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Here I was, at the age of forty-three, slowly walking to the barber chair for the first time in my life. I know this sounds strange being the only girl in a family of five children. But, I never had the adventure of going with my dad and brothers to the barber shop as I grew up.

But, I was always thrilled of their hair cuts when they came home, specially the summer hair cuts my bothers got. Dad had the barber, Joann, cut off all their hair into something called a "Buzzcut". When they were young their hair look light blond, so when she gave them their Buzzcut for the summer they look almost bald. For some reason when I saw them like this it sent strange feelings within my body. Feelings I could not describe or explain to anyone, even myself.

When they each turned fifteen dad allowed them to get their hair cut as they wanted, this slowly included letting their hair grow long, as was the case with Ken the youngest. The others, Bryan, Todd, and Mitch let their hair grow a little but still it was short considering the times.

Me on the other hand, mom always took me to the hair salon a few block from where we lived. Our hair stylist was Jean. She and mom had know each other since grammar school. Jean always wanted to be a hairstylist unlike many of the other girls they grew up with.

So, being the only girl, it was only sensible I would go to her. But, when mom passed away and Jean retired I found myself lose in a world that was always controlled by someone else, that included my husband. For the twenty years they were married mom kept our hair long, well just below the shoulders, like dad like it. The only cutting was ever two months to get the ends trimmed, other than that it was either curled, permed, and styled.

But, dad passed away two years ago and I found myself wondering around looking for things I knew nothing about. I asked around only to find it hard the information hard to find for a woman.

A week ago I decided it was time I took a vacation, my first by myself in many years. It was hard making all the plans that goes with taking a vacation, the planning it took just for a week’s vacation was hard to believe. But, here I am in a small town somewhere in the south of no where.

At first I found it surprising how helpful people were, especially at the hotel. But, it allowed me a lot of time to spend walking and enjoying things. The only thing I did not come prepared for was the hot weather.

When I say hot weather, I mean hot weather. The temperature reached in the mid to high nineties each day.

So, when the fifth day came around I was reach to try anything that would relieve me of the heat which was causing my hair to stick to the back of my neck.

I was sitting in a little cafe having a cup of ice coffee when I noticed this young girl, around ten, come wondering by, with her mother, with her hair cut extremely short ….. almost as short as when my bothers were her age. She looked as if it was something natural for a girl, or a woman, to have such short hair. The way she brushed her hand over her head ever so often. Her expression when she did this, the smile it gave her.

I wondered if I, an adult of my forty-three years now, could experience such enjoyment.

After about ten minutes of watching her I wonder over to their table. I smiled as I mentioned to her, "My you look lovely with your hair so short. May I ….."?

She looked at her mom, who smiled and gave her head a little shake of "yes". She titled her head a little downward as I nervously reach for her little head and ran my fingers through her hair.

Quickly a shiver ran up my arm, from her head, and down my back. I almost passed out from the weakness it gave me. After brushing my fingers through her hair a few more time I took a deep breath and removed it.

"May I ask", I inquired of her and her mom, "where did you get such a great hair summer hair cut"?

I was waiting for the little girl to answer, because I had asked her, but her mom quickly said, "At Crystal’s Barber Shop, a few blocks from here".

A ‘barber shop’, I thought to myself. But, weren’t barber shops for men and boys!

"Crystal’s Barber Shop", I inquired. "Could you tell me a little more, I am not from here. I am on vacation and not from this area".

The mother smiled and pointed, "I am sorry. You go two block down Diamond Avenue to Miners Drive and take a left. You can see the barber pole from there, the shop is in the middle of the block on your left".

"Just ask for Jeann. They charge women the same as they do men for a haircut, unlike many of the other barber shops and hair salons in this town", her mother continued.

I thanked them and quickly ran my fingers through little girl’s hair.

Again the shivers went wildly down my body. I walked back to the table I was seating and finished my ice coffee and slice of pie. I wanted to get up and go quick to Crystal’s Barber Shop.

