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J. Goodman Brown sat patiently in the salon reception area, glancing at his watch. It was a few minutes before 2:00. He had never been to this salon before, but he had been attracted by the openness and brightness of it. The better to have a look-see around, he thought. “Borderlines” was new on the block. Goodman knew that well, as he kept careful track of the salons in his neighborhood and around his office. He knew the ones in which he could see haircuts in progress from the street most clearly, which had the prettiest haircutters, the most daring clientele, the best vantage points to watch haircuts from inside. He kept detailed mental notes. And “Borderlines” had it all – open chairs, cute haircutters, bold and avant garde-looking clients. It was the best he had ever seen.

“You might want to think about a haircut today, Goodman. Could be a good day for a haircut,” his wife of just two months mentioned as he left for work that morning. Not a problem. He thought about haircuts every day – nice short ones on cute perky women. Grace’s long black hair was beautiful too. It just didn’t excite him like short-buzzed severe haircuts on women. Of course, Grace didn’t know that. She’d be shocked and repelled. She was attracted to Goodman because of his conservative outlook and carefully planned life. Grace was even more conservative and – well, “uptight” was the word sometimes used to describe him – than he was. Goodman liked nice, predictable, “uptight” people. They were orderly and easy to deal with. Besides, no one knew about his secret passion for short hair. It was something he kept for himself – private and precious. His secret vice. Come to think of it, June, Goodman’s prim secretary – who always kept her long brown hair wound in a tight bun, much to his dismay – had also made a remark to him about his hair that morning. Odd that June would just come out and mention haircuts. She’d never done that before. She was usually very predictable and extremely businesslike. What was it she said? Just that question in passing: “Shall I schedule a haircut appointment for you, Mr. Brown?” Goodman was preoccupied when she asked, so he barely acknowledged the question. But, now that he thought of it, she HAD asked him, hadn’t she?

“Brown!” His boss had called him into his office that morning. “I wanted you to know that we’ll be meeting later today to discuss whether to offer you a partnership. I don’t know how the vote will go, but be prepared. Spruce yourself up. Get a haircut or something.” That was an odd coincidence. He wasn’t due for a haircut for another week or so, but Grace, June and Mr. Johnson had all mentioned getting a haircut. He must need one, he thought. Especially if they were meeting on his partnership chances. He had worked hard for years as a young associate, and now he had the chance to be a partner in one of the oldest and most prestigious (and most “uptight”) law firms in Massachusetts. So Goodman dutifully considered getting a haircut. Which was always a pleasure for him anyway. Not only the sensation of having his own hair cut, but also the chance to watch other heads being sheared. Maybe, if he was lucky, a nice short haircut on a pretty woman. And so, here he was at “Borderlines” – with its welcoming “Grand Opening – Walk-ins Welcome” sign and the cutest receptionist Goodman had seen in a long time.

As he sat waiting, Goodman had a little time to think. And now that he thought of it, even Reverend Wilson had looked at his hair funny today. Goodman had run into him on the street, while he was walking to the salon. He had recently done some work for the Reverend and the Reverend’s church, to which he and Grace both belonged and were active participants. “Thank you so much, Goodman. You did the church a great service. I wish we had more in the congregation like you,” he had said. But the whole time they spoke, the Reverend had seemed to be looking at his hair. It made him feel a little self-conscious. All the more reason to get a haircut today.

“Right this way, Mr. Brown.” The cute receptionist interrupted his reverie and led Goodman back to the hair-washing area. Had he told her his last name? He didn’t think so. But he supposed he must have.  Or maybe she knew him from somewhere, like church.

Goodman sat with his back to the washbasin and closed his eyes. He didn’t even hear the shampooist come up beside him. All of a sudden the water was running, and warm suds were coating his head. The shampooist had strong, sensitive fingers that massaged his scalp in sensual circles. He looked up at her. Like all the other employees he had seen, she was attractive, with a short blonde bob, and she wore a sleeveless turtleneck blouse that showed off her buff arms. But when she turned, Goodman thought he saw dark black nape hair, buzzed short. Where was the part in her hair? Was that a blonde wig? As the shampooist worked in some conditioner, Goodman tried to casually look up at her underarms – one of his favorite hair spots. He saw thick black stubble – a day or three of unshaved growth. His middling erection – which he had gotten as soon as he walked in the salon door – immediately hardened into a painful metallic shaft.

