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1975 had been declared the year of Nationality. Many celebrations and parades were scheduled that year and students of all high schools across the country had to participate in such events .I was appointed to participate in the Opening of the National Hero Mausoleum which was to be placed in the heart of the Capital. I was 16 years old by then, yet that day I looked much younger and would look even much younger in the hours to come. I was dressed in my high school classic uniform which consisted of shirt, tie, dress shorts, knee socks and oxford shoes. It made me look younger, and though most adults love to feel younger, as a teenager I hated to look like a younger boy.

As we entered the barracks of United Major State building, a girl dressed in tight jeans, her hair falling free to her waist, passed by, and as she passed, we exchanged glances, she smiled at me and winked. It made me feel that in spite of my childish look I could still wake some attraction on girls. And I wished I could see her afterwards and talk to her.
She followed her way greeting several cops, male and female, that crossed her way. I wondered for a moment what a lovely and beautiful girl like that could do in such sober and disciplined environment, where jeans, sandals and free long hair were considered offensive and almost obscene.

Once inside the barracks in which we were supposed to receive instructions and training for the parade, boys and girls were separated in two groups. Our uniforms were inspected, ties in proper position, shoe shine, socks to the knees, and so on. Then we were informed that we were going to be given a proper hair style.

I was the first among the boys to be called to sit on the chair. I was used to be sent to the barber when my hair touched the collar or covered the ears. In those occasions I would just receive a trim. Long hair was a must in those days,
and even though it was banned by the military dictatorial regime, boys managed to keep it as long as they could, by using grease, hair fixer, and even elastic bands to keep it hidden under the shirt’s collar. This time everything looked different though. There were no mirrors, no shampoo, no stylist.
Just a quite fat, short haired policewoman, in her mid thirties, who placed her open toe pump on the chair’s pedal and just looked at me and said : “here girlie.”

I sat. She wrapped a towel around my shoulders. I saw she took the razor, approached my right whisker and while I was expecting the usual trim that kept it looking straight at ear lobe level I felt the blade above the ear, and in less than one second my whisker was shaved off. At sixteen, whiskers would take long to grow and I had been growing it for several months by then. I was frozen and startled ,and the shaving without lather really hurt me. “Come on, are you a man or not, Let’s go for the other one” said the female barber cop .

Then after peeling my two whiskers off and without me even noticing it, she took the clippers, placed them on the back of my neck, and only then she turned them on. All at once I felt the cold of the blades make their way from the back to the top of my head. Then the sides. Then razor on the back of my neck and around ears. And finally some grease to keep in place the few remaining hairs on top of my head, some powder and I was done.

Then she made me stand up and put my right foot over the chair. She took the clippers and passed them over the naked skin from the top of my socks right under my knee to the rib of my shorts that were mid thigh length. She repeated the same process with my left leg. Then she announced:
“Now You look manly and at the same like a smart and cute boy. Ready to honour our flag and our country. ” And saying so, the barber cop whipped her nylon covered toes with the towel she had just removed from around my shoulders to rid of small hairs trapped on her feet. Then she used the towel again, this time to wrap it around the shoulders of her next client.

I could catch my reflection on one of the window panes. What had been a handsome teenage boy in jeans and growing whiskers, just a few hours ago, was now a cute and smart boy, wearing dress shorts and knee socks, and now his hair cut nice and short. I had lost all hope of talking to the girl who smiled at me at the entrance of the barracks. In fact, I would feel embarrassed trying to introduce myself and invite her anywhere. With my new look she would surely laugh at me.

Then, one by one the rest of the boys followed the same fate.

When she was about to call the first girl, another policewoman entered the room followed by a young girl dressed in cadet’s uniform. The girl marched from the rear door to the front of the room and stopped facing the barber. I wasn’t able to see her face but appreciated the long exuberant mane to her waist. Then the barber said :”Half around” And when she turned around I couldn’t believe my eyes. The girl who had smiled at me a few minutes ago was now dressed in a sober police uniform. Her waist length hair contrasted with the rest of her attire and was the only thing that seemed to remain of the look she had when we met at the entrance. We saw each other. It seemed that it took her a few seconds to recognize me with my new look. Then she looked at me, made a gesture of compassion, as if she sympathized with me for the change I had gone through and finally she smiled at me again. I felt sad for I noticed that she had not approved my new look, but glad for she still had recognized me and smiled.

Perhaps I could get to talk to her after all. But I wasn’t sure I would get to far. Surely a lovely girl like she ,with that lovely hair wouldn’t go around with a freak like me.

Then the policewoman who came along with her told the barber: This hippy wants to enter the police force. She behaved bravely when we got rid of her dirty fashion clothes But that wasn’t irreversible, since she could get new ones if she wanted to. Now let’s see how she does when she looses that glorious hair.

-“Stand firm” said the barber. ” Ready to show these boys and girls that your brave enough to change those hippy locks for a police cap?”
-” Yes ma’am.” the girl answered firmly

I couldn’t believe this was happening. The last thing I would have imagined when I saw her for the first time is that such a girl could be changing her look so drastically a few minutes later.