But, instead I had another cup of ice coffee while waiting for the little girl and her mom to leave, which was almost an hour.

I sat a few minutes longer, paid the waitress and started walking down Diamond Avenue. While walking the two blocks I kept asking myself, "why I was doing this ….. I knew I would not go into a Barber Shop". For some reason my mind kept my eyes trained on the direction I was told until I came to the corner of Miners Drive. I stopped, my heart being to beat loudly.

My body stood still as my eyes moved from one side to the other looking for the barber pole, and Crystal’s Barer Shop. It took a few minutes for my eyes to come fixed on the barber pole, and another three minutes for my mind to tell my feet to begin walking ….. walking right to Crystal’s Barber Shop. Each step was a nervous step, my legs became weaker the closer I got to the barber shop.

My hands being to sweat, I could feel drops of water rolling down my arms, down my back, down my legs. My eyes were fixed on that little rotating pole, of red and white. It was taking control of my mind, telling me to keep walking towards it. When I reached it I stood still, my body felling wet from head to toe. I felt my short skirt stick to my legs, my blouse stick to my upper body. As I took a few steps closer to the shop my feet felt so wet I almost walked out of my four inch high-heels and left them on the street.

Then, like it was something planned ….. the sun broke through the clouds and shown right on me. I felt the warmth of it and my body became wetter. I looked at myself in the glass window but did not see any wetness, I just felt it.

My feet stopped walking just as my eyes came in contact with the front door to Crystal’s Barber Shop. I felt very nervous standing there as my eyes turned and looked into the large window.

I saw three large barber chairs, each had a lovely lady barberette at work cutting the hair of a customer. My eyes ventured more to the waiting area where I saw two young boys and a woman, around my age, sitting waiting their turn.

Nervously my right hand reached for the door knob and turned it open. As my mind pushed the door open a little bell rang my entrance. The barberette at the first chair looked up, smiled and said, "Hi, ….. have a seat just a few ahead of you". Then, she returned to cutting the man’s hair.

I slowly, nervously, walked to the middle of the shop and sat in a waiting chair in front of the barber chair in the middle. I looked up to see if there were any signs to tell me who was who. I slowly moved my eyes around the mirrored wall behind the chairs, looking at the mirror then above it.

My eyes moved to the last chair and begin it’s search for the information, there were little carved wooden signs with the names of Mary ….. Connie. Then, they found ‘Joann’ over the first chair, as you came into the barber shop. She was a lovely lady, as were the other two.

They were about the same age, mid to late thirties, height, and dressed somewhat alike. Each had on a soft light colored blouse, with matching skirt that was knee length. To my surprise each was wearing four inch high heels. I also noticed they each had fingernails that were just passed the finger tips, and they had the same fingernail polish, a bright red, as well as lipstick. The rest of their make-up was reasonable and not showy.

Each woman worked with the skill of years of doing so. They talked with their customer as if they were friends. My attention was drawn to the others waiting just like me.

The lady, about my age, was reading a magazine. Her hair was just above her shoulders and was a dark black color. The two boys were reading comic books, chewing gum. Their feet swung back and forth telling they were not that tall.

"Thank you Dan", one of the barberette, Connie, said as her customer, a man in his fifties, paid and walked out. "OK, Johnny ….. your turn".

One of the boys, the tallest just by a little, slid off the waiting chair and walked, still chewing his gum, to her chair. She had place a little seat in the big barber chair’s seat, then she helped him up to sit in it.

"Crew Cut", she asked him. "Or, are you going shorter this summer"?

"Shorter", the boy answered as he looked to the lady. The lady, the mother of the boys, looked up and shook her head "yes", then went back to reading her magazine.

"How short", Connie asked.

He took his right hand from under the cape and quickly ran it over his head, "ALL of it".

Connie looked at his mother, "Barbara …..".

She looked up as Connie said, "ALL of it"!

She again shook her head "yes", saying, "That’s what they want".