As careful as he had tried to be with his eyes, the shampooist seemed to notice where he had looked. She took a step back and raised both arms over her head, exposing both stubbly underarms. “Sorry. Forgot to shave this morning. Maybe I’ll do it right after I’m done with you.” Then she returned to working in the conditioner – but with a knowing glint in her eyes. As she leaned over to rinse out the conditioner, she grazed Goodman’s face with her braless breasts and ever so lightly rubbed her armpit area against his nose and lips. Goodman felt the soft, sandpapery rasp of the long-stubble underarm hair and smelled the sweet, musky, spicy scent of exotic flowers. The shampooist smiled, wrapped Goodman’s head in a towel and said, “Follow me.”

Goodman was led to a chair in the middle of the shop. A few seconds later, a woman in a loose halter top and leather pants walked up behind him. “Hi, I’m Leslie. What will we be doing today? Just trim it up?” Goodman noticed that Leslie’s ordinary-looking short brown hair also looked like a wig. No visible part, slightly funny gloss to it. It just didn’t look real. Normally, he would have been a little dissatisfied at that – he wanted to see that his haircutter took good care of her own hair. What could it mean if she had to cover it up with a wig? But today, he didn’t care. The chair he sat in gave him a commanding view of the rest of the busy shop. A few chairs over, an attractive blonde was having her dry-cut hair manicured short at the nape. By looking into a few mirrors, Goodman could see a good-looking older woman with thick salt-and-pepper hair getting a buzzcut – actually just a long crewcut, with clippers skillfully sculpting her hair directly over a fat wide comb. Behind him, an Asian woman was having her long black hair razor cut into layered fringes. Long tendrils of her shorn black hair snaked around her on the floor.

By the time Goodman turned his attention back to Leslie, he saw that she had been watching his eyes as they tracked around the shop. She had a strange look about her as she stood with her arms crossed, scissors in hand. Goodman’s shampooist was fluffing her hair/wig at the mirror directly to Leslie’s right. Then, she stirred something in a cup, lifted her left arm and applied a thin coat of shaving cream to her underarm with a short brush. Flipping open a straight razor, she shaved the dark bristles that still poked through the cream with short, deft strokes, wiping the blade on a towel. Then, after she had scraped the whole area clean, she reapplied more shaving cream to the same armpit and slowly re-shaved, this time with long, slow strokes. Goodman’s haircutter was fumbling in some drawers and placing various tools on her small counter during the shampooist’s shave. But as the shampoo girl wiped her now-smooth underarm clean of the last streaks of sh
aving cream, she said, “Hey, Les. Would you mind giving me a hand? I have trouble using the cut-throat with my left hand. You wouldn’t mind, would you, Mr. Brown?”

Goodman would most definitely not mind and grunted an excited “Uhn” in reply and shook his head a little too vigorously. Leslie said, “Well, if you really don’t mind…” and walked over to the shampoo girl. Goodman thought he saw a quick wink exchanged between them. But Leslie quickly mixed more of the shaving cream as the shampooist raised her right arm. With the way the mirrors were placed, Goodman had a perfect view of this shave also. Slowly, the girl’s underarm was again painted with the white cream. Leslie seemed to step to one side to make sure Goodman had a good viewing angle as she slowly shaved through the thick stubble. Three or four scrapes and then a slow wipe of the razor blade revealed the smooth skin under the shaving cream. Leslie repeated the process over again, unveiling more and more skin until the shampoo girl was again shaved clean. Then, Leslie daintily wiped away the excess cream. “How’s that?” she asked. The shampoo girl raised both arms, and Leslie ran her hands up and down both underarms at once, feeling for tell-tale stubble, rubbing in slow circles with her fingertips several times. Maybe more times than really necessary, Goodman thought. Then the shampooist turned toward him.

“Is this better now, Mr. Brown?” The shampooist raised her arms again, putting her hands behind head and exposing the freshly shaved underarms to Goodman.

“Very nice,” was all he could get out.

The shampooist then thanked Leslie and walked off. Leslie turned to Goodman with her scissors again in hand. “You seem to like to watch, Mr. Brown. Maybe we should go down to the next level. You may like it better there. Follow me.”

Goodman followed the haircutter to a spiral staircase in the middle of the shop, and the two of them descended the steps, with Leslie in the lead. At one point, the stairway got very dark and was lit only by blood-red lightbulbs. Arriving at the bottom of the stairs, they walked along a long, slightly curving corridor and came to a plain black door. On a small nameplate on the wall to the left of the door, Goodman could barely make out the words “The Borderline”. That wasn’t the name outside, was it? Now, he couldn’t remember. No matter, he thought. He followed the haircutter through the door.

