It was summer 2003 and I had moved to a new town. Apparently I was really in need of a haircut as my girlfriend commented “You look really shaggy babe.” She was right. With the move I had had not paid much attention to grooming. I returned “Yeah, your right but I am not sure where to go?” Chris stated with a smile “I saw a barber shop downtown yesterday when I was shopping. I will call and see if they are busy.” Shen went to the other room calling on her phone. I continued working on unpacking the kitchen as she returned. “Take a break babe. They can take you now.” A bit surprised I turned around to see her beautiful frame leaning against the door with a sly smile. I approached her giving her a soft kiss “See you in an hour.” I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. As I opened the door to make my way to the car Chris said “Ask for Cindy. She is the girl I just talked to.” Thinking nothing of it I replied “Sure.”
It was a quick 10 minute drive to the shop. The car barely had time to cool off as I emerged into the sweltering August heat. As I approached the shop there was an attractive woman sitting out front reading a book. She was petite with a cool style of dress with a black tank top and camouflage skirt. She had sleeve tattoo that covered her whole right arm. What I noticed most thought was her edgy haircut. It was buzzed all around the sides to the point you could almost see her scalp. The top was dark brown and pulled up into a knot on the top of her head. As I approached she looked up and greeted me. “Hi, are you Rob?” Surprised I stuttered “Uh, yeah.” She smiled replying “Cool, I am Cindy. I just spoke with Chris. Come on in and we will get you cleaned up.” She opened the door and I followed. The shop was nice but simple. There were two chairs with another barber working on what looked to be two brothers. The boy in the chair was getting a really short buzzcut that he looked like he didn’t want and his brother sat next to his mother as he rubbed his freshly shorn scalp. His mother sat calmly reading a book. Cindy motioned to the empty chair “Have a seat.” I did as instructed sitting down as she caped me securing tissue around my neck.
She placed her hand on my left should gently “You cool with a shoulder massage? It comes with our signature service. That’s what Chris booked for you.” Again a bit surprised I replied “Sure, sounds great.” The next five minutes were wonderful as she relieved the weeks of tension that the move had brought and the sore muscles in my neck and shoulders that lifting all those boxes had caused. It was over too soon as I came back to reality when she stopped as the door opened and the boys left with their mother. The other barber had finished the boys and walked back to her chair with a broom. She glanced in my direction. “Is this the gentleman whose girlfriend called in earlier?” Cindy replied calmly “It is.” She took a comb and began even out my hair. The other barber smiled “He is going to look great.” This left me puzzled as if she knew how my hair would be cut.
Cindy was working behind me when I heard her blow air from a hose behind me. Next a pop and buzzing filled the room. She placed her hand on my should asking “This will be a big change! Ready?” I sat up startled “I am not sure what you mean. I just need a trim!” Seemingly puzzled she turned off the clippers. “Chris already told me how you wanted your hair cut. Did you guys talk about this?” “No, I just thought she made me an appointment.” I replied wondering what Chris had done. “Oh, my.” Cindy exclaimed with a giggle. “You really don’t know. Chris said you wanted a really short summer cut.” The barbers exchanged glances with the other piping in “You should just go for it. It will be a great look on you.” I know I was blushing at this point. Cindy placed her hand on my shoulder again. “I wouldn’t do anything that wouldn’t look good and this is what Chris must have wanted. Let’s give it a shot.” At this point I submitted almost unknowingly. “I guess so. You are sure this is what Chris wanted?” “Absolutely. A lot of us girls love the confidence a short haircut brings out on a man.” She then turned her attention to the other barber, “Kate, what do you think we should do?” Kate replied as she evaluated me. She ran her fingers up the back of my head feeling the back of my head as her nails gently scratched my scalp. Instantly I was overcome with goose bumps. “He has a nice shaped head and would look great with a burr cut or short high and tight.” Cindy replied “I totally agree. Let’s start with the high and tight. We can go all the way if he likes it.” Kate laughed “If those goose bumps are real his is going to love it.” In that moment I realized I was not in control here and was about to lose my hair but I really had no idea of what their barbershop language meant.
The clippers popped to life again. “Here we go. Chin down please.” Cindy requested. I took a deep breath and complied. With my chin down she gently nudged my crown and steadied by head with her finger tips. The cold steel of the clippers touched my nape and I jumped a bit. “You are nervous aren’t you. Hold still, I promise it won’t hurt. Have you ever been buzzed before?” she asked curiously. “No, ma’am” I replied sheepishly and embarrassed. She calmly said “Relax, you really will enjoy this.” I lowered my chin again. Without another word she gently regained control of my head and efficiently passed the clippers up the middle of my neck to the crown of my head. I could instantly feel the exposed swath of scalp. I couldn’t see but it felt really short. She quickly made work of the remainder of the back of my head and moved to my right side starting at my right sideburn and clipping the right side of my head. The hair fell down the cape in clumps. At this point my scalp could feel the cool air conditioned air and the goose bumps returned. She must have noticed as she ran her nails of her free hand up the back of my head saying “Told you this would feel good. Kate shaves my back and sides every week. I will be sitting in her chair today after we close and I can’t wait. It’s really kind of addicting. You’ll see.” Cindy said smiling. As her hand had caressed my head I realized my hair was really really short but could not see because the mirrors were behind me. I was really curious as to how short she had gone. I also realized I was in full agreement with her prediction of enjoyment as I started wondering what I was going to do when she removed the cape and I had to stand up to leave the shop. She finished up my right side and hung the clippers behind me. Kate wandered over and glanced at Cindy’s work commenting “Those balding clippers peeled him quick.” Startled I responded “Balding clippers.” Kate laughed, “Oh yeah. She went straight skin on the sides. Cindy I think a triple zero would look great on top with a high fade.” “I agree.” Cindy stated. She picked up another set of clippers that made a loud whirring sound. As she placed them on my forehead I sounded like a jet taking off. What remained of my hair slid down the cape. She was done in no time and began blending in the cut with another pair of clippers that an adjustable lever. She finished by blowing me off with an air hose and a brush. She then applied warm lather to the sides of my ears and neck as she shaved my neck and around my ears clean.
Wiping me off with a towel she removed the cape and and spun me around to the mirror as Kate moved in behind her. Cindy asked “What do you think? I know Chris will love it!” I was in shock. I sat there nearly bald as they smiled at their work. Reaching up the feeling of the stubble again returned the goose bumps. I loved the feeling and didn’t actually think I looked too bad. “I kinda like it.” I admitted. “Knew you would.” Kate stated knowingly. Cindy must have noticed my issue saying “I will give you a minute. I will be right back at the shop front in a second.” She nudged Kate and the two stepped to the back of the shop. Blushing I quickly stood and made the best adjustment I could and walked to the front. Cindy returned momentarily smiling “That will only be ten dollars today as you are a new customer. It will be fifteen in two weeks when I clean you up.” I blushed again as I rubbed my shorn scalp and laughed. I gave her a twenty and walked out “Please keep the change and I will see you then.”
The drive home seemed to take longer than it had before as I wondered what Chris would say. I hoped she liked the results. After all this was her doing…at least that is what I believed.