Home » Language » English » Diary of a Crewcut (Part 3)

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I don’t know when I first really started to think about this either, but I had some dreams and feelings about short hair. I created a fictitious band that we would get on stage and give each other crew cuts, etc. Then we’d invite some member of the audience up and they would get a crew cut. And for the first time, I started to included girls in that group and they would cheerfully sit in the chair, get the cape and we would shear her away!

Probably the biggest influence that early on was Sinead O’Connor. She sported a crew cut on the album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. She sported an even shorter look that I discovered when my brother got her previous album The Lion and the Cobra. I wasn’t really that much into her music but I loved the shaved look on her. I wondered why any girl would do that. Certainly none did it in my sheltered upbringing in a quiet New England town. Going to college would open my eyes to that too.

Since I had sat myself down on that stool in the summer, I was paying more attention to people’s haircuts if they were short enough. Lots of younger boys had crew cuts for the summer, but I was most interested in older people deciding that they would get their hair cropped as well. I was just another one who had decided to do that and revisit my past. I am glad I did.

But then came time that I was going to college and going to a big city to attend. Suddenly I became exposed to more and more different people. When you go from a sheltered town with a pretty sheltered upbringing to a sprawling metropolitan urban school with folks from all over the world, you can’t live in that shell very long. I didn’t fit in very well at school and to be honest, I started slacking off of it. Not because I was a bad student, but because I just didn’t fit into that mold and I could not relate. I didn’t have any friends in the school and the few from my high school I couldn’t find there. None of my close friends went there and I desperately wanted to change to a school my friends went to. But I never did and I was too chicken to broach the subject with my parents. My grades plummeted and I was placed on academic probation.

The fear of being ejected from school at least got me back into some classes and I buckled down, getting decent grades. The probation was lifted. However, at this time I was paying most of my tuition out of pocket and I couldn’t afford it, so I had to stop attending and start working full-time.

But before I left, I learned another important lesson – I was exposed to women who, in the real world, sheared their hair off like I had done. Now, true many were Goth and punk, but I loved looking at their haircuts, seeing the bristle and the scalp hiding underneath. Suddenly Sinead wasn’t unique. She was certainly different, but not without those that appeared to think like she did. And I could almost reach out and touch these people, Sinead was beyond my reach. I couldn’t ask her why (I later learned why in an interview she had done) but these people, if I weren’t such a chicken, I could have asked.

But I was pretty secluded in my ways. I had trouble getting a new job and finally a friend got me into a toy store for the Christmas season. I had one duty, to sell people on this particular game console while another kid had been hired to sell people on the competition console. As people we got along OK, but to tell the truth I was far better at it than he was. He wasn’t that interested in the job (he wanted to work there but not doing what he was doing). I wanted to keep working there as well, but knew I had to produce some results before I could do that. Before the holiday season was even over, I was ringing up customers on the register and felt I was “in”. My sole claim to fame was selling two console additions to (then) Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tom Glavine. They were $300 a piece, and he got two, paying with cold hard cash. What a sale! I was just grateful I made a good sale, and despite that I didn’t have to “push” the console anymore while I was ringing, I did anyway. I was loyal to what got me “in the door” in the first place.

Well, that lasted a while, but the manager who hired me (he was a pretty good guy) got fired over some ridiculous thing and a new guy, a balding jerk came in to replace him. I didn’t like the new guy and started actively seeking other employment. Eventually I settled on the software store and got in there, just in time before the jerk cut all my hours off. As it turned out, he didn’t last very long either.

With the new job I found myself drifting further from crew cuts, having to wear a shirt and tie every day. I got settled into a routine and started scraping as many hours as I could together. I was trying to get settled in to be an assistant manager.

Before this turns into a full-fledged autobiography, let’s just say that I was kept going so much, working at all kinds of different stores that I had little time for myself, never mind getting back on the stool.

Then my parents decided to move. Now at this point I didn’t have a car (I did have a license, but I drove so little that I never really got that experienced- I was a terrible driver) so I relied on them to take me to the train station so I could spend about 2 hours commuting to work. I started to hear more and more from my father how “I should be less of a burden,” etc. I just had to bide my time.

Then a friend of mine asked me the best question of my life so far, “we’re going to get an apartment, do you want to join us?” I don’t think I even hesitated before I said yes. I wanted to be on my own, not having to listen to my dad gripe about me. I wanted to be free to come and go as I pleased.

And guess what the first thing I decided to do was when I was officially `all moved out’?

Not long after I had moved out, I had a pair of electric hair trimmers in my hand and I was gleefully mowing myself down to a ΒΌ” crew cut again. One of my three roommates asked me why I did it.

“I wanted to shear off my hair when I moved out, as a sign that I had shed all that crap I have had to deal with over the years.”

He seemed to accept that answer and slowly they realized I hadn’t exactly had the best life at home. My father was about as unsupportive as you could not want a dad to be, and spent most of his time angry about work or us kids. My mother, God-love-her, was the saint, exercising patience with him and us in our crazy kids antics. We grew up OK more because of my mom and our grandparents than any influence my father might have had, because he really had none.

Anyway, one night shortly after I moved out, I pulled out the clippers and I slid on the #2 attachment. I didn’t much care what people were going to think, I had made a promise to myself before all this started. I wanted to be shorn of the shit I had gone through growing up. I wanted to be sheared of bad memories and I was desperate to show that I wanted to cut my locks off and be “whiffed” and just as I had those few years ago when I had left high school. Life changing events called for radically, brutally short haircuts. My second life-changing event was on hand.

I picked up the clippers and while I was home alone, I proceeded to rapidly denude my scalp of my resident hair. I don’t remember exactly when it was, other than at night. I think it was during the warmer weather. I pulled out the clippers and quickly I was shorn of my hair. I didn’t waste much time with it, I knew I had to move quickly, lest one of my three roommates came home.

I can’t say whether or not my stylist skills had improved any since the last haircut, but I sure had hoped they had. Now, I was pushing myself to cut my hair and, despite how good it felt, I was on a mission to shear my scalp and crop my hair very short.

After a while, again as cooler weather approached, I decided that it was important to let it grow out again and let it insulate my head.

Of course, not r
ealizing that there wasn’t as much upstairs as there used to be.

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