It was a Saturday morning when I looked in the mirror and knew it would be soon time for a forced trip to the barber’s chair so I took it upon myself to save the humiliation and go on my own.
I was spending the summer with my aunt and uncle in the city, my aunt loved to cut my hair. She had a salon chair and station in the garage where she sheared all the neighborhood boys and girls. She was infamous for giving the worst bowl cuts known to man so I really wanted to avoid that. And my hair was past my ears so I was a perfect victim for it.
As I made my way downstairs I didn’t notice anyone was home. Relieved I went out the side door into the garage and saw a frightening image.
There was my aunt getting ready to administer a haircut to one of the young girls who lived next door. She sat back in the big black leather salon chair looking timid as my aunt fingered through her shoulder length hair from behind her.
My aunt looked over to me and said, “if you hadn’t slept so late I could have trimmed you up by now, don’t go anywhere, your next. ”
And with that she whipped a shiny vinyl cape out infront of her victim and pulled it back towards her. Her slim fingers snapped it shut and secured the girl in place.
I stood still as I watched my aunt pump the chair up into air with the young girl looking frightened . I turned to go back inside and she said ” don’t go far, you hair is getting snipped today” I shook in fear and replied, ” yes mam.”
I could hear the the hydraulic pump moving upwards as she pushed down on the lever.
I went inside the house.
My heart was racing, I did not want a bowl cut . So I gained the courage and ran out the front door to downtown where I could decide my own fate.
I knew my aunt would be mad but screw it, I was old enough to get my own haircuts. I first came across a hair salon where I could see barberettes snipping gently at comfortable clients so I entered and waited a moment until a young stylist looked in my direction and greeted me.
” Can I get a quick haircut” I asked.
” Sorry sugar we are booked up today, come back tomorrow and my chair will be free.”
But I didn’t have time, I needed to get in a chair and caped today.
I declined and walked out disappointed, but my search wasn’t over.
Across the street was a barber shop so I headed for it.
I opened the door and a bell chimed notifying my entrance. My first sight was a young boy my age trapped in a large red barber’s chair being held down by a striped caped. He was getting a buzz cut.
The old barber held the poor boy’s chin tightly as he mowed over and across his head.
The barber looked over at me and said, ” sit down and I’ll get to you shortly.”
I did just that, I sat down and watched as he almost angrily reduced the boys hair to nothing.
And then suddenly he ripped the cape from the clients body and shook it out. Hair flew to the floor as the boy climbed down from the big chair and payed before he left.
The old barber looked at me and said” get up in the chair and let’s get you clippered.” He spun it to face me and patted the back of it.
I was not liking this one bit, I was trading one miserable haircut experience for another one.
I stood up and walked slowly towards the barber chair and turned to sit back. He grabbed my shoulders and pulled me back into the soft leather seat and immediately started pumping the chair into the air higher and higher. I was spun to face the mirror before he threw the cape around me and fastened it shut. He tossed my hair dissapointingly and said, ” say goodbye to it young man”
I felt fear come over me and suddenly the phone rang.
” Sit tight” he said before he walked to back of the shop to answer it.
I was left there caped on the chopping block ready for my doom. I looked down at the floor and saw hair everywhere. My hair would soon be in the pile if I didn’t do something quick.
So I pulled the cape from my neck and jumped down from the chair. I ran out of the barber shop and turned two corners before I looked back.
It crossed my mind that I would soon be getting a bowlcut from my aunt because I didn’t know of anywhere else to get a haircut today.
I excepted my fate and started back towards her house where she would almost certainly be sitting cross legged in her own salon chair enjoying a pre ritual cigarette.
Then out of the corner of my eye I spotted another salon. It was called Rosa’s Cuts.
I crossed the street towards it and I as I walked up onto the curb a gorgeous older latino lady exited with a fresh smelling perm.
I questioned to myself if this was a good idea but opened the door and walked in any way.
There was a salon chair sitting in the middle of the room. It was a large grey leather chair and a beautiful also latino women sat in it. She was kicked back lighting a cigarette between her pouty red lips with her legs crossed.