Connie turned to the shelf, behind the chair, and took hold of the big black clippers. She adjusted the cutting head, applied so oil, and ran the clippers a few minutes.

"One quick buzzing", she said as she tilted the boy’s head and begin moving the clippers up the back of it. The boy just sat their as his hair begin to fall from his head. Within a three minutes she was dusting his head sending any strands of hair into the air to float downward.

As I watched it brought back memories of the summer hair cut my brothers got when they were the same age as these two boys.

As he slid out the chair Connie called to the other boy, "Tim, your next".

Like his brother he walked to the chair chewing his gum and climbed into the seat.

"And, you", Connie asked, "buzzed, too"!

He turned his head to her and shook it "yes", then went back to reading his magazine. Within few seconds Connie had his head tilted and the clippers doing it’s work.

Before she could finish his hair cut, I heard one of the other barbarettes thank her customer, then he walked passed and out the barber shop. She looked at me, but I pointed to the first chair, and Joann. She smiled then took the broom and begin sweeping the hair that was on the floor, into a pile in the back corner of the barber shop.

Finished she picked up a magazine and sat in her chair and begin reading the magazine.

A few seconds pasted and I heard the little bell ring. As I looked towards the sound, the other customer had gotten out Joann’s chair and was walking out the barber shop. As I watched, my heart beating wildly and almost in my throat, she took her cape and was dusting her chair off.

"Barbara", she called. The lady, the boys mother, put the magazine down and walked to Joann’s chair. It was then I noticed she was dressed almost like the three barberettes, this caused me to look, again, at the boys to see they were wearing dressed clothing.

"You and the boys are dressed nice today", Joann said as Barber made herself comfortable in the barber chair.

"We’re going to a farewell party at Bill’s office", Barbara spoke as she was caped. "Carl Blackman, the Office Manager, has retired and today is his last day. So, they are giving him a going away party this afternoon and the family of everyone there is invited".

With the cape pinned in place Joann begin brushing Barbara’s hair from it’s center part.

"Be right back", called Mary as she followed her last customer out the door. "Going to the drug store ….. anyone want something"!

"YES", my mind said to me, "bring me back a large bottle of nerve bills". I saw the other boy sit next to his brother and continue reading his comic book. Both boys sat not saying a thing to each other.

"So", Joann asked Barbara, "what’s it going to be this summer"!

"Bill was taken to the new news lady on Channel seven", Barbara begin. "She has her hair cut short and up in the back …..".

"Say no more", Joann chimed in. "I have seen her and know the kind of hair cut she has. It was very popular thirty years ago ….. it’s called a Wedge ….. you’re going to look great with it".

"Then, say no more", Barbara replied cheerfully.

I watched as Joann begin sectioning her hair. She started by combing all the hair on top forward from a part that went from over one ear, around the back, to over the other ear. Not saying a word she reached for the small clippers, turned it on, and begin moving it up Barbara’s neck to the part.

Being I was seated in the center of the barber shop, I was able to see the clippers cut all the hair below the part then fall to the floor behind the chair. When I saw how short the clippers had cut her hair my body shivered cause goose bumps. I had to take a deep breath before I feel out.

Joann then combed her hair from the center part, all around her head. Then, with her scissors she begin cutting hair just half inch about the bottom of the ear. She started on the right side, cutting short section then combing over it, until she took the last "snip" on the left side. She combed the hair from the center part downward as she walked around the back of the chair to the right side.

"How’s that look", Joann asked Barbara as she looked in the large mirror behind the waiting chairs. "I could go a little shorter if you want"!

Barbara turned her head from side to side, tilted her head downward a little, then shook her head from side to side. Her hair fell back in place with the exception of a few strands.

"No, that is just right", she told Joann. "But, if Bill thinks it should be shorter ….. I’ll be back".

Joann smiled and patted Barbara on the shoulder and combed her hair again. She started on the right side combing from the center part downward, slowly to behind the right ear. There she combed a small section two times then sliding the first two finger of her left hand around the section at an angle.