Goodman walked into what appeared to be just another version of the upstairs shop: lots of nice chairs and good lighting and pleasant personnel. But as they walked, he heard Leslie mutter to herself “Don’t need this anymore” and watched as she pulled off her wig and revealed a super-short flattop – a small horseshoe of black hair on top, surrounded by shaved-down, high-and-tight back and sides. She rubbed her hands over her crewcut top as she walked. “Sit, please.” Leslie had stopped by a replica of her above-ground work-area. But here, at least five different hairclippers hung from hooks, including an old manual pair. Goodman sat.

“We don’t do trims here, so you’ll just have to sit and take what I give you. That’s the deal – take it or leave it.” Goodman was about to say, “Thanks but no thanks” – until he noticed the pile of blond hair under the next chair over. An upper-crust, socialite-type with perfect makeup and expensive shoes was getting sheaves of hair shorn off with a huge pair of humming clippers. She appeared totally oblivious, as though she were getting a half-inch trim. Instead, she was being shaved into a short crewcut, with only a slight bank of hair at her hairline in front. Two chairs over, a latin-looking woman was having the finishing touches put to a curly blue-black mohawk, the stylist etching the outline of hair with a pearl-handled straight razor. Behind him, Goodman could see a woman with her back to him, with her legs doubled up in stirrups. A stylist bent over her in front with a small pair of loud clippers. When her chair was spun around, he could see that her remaining pubic hair was being carefully mowed to a short crewcut. Remembering Leslie’s warning, Goodman still whispered “OK”.

“Allrighty then. Head down, boyfriend.”

Goodman put his chin on his chest – though he was still able to see the socialite’s crewcut proceeding carefully next to him. Most of her expensively dyed hair was on the floor around her, and the stylist was firmly pressing the massive clippers into her nape, buzzing the remaining hair there to just a light shadow-stubble. Then, Goodman heard a humming sound close to his own ears and felt the touch of warming metal blades. He watched as a clump of his hair slid down the cape in front of him. But at that point, he just didn’t care. A college-age girl was having a cape swung in front of her off to Goodman’s left. Her haircutter immediately began clipper-shaving her scalp, sending streams of long brown hair to the floor. Goodman would take whatever haircut he got if he could watch such things. Still, he trembled inwardly as he felt the machine move up the back of his head. He had no idea if he was being shaved as close as the college girl. His hair was tumbling onto his shoulders and neck, as Leslie quickly and mercilessly pushed the blades over his head. Actually, no – he wasn’t being shaved anywhere near as close as the college girl. Her head was already being lathered for a hot shave. It looked like the stylist had an old Gillette double-bladed razor in her hand and was carefully gliding it over the girl’s lathered scalp, long, languid stroke after stroke.

Directly across from him, a woman in her thirties was sitting down in a chair. The stylist pulled off the client’s wig to reveal a fuzzy quarter-inch buzz. But Goodman heard the client say, “Just a shave today. Haircut next week.” And she put her feet up into the chair’s stirrups, exposing her hair-tangled sex. The stylist picked up a pair of the manual clippers, and, squeezing the handles rapidly in her trained hands, began shearing off mounds of tightly curled brown hair. Up one side of the woman’s slit and over the triangle of hair above it, the clippers snick-snicked hair away. Goodman could see that only a short, uniform stubble was left behind around the moistening sex-lips. When all the hair was removed, the stylist whisked away the short cut-off remains and asked, “Blade shave?” The woman in the chair thought a moment and answered, “No thanks. Just clippered today. I’m meeting someone for a special date tonight, and I think I’ll want the extra friction.”

All during the woman’s pussy-shearing, Goodman’s own hair continued to rain down around him. He felt Leslie working the clippers over his crown, combing with quick, practiced strokes into his hair. Close by but reflected in several mirrors, Goodman could see a particularly hairy woman naked from the waist down on a massage table. The massage – if there had been one – was over, and a stylist was running an electric razor over the woman’s abdomen in small slow circles. The woman on the table appeared to have a thin line of hair running from her navel down to her pubes, which the stylist was gradually erasing with the razor head. The short stubble encircling the woman’s slit surrendered to the overmatched razor only grudgingly, as the stylist had to repeat the circular motions over and over.