She looked over at me and said, ” are you lost? ” in a thick accent.
” No, I just need a haircut, can you help me please.”
She exhaled smoke as she uncrossed her legs and stood up out of the chair. Her leather leggings rubbed against the salon chair as she moved upwards.
I was completely excited at the sight of this and prayed secretly she would have me in her chair.
She snubbed out her cigarette in the ashtray of the salon chair’s arm rest and said ” have a seat, let’s see what we can do”
I walked towards the comfortable looking chair and disturbed a cloud of smoke as I got closer.
I could smell her perfume as I lowered myself into the plush seat.
I was out of my element but it was a rush to my senses.
” I’m more of a women’s stylist but I can trim you up” she said as she turned the chair to face the mirror.
I shivered as I felt her long nails rake up my neck into my hair, she laughed and smiled at me through the mirror.
She flung a thick vinyl cape out in front of me and let it settle over my body, it felt like it weighed ten pounds as it covered me entirely.
” So what kind of haircut are you here for?” She asked as she played with my hair.
” I just need it above my ears but no bowlcut please”
She laughed and placed her hands on my shoulders before I felt the chair start to climb upwards.
Her leather pants rubbed between her thighs as she pushed down on the chairs pedal with her high heels. Every jolt of the chair sent a chill up my spine and reminded me how happy I was not to be in my aunts chair.
This barberette was a knock out beauty. She had tan skin and curly black hair to her shoulders and vuluptuous from top to bottom.
” So what has you so scared of bowlcuts?” She asked inquisitively as she fingered through my hair with her long nails.
” Well my aunt was suppose to cut my hair today and all she gives is bowlcuts , I just narrowly avoided her chair and cape to come downtown for a haircut.
The barberette looked at me strangely through the mirror and placed her hands firmly on my caped shoulders.
” Are you Lynn’s nephew?
” Yes I am, do you know her?”
Her grip became tighter as she stared at me and replied” yes I know Lynn, she use to run the barber shop across street.”
” That’s her” I replied.
” I don’t know how I feel about crossing Lynn” she said.
The barberette was making me nervous now, she was holding me in the chair with a firm grip as she seem to be pondering her next move.
Then she unsnapped the thick cape and closed it shut tighter as if to secure me more in place.
I was squirming in the big salon chair now and I could see the fear on my face as she examined my hair further.
And then she said ” doll, if Lynn wants a bowlcut, that’s what your getting.”
I sank in the chair with disappointment, I had been defeated.
Rosa the barberette stomped down on the hydraulic pedal a couple times notching me up higher and spun me away from the mirror.
” Please ” I begged .
” No way honey, sit still, it will be over soon”
And that was it, I was getting a bowlcut.
She released her hands from my shoulders and walked to the counter in front of the mirror. I heard her fidgeting around and then felt her place something on my head.
It was a plastic bowl that sat just above my ears, this was the definition of humiliation.
Then I heard her scissors snap open and shut a couple times before I felt them against my neck line and start snipping away slowly at my hair.
I couldn’t see what was happening but it was all the same.
As I faced the front of the shop, Rosa cut methodically around the back of my head just under the bowls edge.
And then I saw a cute girl approach the front door of the salon and head in.
I was unhappy about this, I didn’t want anyone to see me being treated this way, I was on the verge of tears.
She opened the door and walked in and looked at me immediately, she was obviously another hairdresser. She had on a black leather cutting apron tied tightly around her waist and spoke to Rosa in Spanish.
They both laughed and I felt the chair start to rotate as the barberette stood stationary and snipped away as the chair with me in it turned a 360.
My hair fell in clumps to my shoulders and lap and the shears were now above my eyes.
And with two quick snips my bangs were gone.
Rosa bumped the chair with her thigh and I swung back around to face the mirror where through the reflection I could see the new barberette taking a seat in her empty styling chair.
She sat back and crossed her legs and turned herself to face me.
Rosa and her spoke again in Spanish and more laughter erupted as she jossled my hair to shake loose the cut strands.