– Do you have a boyfriend?
– No ma’am.
– That’s better. Boyfriends don’t seem to like my haircuts and always end up
leaving the gals I do.

Then the girl looked at me once again, I was petrified.
The barber, standing behind the girl, produced a pair of scissors which the girl couldn’t see.
Then she said : “and don’t forget that good cops don’t cry .Understand?”
– Yes ma’am.

The girl’s voice was firm. Her feet also firm. Her body firm.
Then without her even noticing the scissors opened and with a big snip, severed a section of her beautiful mane at ear level. I saw her body tremble for a moment. Her eyes closed also for a moment and she bite her lips. Her hands hanging to the sides closed and her right hand caught a handful of hair that she immediately released. That was all the emotion she showed. Her eyes once again were on mine as the barber continued to cut a short bob around her neck.

Then the barber said:
“Now , the hippy turned into a cute girl. Sit down and let’s make the cute girl become a sober cop.
She wrapped the only towel she had around the cadet’s shoulders and took the clippers.
Don’t be afraid .I’ll place the widest guard so it won’t look like a man’s cut.
For the barber, a man’s cut consisted basically of two white walls at the sides and just a few hairs on top. Similar to what I was sporting now.
I think that the cadet knew it too and then, the only thing that she shouldn’t fear was to end up almost bald. But she was sure she would be butched.
She turned
those clippers on and passed them from back to top ,as she had done
with me and the other boys, only that this time, since the guard was attached, they didn’t leave the classic white path, but left 1/4 inch cover of hair all around instead.
Then she finished trimming with the scissors what was left on the top.

“Now here’s your hair substitute” she said placing the cap over her head.”
Now you won’t need to worry about your hair any longer.
Take care of your cap .Policewomen must take care of their cap as much as ordinary women do to their hair. And one of the reasons we peel the cadets is to make them wear the cap.
Since they hate their haircut they try to hide it beneath the cap. Don’t ever remove it while on duty. You could face a more drastic haircut if you do. One that will really make you love your cap and keep it on wherever you go as if it was a wig.
Now stand up firm and march.”

As she left the chair, cap on, she looked at me one last time. But this time she neither smiled nor winked. Her face was serious, cap on, standing firm. She marched towards us stepping over her once beautiful hair. One leg firmly on the ground the other high up showing pieces of her hair attached to the sole of her oxford shoe. She passed by us and left the room.

The girl I had seen at the entrance had captured my heart. Her beauty had kept
imprinted in my memory. I had dreamed for a while that we could be friends
and have a romantic affair. Now the girl had changed and my feelings toward her
suffered a strange metamorphosis too. But far from feeling rejection for the
girl that had just become a sort of strong police matron, my feelings went from
sweetness and tenderness to a strong desire of being under that brave woman’s
feet, and as her pace changed from gavotte to march, her leg showing their hard muscles protrude, as her feet firmly smashed the ground beneath them, some parts of my body hardened too, and to my surprise, I began to feel quite aroused.

Then the barber said. “Brave girl isn’t she ?.Hope some of you will follow her example.”

Then coming back to the group of students that had attended the cadet’s haircut
she took an elastic band, pointed to the first girl in the row and said
“You’re next.”
The girl walked trembling towards the barber:
The barber said “hurry up dear we don’t have all day.”
Then the girl fell to the ground. No one will never know what thoughts assaulted her at that moment. She would never wake up again to tell us. She had escaped the barber through the only gate that seemed to be open to her. Either
she was thrilled just to think of what could happen to her hair after seeing the
disaster that had suffered the cadet and fainted, or she jus was acting the whole scene in order to escape the shears.

There was great confusion. The girl was assisted by the paramedics. Then taken out of the barracks and on an ambulance.

After calm and order were restored the barber addressed to us. Specially to the girls that were nervously waiting to whatever might be done to their heads.

“Don’t panic girls. I will read the orders I have for students training for the parade.
Boys will be given a crew cut. Girls will not receive a haircut. Since most girls these days wear their hair long and free ,it must be put into a braid, ponytail or so.”
So I’ll just put your hair in a ponytail so that you will look neat and cute on the parade. No haircut for girls. Those are my orders.
Clippers will be left for the brave among you who decide to join the police
one day.”

“Perhaps we should have read those orders at the beginning. But I was ordered to read them now.
“I must communicate that your school mate died at the hospital a few minutes ago”

The students hadn’t yet recovered from the shock caused by the news delivered in such a cold manner, when the barber announced:
“Now let’s go on with the grooming session”
“The first girl of the row come here. And I want to see everyone’s socks up to the knees otherwise I’ll glue them to your legs.”

The way in which people and events were treated, coldly and rudely, somehow increased my arousal. I wished for a moment that all those feeble girls I had for schoolmates were buzzed one by one even if some of them wouldn’t survive. And I couldn’t wait to run for my brave cadet, and tell her at her feet that I wanted to be her first inductee.

Note: Except the part in which our schoolmate dies, this story is true. I’m married to the police cadet since 1980.

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