Goodman’s attention was jolted back to his own haircut as he felt hot lather being applied to his neck and around his ears. “Almost done,” Leslie said. Only now did Goodman begin to be afraid. After all, he had to go back to work today. And he had to face Grace tonight. What would his hair look like? How would he explain it? Leslie rasped the straight razor gently around his ears, one after the other, then more firmly at the hairline on his neck. Just a soft grating sound and a subtle pressure told him he was being shaved.

Suddenly, Leslie spun Goodman around in his chair to face the mirror. “How’s that?” she asked. Goodman saw that his worst fears were silly. He had a longish crewcut, carefully sculpted and in fact extremely flattering to his h
airline and face. He liked it.

Before he could thank Leslie, she said, “OK, Goodman. You’ve obviously had a good time. Now let’s see if you want to take it to the next level.”

Leslie whipped the cape off Goodman’s shoulders, showering his hair all over the floor and took him by the hand down another corridor, this one twisting and turning at funny angles. Finally, they reached a long dark straight stairway. Goodman couldn’t see the bottom of it. In fact, from the right side where he stood, he could barely make out the left end in the dim light. Leslie pulled and down the stairs they went. The stairs began as regular, well-spaced, well-kept steps. After a few minutes though, they changed – different heights between each step, different surfaces, different angles underfoot. It was difficult to keep up with the sure-footed Leslie. Finally, after many minutes, they came to the bottom. Right at the foot of the stairs stood a grey door. It appeared to be carefully crafted and freshly painted. Only after a few moments did he realize that it was made of solid metal, something like pewter. A small metal plaque read “Unauthorized Personnel Only”. He read the sign three or four times to make sure he was reading it right.

Leslie opened the door.

Goodman stepped into the room and looked around. Again, it looked like the ground level salon at first blush. But not for long. In the nearest chair, a topless woman with four arms was simultaneously buzzing her scalp to a fine shadow and blade-shaving her pubic area clean. Goodman rubbed his eyes. He figured he must be dreaming now. Or maybe they had drugged him somehow. Another woman – this one totally naked, with long black hair – stood at a floorlength mirror. Although she didn’t seem particularly hairy at first, Goodman noticed that her dark underarm hair extended out beyond her armpits and covered her small breasts with a thick, short, brown fur. She was gently lathering her breasts with a bristly brush and shaving them with a ladies’ razor, being extra careful around her dark nipples. In a corner, two women sat face to face. At first, Goodman thought his eyes were playing tricks on him. But, as he looked more closely, he saw it was true: the women shared one head of hair. The hair rooted in the scalp of the one was held taut between them and equally well rooted in the scalp of the other. And as they gingerly held their joint hair between them, they each began to buzz the head of the other with portable clippers, giggling as tendrils of hair hung between them and sometimes fell to the floor and sometimes just separated from the scalp of the one.

“Grab some clippers and have fun, Goodman. Anything goes here. Actually, how about a trim? I could use a fresh haircut.”

Leslie slid into a nearby chair – a traditional porcelain and red-leather barber’s chair. Then she leaned over, adjusted some clippers and handed them to Goodman. “Here. Go wild.”

In truth, Leslie’s hair didn’t leave much to “go wild” with. But Goodman still excitedly popped on the clippers, pressed Leslie’s head gently forward and began shaving up the back of her neck. Small patches of velvety hair peeled away under the blades, leaving only the barest hint of stubble behind. Goodman repeated the process all around the girl’s head, freshening up her high and tight military cut. Then he noticed that where he had begun buzzing, the hair seemed as long and thick as when he started. “You have to be persistent with my hair. Sometimes the first cut doesn’t take, ” Leslie said. So Goodman repeated the process, clipping closely row after row again. Again he checked the nape, and again, it was as though he hadn’t done a thing. So, again he buzzed and buzzed, short hair flying all around.

When he finished going around the girl’s head a third time (which seemed to work), the haircutter ran her hands over her newly shorn head and said, “Let’s leave the top alone for now. It’s pretty stubborn too. But I need a blade shave on the rest.” So Goodman pumped out a handful of hot lather and carefully applied it to the sides and back of the girl’s head. Then he took a sleek single-blade injector razor and began shaving away the lather, stroke by stroke. He felt only the slightest resistance from the stubble as he slid the razor back and forth. When he had finished, he wiped away the excess foam and ran his hands up the smooth-shaven sides of her head into the untouched short flattop on her crown. The skin was like the finest silk, while the brushy hair on top was hard and springy under his touch. “Mmmmm, feels good,” the girl said. “But I gotta go. Have an appointment upstairs. Maybe I’ll see you again some time. But you keep having fun down here.” Then she kissed him deeply on the lips and caressed his hardened crotch with her right hand. With that, she walked back toward the pewter door.

