Cake and Cuts

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Seemed like a good enough Saturday so far. We were celebrating my best friends birthday at the science center downtown and things were coming to an end. Tommy’s mother cut the cake and the presents were opened, not to mention we were stuffed with pizza.
Tommy’s mom had mentioned that she had a special surprise for all of us at the end of the day and I was beginning to get excited about what could top off this perfect party.
The party came to a close and we corralled to the door.
Tommy’s mother said ” everyone follow me” as she led us out the door and down the busy street. We joked and laughed as we teetered down Main Street towards our group surprise.
I wondered what she could possibly have in store for all 5 of us.
” Were getting closer ” she said with a smirk on her face as we turned a corner.
And then we came to a stop and she looked us right in the eyes and said” we are here boys, every one inside.”
We stood motionless in front of a spinning barber pole.
This had to be a mistake, I thought. What kind of birthday party comes with haircuts.
We all began to fidget as she came to the end of the line and pointed over us towards the door to go in.
” But mom, please we don’t won’t haircuts today” Tommy murmured.
” Hush, I promised all your mothers you would have trips to the barber chair and we are here now to do it”
I was about to run but was already being pushed inside the door.
Barbershops are scary enough and when your being forced inside one it really takes on a new fright. It’s like walking to the gallows.
I had never been in this barbershop either.
Once inside the smell of cigarettes and shaving creams took over my senses.
The sound of scissors snipping and clippers buzzing filled the air.
This barbershop had 3 chairs and 3 barbers all working busily.
Their clients sat helpless caped up in the big chairs as their hair was reduced to nothing before their eyes.
I could already see myself sitting trapped in one of the barberchairs and grew nervous.
My hair was below my ears too so I knew that any barber would love me in his chair, the perfect unwilling victim.
The barber who owned the shop turned to look at us and said” hello there, my what a bunch of shaggy fellas, don’t worry well get y’all trimmed up soon enough. Have a seat.”
Tommy began to protest once again but his mother shuffled us to the waiting area and we sat down.
I was still trying to figure out how this happened when I heard one of the barber chairs being lowered to the ground. A haircut was over and one would begin soon. But who would it be……
The barber ripped the maroon silky cape from the clients body who was also a young boy who apparently didn’t want his haircut either
The young boy climbed down from the big barbers chair and rubbed the top of his freshly buzzed head. The barber took his money and turned to face us.
” Who’s the birthday boy ?” He said as he shook the shiny cape out and held it open like a matador.
Tommy stood up slowly and walked towards the barber chair. The barber waited anxiously beside the chair as his new victim slowly turned and sat back into it.
The big black leather barberchair swallowed tommy. His feet could barely touch the footrest.
And suddenly the barber swung the chair around to face the mirror and threw the cape out in the air infront of him. It slowly settled down onto Tommy’s body and covered him. The old barber left it loose around his neck while fetched a neckstrip and wrapped it tightly in place.
Then while he pulled the silky cape up to Tommy’s neck and snapped it closed he looked over to Tommy’s mother and asked, ” what are doing to day ?
Tommy’s mother walked over and sat in the open barbers chair next to tommy and sat back comfortably crossing her legs.
She pulled a cigarette from her purse and lit it.
As she exhaled the smoke she replied,” I think these boys would look precious with matching bowlcuts.”
Bowl cuts!!! I thought to myself.
Tommy turned his head to look at his mother with a frown and exclaimed,” please mom not bowlcuts”
The barber gripped his chin and turned his little head back forward and said, ” sit still young man.”
And with that our fates has been decided. We were not only getting unwanted haircuts, but it had been decided we would be getting bowlcuts today. The sight of tommy trapped in the large barber chair all caped up sent shivers down my spine. I could already feel the shears snipping away at my long hair and noticed my friends to my left and right were growing anxious too. None of us wanted to end up in a barbers chair today.
Tommy jumped when felt the chair jolt upwards as the barber stomped down on the hydraulic lever.
With every inch upwards he squirmed more and more as if he had not excepted the situation. The barber continued to boost him upwards with every push downwards on the petal while holding him in place with his hands on his caped shoulders.
Tommy’s mother continued to smoke and chat up the barber as if she didn’t have a care in the world.
Before Tommy’s haircut started 2 of the other boys had ended up getting chaired and caped against their will and I was going to be next soon enough.
They all sat helpless under the shiny capes sniffling away tears as the barbers prepared them for their snippings.
Once Tommy’s barber had him at proper working height, he pulled the shears from his tunic pocket and placed them above Tommy’s eyes.
Tommy’s bangs were now inside the scissors and with a quick snip they fell to his lap.
With the free hand the barber spun the chair holding tommy slowly while cutting in a straight line all the way around his head. As the chair spun around Tommy’s hair cascaded to his shoulders and floor. The barber snipped with precision a perfect bowl line above his ears and eyes .
