of my hair close to an inch long onto my shoulder.

?How short are you cutting it?? I asked somewhat panicked. ?I saw you walk by here earlier today? she replied. ?Yeah, I was out stretching my legs, getting some exercise? I replied as she continued to repeatedly run the cold steel of the clipper blades up the back of my head. Tammy shut off the clippers and I could feel the tingling of the very short hairs on the back of my head. ?Yeah but you probably walked by here ten or fifteen times this afternoon? she said. Uh, oh I thought. I thought she had been too busy to notice. She continued ?Sometimes you were on this side of the street and sometimes you were on the other side but you always slowed down and looked in here as you passed by, you?re not some kind of weirdo are you?? I was stunned. She had me. All I could think to say was ?Well you have been busy all afternoon and I thought I would wait until things slowed down?. To which Tammy replied ?Uh, huh I see?

I heard a click and a snap behind me as she replaced the blade on her clippers. Soon the clippers whirred back to life. Tammy grabbed the long hair on the top of my head and forcefully pushed my head to the left. She placed the clippers at my right sideburn and ran them up the side of my head. A clump of hair over an inch long plopped onto the cape. I wasn?t facing a mirror but I could see my reflection in the shop window. I could now see the white skin shining through where my sideburn had been and Tammy was grinning from ear to ear.

?Now you be a good little boy and I don?t want any trouble from you? she said as she ran the clippers over my right ear and repeated the motions up the back of my head sending showers of short clippings onto the cape and floor. I was too stunned to reply. I knew I was in trouble. By now Tammy had clipped the back of my head again and was working the clippers with the #1 blade around my left ear.

I fought back the urge to get out of the chair and run. I couldn?t leave with half a haircut or risk embarrassing myself. My fate was sealed. I would have the shortest haircut since I was 6 years old. As I sat there silently, the clippers were switched off. I had half expected her to place them at my forehead and give me a 1/8th inch buzz cut but she placed the clippers on the counter behind me and picked up a comb and scissors. Tammy roughly combed the hair on top of my head and began to snip. I was relieved to see only ? inch clippings float onto the cape. I reached up to wipe some itchy clippings off of my nose to which she scolded ?Sit still I know how to handle little boys that don?t want their hair cut?!!

I felt a familiar stirring in my pants as she moved to the front of the chair and began to cut my bangs. Tammy was wearing a low cut shirt and all I could do was stare at her breasts as she had them only inches from my face. I dared not move. ?Quit staring at my tits you pervert? she said sternly. Again I was too stunned to say a word.

As she finished the cutting the top I heard her rustling around with her tools on the counter behind me. She grabbed a small edger clipper and comb and began to taper my hairline in back down to nothing. Next she roughly grabbed my right ear and bent it down. Soon I had a cleanly shaven ?whitewall? around my ear. She moved to my left side and repeated the process bending my ear in all directions to make sure I had prominent whitewalls. Tammy grabbed a blow dryer and blew the hair off of my head and shoulders. She swept the cape off of me and said ?all done?. I was shocked. She had completely ignored my instructions with the exception of leaving the top long. The back and sides were between 1/8th and ? inch long and tapered to nothing. As I turned my head from side to side I could see the ?whitewalls? clearly. As I grabbed my coat and gave her $10 she told me that next time I come by that I should come in right away or she will think that I am a stalker and will have to call the police to ask me what I am up to. I told her that wouldn?t be necessary and that I would see her again.

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