Clicking the scissors a few times she opened the blades and slid it into the hair and cut the strands. She combed another section and cut it in the same matter. I watched as each section was cut at the same angel going upward toward the center of her head in the back. Then, she combed a section and cut it at a downward angle as she worked to the left side.

When she was finished I could see the hair was cut into a upside down "V", like the narrow end of a piece of wooden ‘wedge’. Joann then took her thinning shears and thinned her hair out a little. Next she too a pair of smaller scissors, combed a section of hair and cut along the edge but at an upward angle under the hair.

When she was finished cutting Barbara shook her head from side to side, watching how her hair moved just so little. She moved her left hand from under the cape and ran her fingers through her hair. A big smile came to her face, "Bill’s going to like this hair cut".

Joann undid the cape and let it slid down. She tucked a large white towel in Barbara’s collar, spreading it over her shoulders. Barbara uncrossed her legs and stretched them outward, as she stretched her arms outward Joann combed her hair off the back of her head and pinned it with clips exposing the buzzed neck

There was a winding sound from where Joann was standing. I could not see what was happening, but when she turned around my head told my mind what she was going to do.

Joann begin lather over Barbara’s buzzed neck, as she again stretched her legs outward.

Joann reached to the shelf and took hold of a small think object. As she reached for the leather strap hanging from the right arm of the chair, her wrist flipped the object, a straight razor, open and begin stropping the open blade over it. With the blade as sharp as she wanted it, Joann titled Barbara’s head a little and begin shaving her neck. She shaved the buzzed area to the skin, nice and smooth.

Wiping excess lather, she took the clips out and the hair fell downward into place. Joann then, using a round hair brush and hair dryer, begin brushing the hair to give it some height. Working from the front to the back, then around the back to the left side. You could see the height of the hair rise just enough to bring the cut to a lovely appearance.

She dusted Barbara’s neck and face, as she lowered the chair. The boys had walked to the chair, carrying her purse.

"What do you think", she asked them as she made a slow turn. They boys looked up and smiled. She paid Joann for their hair cuts and left. I looked around and I was the only customer in the barber shop.

Joann dusted her barber chair off, then looked at me.

"Can I help you", she asked as she motioned me to the barber chair.

I took a deep breath and slowly stood up, then walked toward her chair. My heart was beating slowly, my throat begin to dry. But, I sat in her barber chair as if I had sat in one many times before.

She folded the collar of my blouse inward then tossed the cape across me. She pulled it up and around my neck, pinning it in place. using her fingers the combed my hair outward and down.

"So, how can I help you", she asked me. I took another breath and saw the little girl and how happy she was with her hair cut. Then, I remember the two boys with the same hair cut, then my brothers. How I like the feel of the their short hair cut.

I closed my eyes and thought a few seconds. Just as I was opening them I spoke …..

"I am here on vacation but the weather has been hotter than I thought", I begin telling her, "and my hair has been sticking to me like you would not believe.

"So, I was thinking something short, just a little above the shoulder. Or, maybe above the collar.

"Awhile ago I saw this young girl ….. about ten ….. and her hair was cut really short, just like the two boys just left with their mother. Then, I watched you give her that hair cut …..".

"The Wedge Cut", Joann told me. "It is a nice short one. I have given a number of them so far this year. It would give you what you want ….. keeping your hair from sticking to your body in this hot weather."

"Yes, it would", I told her, my heart still in my dry throat, but my mind flashing the Buzz Cut of the little boys, the little girl, and my brothers years ago. "But, I would rather something a lot shorter. Something that would take awhile to grow back ….. say as the Summer months became Fall.

"I was thinking more like the hair cuts you gave those boys and a little girl I meant an hour ago while having coffee".

