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”LET’S FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE”

PART ONE: CARLY.

”Okay miss, here you are. All done,” the barber said, with a soft brush whiping off the bared head of his client. He drew away the cape and asked:

”Do you want to look?”

Without waiting for an answer he turned the chair. Carly had asked him to turn the chair away from the mirror before cutting off her long blonde curly hair and the following shaving of her head, so she now saw the result for the first time.

”Well, what do you think?” the barber grinned.

She didn’t know what to think. She recognized her eyes, nose, mouth and chin but the hairline had gone and her forehead seemed to extent endlessly. Her ears stood lost in solitude at the outlines of a white scalp, whose paleness contrasted with the tanned skin of her face. Her head seemed to float like a balloon above her body.

Carly held back her tears while she squeaked: ”Wow, it’s a big change.”

The barber grinned again; ”Sure it is, I did what you wanted. You got what you asked for.”

Indeed she has asked for it. But did she want this? No! Not at all! She already regretted it as so many of her rash decisions, which had more than once made her life chaotical. Her tendency to make impulsive decisions and her way of thinking which didn’t always follow logical lines had brought her into troublesome situations before. Just as about one year ago at the graduation ball. She had flirted around and flaunted with her golden curls and…accepting too much cocktails. The next morning she had awoken in her bed, naked, with undoubted traces of a man whe had slept in the same bed. He was gone but the scent of sperm had still been around her. She couldn’t remember what had happened.

Once a month Carly and eight other former co-students gathered: five guys and four girls.

At the latest reunion in April Ray, a dominant and sometimes irritating guy, had unloaded his ideas about feminine vanity. He had put forward that women used make-up and hairstyling to seduce men. Particularly Carly had opposed him frantically. Ray had dared the girls to show themselves in a natural state.

”What does that mean?” Carly had asked.

”Don’t use make-up and part with your prize possession.”

”Could you explain what you mean by that last phrase?”

”Your hair of course!”

Of course everybody had laughed, but Ray had said: ”I’ll bet that none of you would have the guts.”

”And if one of us does have the guts?” Carly had asked.

”Then I’ll go bungee-jumping,” he had said and they all knew about his fear of hights.

Carly hadn’t given the subject much attention till about one week before the next meeting in May. Suddenly she asked herself if she would and could do this: sacrifice her hair. It so happened that she was strolling along a barbershop and without further thinking she entered. She didn’t look at the guys and boys waiting but took a seat in the waiting area and grabbed a sports magazine. All eyes were turned into her direction: a girl with such luscious hair didn’t enter a barbershop for a trim. When the barber nearest to the window called: ”next”, the man besides Carly said: ”Go ahead, miss, I’m not in a hurry.”

Clearly he wanted to look what she wanted to be done.

”What may I do for you, miss?”the barber asked.

”Chop all off,” Carly whispered.

Amazed the barber asked her: ”Do you really want me to do that?”

”Well, that’s what I asked you,” Carly answered.

Everyone in the shop now was looking at her.

The barber shrugged and began to brush her long blonde tresses, from the ends to the upper parts. Then he had her bend her head forward and brushed all of her hair in front of her eyes. He twisted it and gathered it into a huge ponytail at the upper part of her head and tied it with a red ribbon. Afterwards he put a cape around her shoulders and fixed it. Carly asked him to turn the chair as she didn’t want to see anything of the shearing. As he did so Carly couldn’t see everyone gazing as the ponytail was hanging in front of her face. The barber took a straight razor, cut the onytail and stretched it out on the counter. The shortenered hair fell along Carly’s face. The barber pushed her head towards her chest and flicked on the switch of his clippers. He put them at her nape and had them run upwards to her crown. Carly felt the vibrating machine slide across the skin of her head, mowing through her hair. It was a wonderful sensation she had never before experienced although she realized sadly that her luscious hair irretrievably was seperated from her head. The barber went back to her nape and the denuded area increased with each sweep of the clippers. After the back of her head was shorn the sides followed. He folded her ears to be sure that all of her hair would be removed. Only at the top of her head hair was present and now Carly realized that the waiting clients were looking at her, though some tried to do this not too openly, while the barber buzzed off the last remaining locks. He loosened the cape and pulled it away. He shook it out causing a shower of cut hair.

Carly thought that the job had been done but he whispered into her ear: ”Feel your head.”

Carly raised one hand and rubbed her shorn head: ”It feels prickly.”