The cute barberette pulled a virginia slim from her apron pocket and lit it while still in conversation with Rosa.
Then she stood and walked over behind me and started playing with what was left of my hair.
With the hand holding her cigarette she flipped at my bangs and looked unapprovingly. The smoke ran up my nose and was sharp, her wrist brushed my nose and her perfume on her soft skin nearly knocked me out.
Rosa seemed to agree with whatever she was saying and suddenly produced a smaller bowl.
She handed it to the younger stylists and she placed it on my head.
About a quarter inch of hair hung below the bowls edge, she pulled her scissors from her pocket and placed her virginia slim between her lips.
The she placed the shears above my eyes and started snipping a line under the bowl. More hair fell down over my face and into my lap.
She placed her hand on the chairs armrest and started spinning the chair slowly and snipping with the other untill I had spun around her completely and now facing the mirror again.
I was like a fly stuck in a trap, the two were having there way with me. And it was beginning to look worse than what my aunt would have done.
The younger barberette placed herself behind me and took a drag from her cigarette. She shook her hands through my hair and nodded to Rosa.
I was begging silently for this to end as I gripped the puffy leather armrest.
Rosa snatched her clippers from the counter and placed herself behind me.
I heard the hum get closer and then the sensation hit my neckline and I felt the cool air touch my skin where she buzzed. Little hairs flew to the floor as she worked up my head around my ears.
The younger barberette smoked from her chair and watched as Rosa gave me the very haircut I was trying desperately to avoid. Through the mirror I could see the transformation happen. I looked helpless under the black shiny cape, the chair sitting high in the air, even if I wanted to I couldn’t of escaped. I was trapped as it took place.
I had stopped squirming at this point and accepted my fate. The clippers were clicked off and it seemed this haircut was over.
Rosa spun the chair around to examine her work. She ran her fingers up my neckline and over my head moving what was left around looking for missed hair to cut further.
I was about to beg for her to just buzz zit all off when I felt the chair drop to the floor. With a soft bristled brush, she knocked away the hairs from my neck and face.
I was still trying to figure out how I ended up in this predicament when she unsnapped the cape and whisked it off me.
I looked in the mirror again and was once more disappointed with the outcome.
The younger barberette spoke again in some Spanish and they laughed.
Rosa pushed me up out of the chair and said
” Tell Lynn Rosa took care of you free of charge today.”
I walked towards the door through a cloud of perfume and smoke and exited as they giggled behind me.
I crossed the street and headed home thinking well at least my aunt got her way one way or another.
And then as I passed the barber shop I fled earlier I saw the same old barber sitting back in his chair waiting for a client.
I stopped to ponder and made the decision to enter.
He looked at me surprised and said” what the hell happened to you and your hair?”
I replied ” long story, I need a buzz cut”
” that’s all I give” he said as he stood up and pointed to the chair.
I walked to it and sat back into it.
He threw the cape around my body and kicked down on the lever to pump me up higher to working height .
He was licking his lips as I inched upwards and I didn’t even care.
The sound of the clippers roared beside my ears and I welcomed it.
As he gripped my chin and maneuvered my head around I felt at ease and was happy to be his victim.
The haircut only took about 5 minutes where as Rosa kept me captive in her chair for almost 20.
He whisked the cape off me and lowered the barber chair, I jumped up and payed him gladly.
I headed home and began to realize I was going to have to face my aunt.
As I got closer to the house, the real worry set in and as I walked through the door I was now panicking.
Lynn was standing right there waiting for me.
She grabbed my shirt and pulled me towards the garage door and out into the garage.
I was pushed into the chair and told to sit still, the shiny cape was in the air in front of me now and I was starting to wonder what was gonna happen, my hair was already plenty short.
She went to the counter and picked something shiny up and held it behind her back as she walked behind the chair.
I jumped when I felt the chair start to move upwards as she pumped the lever with an evil grin.
It stopped suddenly and she placed one hand on my shoulder and held up a straight razor with the other.
I gulped and started apologizing, Lynn wasn’t having it.