Goodman began to tour the area awkwardly. So much was going on wherever he looked. So many strange, bizarre sights. As he walked close to a wall, an Asian girl in a short silk robe brushed against him. “I need a shave and a haircut. But don’t you think it would be easier if there weren’t so many funny angles to deal with?” And, without waiting for an answer, the girl stepped out of her robe and leaned her naked body against the wall, arms outspread, and tossed all of her hair forward over her face. Before Goodman’s eyes, the girl seemed to flatten and melt into the wall until all that was left was a sheaf of long black hair hanging from the wall above and a triangle of short black hair suspended below. “Buzz the top and shave the bottom please.”

It was the girl’s voice, but it sounded now like it was coming from the next room. Goodman dutifully pressed the clippers flat against the wall and began shearing off straight row after straight row of straight ink-black hair. Halfway through, he stopped to feel the 1/8 inch crewcut left behind, growing out from the wall – which was itself, he discovered, an expanse of warm, stubbly skin. Once the head-hair was all buzzed short (and it really was amazingly easy and quick to do on the flat surface), he gave the lower hair a quick buzz to an even shorter stubble and then shaved it clean with just a few strokes of a razor. Again he stopped to feel the soft, smooth fleshy-flat wall, rubbing both hands against the lower patch. “Tickles,” he heard. And slowly the now-crewcut and shaved girl morphed out from the wall, returning to her original form and picking up her robe. “Thanks!” she said and disappeared into the growing shadows.

Goodman wandered some more, coming to a well-lit area with a typical hair-cutting station. This looks normal, he thought. A stylist was there, sitting in her own chair with her back to Goodman. As he approached, she stood up and turned around, pulling Goodman into her chair in a single motion. She bent over him as he sat and forcefully pulled down his pants, revealing his now-painful erection. Then she looked up. Goodman saw, with some horror and lots of curiosity, that the woman’s mouth wasn’t a mouth at all – in place of a mouth, the woman had electric hair clipper blades. His eyes coursed down her body as she slipped out of her robe and stood naked before him. He knew he must be dreaming now. Not only was her mouth a hair clipper, her pubic area – instead of being surrounded by hair – was encircled by a dozen or so of what looked like Norelco electric razor heads growing in the curved flesh.

Goodman sat back in the chair, giving in to the dream. It had to be a dream, he thought. The woman lowered her clipper-mouth to Goodman’s groin, and he heard her begin to hum. Suddenly, he realized the hum was the buzzing of the clipper mouth against his bare skin. She had begun buzzing his own pubic hair, shearing it carefully but firmly with her “mouth”. Goodman felt the soft nuzzle of her nose and the pleasant vibration of the blades. Round and round his shaft the girl worked, then up over, shaving his hair down to stubble. Up and down, shaving and buzzing went the girl’s head. When she looked up, Goodman could see his entire pubic area covere
d in short-shaved stubble. Then the woman reached and touched his scrotum with her hand. Goodman felt a pulling and rasping sensation. He looked down and saw that the woman’s fingernails – which he thought had just been painted silver – were in fact metal and sharp as scalpels. She was now gently dry-shaving his balls with her razor-nails, scraping away the hair as she caressed him.

After Goodman felt the fingerblades pass over his entire sac a few times, the woman stood up over him. She brushed away the short cut-off hairs that clung to his lower abdomen and cock. Then she stepped closer and lowered herself onto his shaft. Goodman felt the usual warm walls of her womanhood encase him. Then, she shifted position, placing herself squarely groin to groin. The woman nuzzled Goodman’s face, trimming his sideburns with her clipper-mouth. And then, he felt the cunt-razors click on and felt the caressing razor heads shaving his pubic area all at once. The woman began to grind herself against him and Goodman ground back, hearing/feeling the short hairs being shaved away from his groin. It took only a few circular motions for Goodman to begin to come inside the woman, but still she pressed herself against him. Drained by his orgasm, Goodman collapsed back in the chair. The woman stood up, disengaging her razor-cunt carefully. Goodman was now shaved clean – which the woman tested by carefully running her metal fingertips over his now-smooth expanse of skin. Goodman pulled his pants up and began to wander around the seemingly endless room again. But suddenly, he remembered – he had to get back to work! Where was the door? Where were the stairs? What was he doing mixed up in this hair orgy? He could be fired! His marriage, his security, his reputation – all could be ruined. His nicely ordered life stood the chance of being ripped apart. In a panic, Goodman began to semi-trot around the room, searching for a way out.