”I’ll make your scalp as smooth as satin.”

He covered her scalp with with a towel, soaked in hot water and after some minutes he took it away and applied shaving foam all over her scalp. He took a straight razor and scraped the foam and the stubble away from her hairline to her crown, then from her temples to her crown and at last from her nape to the crown. He again rubbed shaving foam across her skull and used a safety razor to make sure that the last vestiges of hair were removed.

The scraping of the razor over her scalp made her flesh creep. It was an incredible sensation having her head shaved for the first time in her life.

Carly rose with wobbly knees. For the first time she seemed to realize fully the impact of her new look. She heard the barber ask: ‘Do you want to keep your ponytail, miss?”

Carly shook her head, amazed feeling no hair following those movements.

”Well, in that case I would like to donate it to ”Locks of love,” if you don’t mind.”

Not understanding she asked what that meant and he explained; ”It’s an organisation that collects hair to make wigs for poor girls who are…ahum…bald.”

Like herself, she thought, but she agreed. She looked at the mass of hair that only half an hour ago had adorned her head. So many years of growth destroyed in such a short time!

Now she had to face the people in her environment! Momentarily she had no particular boyfriend. But she knew a number of guys and with some of them she occasionally slept. How would they react? She expected she would have a though time meeting each of them for the first time!

”Well, let’s face the music and dance!” she thought.

PART TWO: KATHLEEN AND THE OTHERS.

Kathleen had difficulties in making decisions. She always was in doubt what to do. She didn’t know what to think about Ray’s challenge and she wouldn’t think about it. Till about a week before their next meeting. She was brushing her chestnutbrown wavy shoulderlength locks when the words of Ray crossed her mind. Could she ever do that: cut off her hair? No! Besides her stylist would talk her out of this idea and she, Kathleen would not be able to resist her. And never she would enter a barbershop! She became already shaky when only thinking about such a move!

Looking into the mirror she plafully grabbed a lock of her hair with one hand and with tw
o fingers of her other hand she made cutting movements, imagining cutting her hair herself. Rubbish, she thought and went to bed.

Friday night Kathleen had a dream. She stood in front of her mirror in the bathroom. With her left hand she took a lock of her hair and with the other held a pair of scissors. She opened the blades and shove them into her hair near to her scalp…At that moment she awoke.

”My goodness, that’s weird!” she said to herself. ”What is going on?”

She couldn’t catch the sleep again and restlessly lay thinking about Ray’s challenge.

”Would any of the others have accepted the challenge? And who? Carly? Noelle? Ilona?”

She couldn’t believe it. At last she fell asleep.

Next day, Saturday, all nine would meet in the afternoon and this time they would gather at Kathy’s place and later go out to a restaurant to have dinner.

As the first Carly arrived, purposely considerably too early. Carly’s head was covered with a scarf but as soon as she was inside she pulled it off exposing a shining dome. Kathleen gasped: ”Oh my, you did it! Why?”

”Why? Don’t you remember our wager?”

”Of course but I can’t understand that you did this to satisfy Ray.”

”I didn’t do this for Ray, I had my head shaved to show that he is wrong.”

”Okay, okay, but he isn’t worth to make such a sacrifice for.”

Carly grinned. She didn’t tell her friend that she regretted the loss of her luscious locks. She did but at the same time she felt a sort of triumph that she had had the courage

”Yeah, what do you think how surprised Ray will look?”

”He’ll look foolish I think.”

”Sure, and Kathleen, how about you?”

”What do you mean, Carly?” Kathleen asked uneasily.

”What if at least two of us………”

”Oh no…..!”

”Wait, Kathleen, you don’t know if Ilona or Noelle have had thoughts. Didn’t you have them?”

”I had a dream. I was about to cut my own hair myself but I woke up.”

”Kathleen, if we both present us with with shaved heads…..that would cause an impact!”

”Carly, please!”

”Come on, don’t be such a wimp! I did it and you are going to do it too!”

”It’s too late already. And certainly not I’ll have it done in a barbershop.”

”You don’t have to. I’ll do it! I brought all the necessary tools.”

Kathleen was browbeaten by Carly’s coercive attitude.

”Therefore you came so early?” she whined.

”What d’ye think?” Carly dragged her friend to the bathroom and shoved her on the lavatorybowl. She took a towel and draped it around Kathleen’s shoulders.