"Cindy ….. Cindy Smith", Joann answered. "Yes, she does look cute with her hair buzzed. I was surprised when her mother told me to do it. I was even more surprised she just sat there while I did it and no cry. She wanted her mom to get her hair buzzed but she could not ….. she is the manager of the local energy company and the big shots are coming to town next week. Said she might come after they leave for a buzzing".

"So, a Buzz Cut", Joann inquired, is what you want"?

I took a deep breath and told her "YES".

Joann begin combing my hair from a center part, combing it over the front of my shoulder so it would all hand there. I watched as she placed the comb on the shelf, then reach under it for the big black clippers. She turned it on and oiled the blades as the moved quickly from side to side.

She turned it off and shook the excess oil off, then turned to the back of the chair. I watched, in the large mirrors over the waiting chairs, as she placed her left hand on the top of my head and tilted my head downward.

"CLICK", the clippers came to life ….. this was it ….. I took a deep breath as I heard the humming clippers rise to the back of my head. I felt the cold oily blade touch my skin, then slowly move up my neck then the back of my head. My eyes watched as the bulk of hair strands slide into my caped lap. As each bulk came to a rest my heart pounded more. I slowly became wear as my breathing became quicker.

Slowly I felt coolness on my neck and back of my head. I knew I could not turn back, nor stop her. I could not even tell her I wanted a Wedge Cut, like she gave the lady before me, because she had buzz me completely to the top of my head.

The pile of hair in my lap grew as she stepped to the left side of the chair and begin buzzing the left side of my head. I was able to raise my head so I could look in the large mirrors before, just as she moved the big black clippers over the top of my head moving a large pile of hair before it.

Then, only to fall pass my eyes into my lap.

Joann brushed her left hand over my buzzed left side and across the back of my head as she walked around the back of the chair. My body did a noticeable shiver. She put the clippers in her left hand as the fingers of her right hand combed through what hair I had left on the right side of my head ….. combing it forward.

Our eyes met in the large mirror as she raised the big black clippers to the back of my head. She was smiling as she placed it and slowly moved it forward moving another large pile of my hair, only to fall pass my eyes into my lap. She repeated this until she had finished buzzing my head.

I stared at myself in the large mirror. I could not believe I did it. I just sat, like my brothers and the little boys before, as Joann buzzed all the hair from my head. As I moved my head from side to side, my breathing slowed ….. my heart fell back into place ….. it’s beat slowed. I was back to normal.

Joann undid the cape and let it slide over my arms and the arms of the chair. I watched as she reached to the sink and turned on the hot water. Slowly steam rose from it, as she tossed a white towel into the sink.

She looked up just as my eyes widened, as if asking a question ……

"Just going to wipe your head", she told me as she begin to ring the towel out and open it to it fullness. She turned and wrapped the towel around my buzzed head, the warmth of it took me by surprise and I took a deep breath as my head rose, eyes widening, as I felt it.

"Too warm", Joann asked as she saw my reaction. Our eyes met in the large mirror as we smiled. "Once you get use to it ….. it feel nice and relaxing. When I do it my body and mind tend to unwind and relax a lot".

I looked at her in the mirror, "When I do it ….."!

What does she mean! Her hair is not as short as mind. It is not buzzed. How could she say that!

Unless she has had her head buzzed once. Maybe she meant ‘when she did it’, not ‘when I do it’.

After the warmth begin to cool Joann begin rubbing my head lightly with the towel. It was as if she was washing my head with a wash-cloth, but with a little pressure. When she removed the towel I noticed my Buzz Cut looked cleaner and my head felt strange.

Our eyes met as we saw each as we looked in the mirrors. She was walking to the place the lather dispenser was …..

"Just going to edge the hair line", she said smiling at me, "using a little shaving lather and the straight razor".

Not knowing the difference between edging with little clippers and edging with shaving lather and a straight razor, I excepted what she said and relaxed.

She turned and walked to the right side of the chair …..

Then, for some reason she bent down just before she stepped to the right side of the chair. I looked in the large mirror to see if I could see her but could not. I turned my head to the right just as she rose …..