“Good to see you again, Mr. Brown. This is a very special place, is it not? Glad to have you in this congregation too.” Goodman turned to see who was speaking to him. And there was Reverend Wilson, calmly shearing off random locks of Goodman’s secretary’s long brown hair. June herself was sitting patiently, enjoying her haircut and playing with herself. She had a pair of trimmer clippers in one hand and would occasionally shave off a puff of pubic hair and then begin rubbing her sex again. Goodman was in shock. Reverend Wilson! June – Miss Prim-and-Proper herself! He had to get out of here.

“Excellent, Brown. Glad you made it. Shows you’re not the stiff puritanical prig the other partners thought you might be. I’ll think we’ll have good news for you tomorrow.” Goodman’s boss was having his silver hair buzzed into a long flattop by a naked woman standing behind him on a step ladder while he himself was using a huge sheep-shearing tool to clumsily hack off the hair of a fiftyish but attractive and stylish looking woman. “Say hello to the wife, Goodman. Missy, meet Goodman Brown, soon to be our newest young partner.” The woman in the chair nodded, making her shearing even more haphazard. Goodman rushed away. As he stumbled along, he looked around. Wasn’t that Mr. Mather over there, the head of the tax department? And was that Mr. Hawthorne? Wasn’t he up for a judgeship? Goodman’s head felt like it was spinning.

“Pretty good place to watch – and do other things, huh Goodman?” The shampooist from upstairs – her wig now long-gone to reveal her own boot-camp buzzcut – had gathered up the long black hair of a woman in a chair and was chopping at it with a large Bowie knife. “I’ll be done in a minute if you want to play. Hey, check out the crewcunt that I just finished. Best I’ve ever done.” Goodman couldn’t stop himself from walking over and looking down into the seated woman’s crotch. In fact, it was an excellent job – short, even, enticing black hair buzzed to a semi-stubble around the woman’s fleshy sex-flower. But something looked familiar about that newly trimmed pussy, and Goodman’s gaze continued up the woman’s body. He knew those legs; he knew those breasts. He knew for sure the long black hair now being tossed willy-nilly about by the still-hacking shampooist “Grace!” Goodman cried out. There was his wife being brutally shorn of her glorious mane – and loving it! “Hello, Goodman. Told you today was a good day for a haircut. I’m going for a shorter look today – something you’ll like a lot, I think.”

Goodman Brown reeled back in shock. He grabbed his head in his hands and began to run blindly. He felt stairs under his feet and ran up, up, up. This must be a dream, he thought. I’ll wake up right now. Right now! Right now! But he didn’t wake up. He just kept running and climbing. After a time – he had no idea how long – he found himself back on the street in broad daylight. Where was he? Quickly, he got his bearings. He was only a few blocks from his office. He caught a glimpse of his reflection in the glass of a storefront. There he saw he still had his fresh, sculptured crewcut. What time was it? Goodman looked at his watch. But it was scarcely past 2:00 – and he had walked into the hair salon at just a little before 2:00. So was it all a dream?

Goodman knew there was no point in going back to work. He was ill. Something was wrong with him. Things like this don’t happen to him. He felt confused and lost. What had happened to his nice, orderly life? He returned to his office building, found his car and carefully drove home – waiting all the time for flashing red lights to appear in his rear-view mirror and for men in uniforms to carry him forcibly off to a mental institution. It was 3:00 p.m. by the time he got home. He parked his car and walked unsteadily into his house. “Grace!” he called. “I’m home.”

“In here, dear,” Grace called from living room. Goodman took off his jacket and wearily walked into his comfy living room. There he saw Grace – naked and with her hair butched down to a short, clean-looking crewcut – carefully shaving the head of the shampooist – who was herself running Goodman’s own electric razor over her pubis without looking down. “Hi,” she said.

“Oh, good news dear,” Grace said, as she wiped some lather from the straight-razor blade. “Your boss called a little while ago. They’re offering you a partnership! Mr. Mather and Mr. Hawthorne called too, just to congratulate you. Isn’t that lovely? I told you today was a good day for a haircut.”

J. Goodman Brown just nodded.

 

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