”I don’t know if I want this,” Kathleen moaned but she remained sitting. She felt her resistance fade away.

”Listen Kathleen, don’t bother me any longer. I’m going to shear your hair off, okay?”

Kathleen nodded, she couldn’t any longer match her friend.

Carly plugged in a pair of clippers. flicked on the switch and put them at Kathleen’s hairline. Quickly she swept them through the thick hair from front to nape, leaving in its wake a broad path of stubble. Carly didn’t pause and took the clippers again at he hairline. The next stroke was situated just right to the first. And so on. Curtains of hair felldown and soon the right side of Kath’s head was denuded. And just as soon the left too. A few sweeps criss-cross across her scalp and the operation was finished.

”There you are, Kath,” Carly said. Embarrassed Kathleen rubbed with both hands her shorn head. She had risen and looked at her image in the mirror.

”I can’t believe it,” she whimpered, ”how could I let you do that to me?”

”Well, it happened, just as it happened to me.”

Carly dusted off Kathleen’s head saying: ”We have better clean up the mess as the others will soon arrive. Perhaps I’ll be able to shave you smooth and clean later. No more time now.”

They had just shoved the mass of hair into a wastebin when the frontdoor chimed

”Oh my goodness!” Kathleen cried, ”I can’t open up.”

”Of course you can,” Carly grabbed an arm and dragged her to the door. ”Come on, we’ll show up together. Let’s face the music and dance.”

With those words she opened the door……..

Seven persons outside stood dumbfounded initially, then a cacophony of cries, exclamations and questions burst out.

After restoring of the order Ray said: ”Well, I’m impressed and I withdraw my statements. But…..only two have had the guts. How about the other two?”

Noelle protested: ”The deal was: if anyone of us girls would have the guts, not all of us girls.”

This was met with general agreement of others but some of the guys began to tease Noelle and Ilona and soon everyone joined in and the two girls became uneasy.

Carly said that she just had cut off Kathleen’s hair and that she was available and would like to rend her services to give the other two the same treat which caused loud approval.

”Oh yes,” cooed Kathleen, ”She is really good, feel my dome, sooo cool!” One would almost say that she was glad with her depilated scalp!

Ilona said: ”I can’t do that, I would lose my job.”

”You told me that your contract has been dissolved already,” Matt said. Ilona had a job at a highschool as temporary staff.

”But I do have to find a new job,” she objected, ”No one will accept a bald female teacher.”

”Hey Noelle, how about you? someone yelled.

”I’m going to be married next month,” she answered.

”Well, a bride with a shaven head, that would be original,” Ray remarked.

”I don’t think my husband would approve that.”

”Come on, if his love is dependant on your hairstyle you should better not marry.”

Clint brought on: ”Are’nt you Jewish, Noelle? Isn’t it true that a Jewish girl has to shave her head when she gets married?”

”I’m not religious, Clint, and David is a liberal Jew. Only ulra-orthodox Jews have that habit.”

”Nevertheless, it is a tradition in Judaism.”

”Not in our families, Clint.”

”Hey, stop that!” yelled John, producing a few bottles of brandy. ”Let’s have a drink.”

The alcohol caused a jolly ambiance. The guys took care that Noelle and Ilona were amply provided with drinks and forced them to down their glasses while Carly and Kathleen avoided to drink too much.

While the boys increased their teasing of the two girls the latters resistance diminished. So it wasn’t surprising that a giggling Noelle let herself drag along to the bathroom by Carly and Kathleen.

She was shoved on the lavatorybowl and Carly plugged in the clippers. Noelle had a head of red curls and Carly ploughed through them and masses were sent to the floor. Meanwhile the guys pushed a resisting Ilona towards the place of execution and the girl made a halt, aghast when she saw the shorn head of Noelle and the mass of red hair on the floor. But she had not the ghost of a chance against the superior numbers. It was her turn and her jetblack straight chinlength bob had vanished within a few minutes, loudly cheered by all attending.

No time for shavings any more, three cabs were ready outside to drive the company of nine to the well known restaurant they visited every month. It needn’t to be mentioned that the appearance of four bald girls caused a thrill. But the waiters were enough professional men to show no surprise!

”Now it is your turn, Ray,” Carly told him, ”When will we see you bungyjumping.”

”Oh well, soon I think. I assume that you insist me doing it?”

”Sure, absolutely, Ray, absolutely!”

The end.

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