My eyes widened, my heart jumped to my throat and begin beating rapidly, my hand grabbed the arms of the barber chair, as my head followed her straighting up …..

Our eyes met as we staired in them. My mind was blank ….. I was unable to think of anything.

Her left hand raised to my right cheek and turned my head forward, so we were looking at each other in the large mirror.

I wanted to say something ….. to ask something ….. to do something.

But, I could do nothing but look at her ….. Joann had no hair on her head, her head was shaved smooth. I was breathing deep and shallow. My eyes watched her movement.

Slowly she begin spreading shaving lather along my hair line. Just a little ….. following the hairline from the right side to the left side. I watched as she wiped her left hand of the excess lather, then as she took hold of the straight razor. She took hold of the leather strap and stropped the open blade.

Then, she slowly shaved a little line along the hair line.

As she shaved across the bottom of my neck I found my mind wondering, my eyes looking at her head ….. her smooth shaved head.

How could a woman do that, shave her head!

Was she ill ….. Was she forced to shave her head ….. Why did she shave her head!

I could not keep my eyes off her ….. off her shaved head. She looked beautiful …..

When she finished the left side, she turned the warm water back on and placed the towel back under it. She placed the straight razor, blade still open, on the shelf. I watched as she watched me, as she rung the towel out. She turned and wrapped my head with it, pressing on it a little.

Then, a strange feeling came to my mind …..

A strange thought …..

Our eyes met in the large mirror ….. We looked at each other as if our minds were talking to each other. I watched as she stepped back to the shaving dispensor. I heard the sound of it dispensing warm shaving lather in Joann’s left hand.

I watched as she turned and removed the now cool towel from my head …..

I watched, not saying a word, as she lathered my head completely …..

I watched her wipe the excess lather from her hand and fingers …..

I watched as she took hold of the still opened blade straight razor …..

I watched as she walked to the right side of the barber chair, lower it until it came to a stop …..

I watched as she stropped the open blade of the straight razor on the lather strap hanging from the right arm of the barber chair …..

Then, to my surprise, I took two deep breather and stared at myself in the large mirrors as I watcher Joann place the blade of the straight razor to the center of my forehead …..

I watched as she begin shaving my head.

I was unable to say a thing ….. I could only watch Joann shave my head.

I could not think of anything. I saw nothing around me but Joann as she shaved more and more of my head. I slowly begin to feel the coolness of the air condition. But, everything else was blank.

"I see you are getting a nice summer’s hair cut", a voice commended.

I blinked my eyes a number of time, then they caught site of Joann standing behind me.

I looked up just as Mary was sitting in her barber chair.

"I am sure you will enjoy how much relief you will have with a Wedge Cut", she said as she looked at me. "Joann can does great short hair cuts".

I took a deep breath and looked at myself in the large mirror, just as Connie walked in and passed me. "Great summer hair cut", she said as she looked at me.

"There", I heard Joann say as I looked at my self in the large mirror. "Just like I told you ….. short for the summer and will keep your neck cool and the damp hair off it".

I blinked my eyes wildly ….. my mind came to life.

"I cut your hair a little shorter than I did Barbra’s", she told me as she moved her fingers along the weight of the cut. "You’re face can carry shorter hair. It could even carry a Crew Cut if you ever want to try one".

She dusted my neck and face off, pulled the cape from across me.

As I stepped from the barber chair I wondered what I was thinking about. As I stood by the waiting chair taking out money, to pay Joann, I looked closely at myself.

I had hair on my head ….. It was short ….. but not shaved.

I paid Joann, thanked her for the hair cut, and left the barber shop.

As I walked back to the coffee shop I tried to think of what my mind was tell me as Joann cut my hair.

Why did I see her with her head shaved ….. Why did I see her buzz my head …..

But, mostly WHY did I see her shaving my head ……

SO, do you think this is the END !!!!!

JimB Copy right (c) October 2004

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