When he was done rotating the larger barber chair tommy was back facing the mirror and saw just how bad it looked. I felt sorry for him but even more scared for myself.
The other barbers did the same to our friends. Hair piled under the barber chairs as the barbers cut mercilessly. All you could hear was the sound of shears snipping and chair hydraulics pumping as the boys were raised up and down for height adjustments during the cuts.
My stomach was turning, I was getting close to getting caped and snipped.
Tommy’s mother turned the chair to look at me and as she exhaled cigarette smoke she said” you will feel much better after you are in the chair.”
Who in the hell told her that? I thought to myself.
” I’m so happy I came up with this idea for haircuts, y’all are gonna be so handsome.” She said before she took another drag and then ashed in the chairs armrest ashtray.
I was beginning to think she had lost her mind.
No one wants to end up in the barbers chair against their will especially for bowlcuts. But it was clear her mind was made up and there was no fighting it.
Tommy’s barber was behind him again but with the clippers now. He pushed Tommy’s head forward so his chin touched the cape and began running the vibrating clippers up to the hair line he created with the shears.
Methodically, the barber buzzed up around his neck and ears with a number 1 guard, sending little spiky hairs to his lap and floor under the large chair.
At this same time the other boys were receiving the finishing touches on their birthday haircuts too. Tommy’s mother looked on approvingly from the comfortable barbers chair she sat in.
As the barber dusted the hairs off of Tommy’s face I began to panic as I knew I would be under the cape soon.
The barber kicked down on the lever and the barber chair dropped to the floor with him in it. He unsnapped the maroon cape and whisked it off of Tommy’s frame and shook it out. Tommy raised up from the chair slowly and slinked over to waiting area and sat down.
I knew it was my turn but I sat motionless, until I heard the barber call out
” your next!”
I looked up and he was standing beside his barbers chair, he spun it to face me and pulled the shiny cape off the back off it. The empty chair facing me now looked even more frightening. The barber snapped the cape in the air one time and threw it over his arm, he called out agin, ” come on young man, that hair ain’t gonna cut itself”
I stood up slowly and with jello legs made my way towards the big black leather chair. As I turned to sit back the barber pulled my shoulders into the chair back rest all the way. As soon as I was in the chair, it all began.
He spun the barbers chair with me in it to face the mirror and started examining my shaggy length with his fingers and a disgusted look on his face.
Tommy’s mother stood from the barbers chair and placed herself beside me.
” this one really needs a good trimming, look at this mess” she said as she exhaled her smoke right into my face.
She flicked my hair around with her slim fingers and showed the barber how high she wanted it above my eyes.
The barber swooshed the shiny cape out in front of me and whisked it back towards my body and draped it over me entirely. It covered me completely and held me down in place like a prisoner. I gripped the barber chairs arm rest as the chair jolted upwards with me in it. I felt every pump of the pedal in my body.
The barber seemed to kick down a hundred times before he had me at working height.
Now that I was chaired and caped it was final, this haircut was happening.
Tommy’s mother resumed her seat in the vacant barbers chair and laughed one time at how cute I was caped up.
I was not amused, in fact I was on the verge of tears.
The barber pulled his shears from his black tunic pocket and placed them above my eye level. I closed my eyes and felt the schnick as he sliced through my bangs and rolled they over my face on the way down. The chair spun slowly as the barber cut a bowl line around my head. Hair gathered on my lap and shoulders and under the chair as he snipped and snipped away at my head.
Once back facing the mirror I saw how pitiful I looked caped in the big barbers chair. My little head stuck out from under the shiny cape and looked awkward where the fresh line had been cut.
A part of me wanted him to just buzz it all off. He placed the shears back in his pocket and stood back behind me with the clippers now.
He stomped down on the pedal and kicked the chair up a couple notches. I jumped when I felt it move upwards.
I felt his large hand on my head as he pushed it forward with my chin now touching the silky cape. The clippers came alive and the vibration ran up my neck as he worked upwards and around my ears. I could hear the flick of the lighter as Tommy’s mother lit a new victory cigarette from the barber chair next to us.
The barber spun the chair with me in it back and forth as he worked on both sides of my head and examining his work. The way the chair spun with me in it made me feel even more helpless. I had no control and just had to sit under that cape until it was done. And the barber loved it, he apparently got pleasure from forced haircuts. He smirked at me in the mirror every chance got and violently jerked my chin around with his hand to position my head where he wanted it.
After the clippers he used the scissors to snip away at stray hairs he missed earlier. Hair gathered on my nose and cheeks as he snipped at them.
I was humiliated at the sight of what had happened through the mirror.
Finally the barber dusted my face off and lowered the chair. He swiped the hairs off my caped shoulders with the comb and said ” I would of buzzed this mop if I had it my way. ”
He unsnapped the shiny cape and ripped it off me, he then spun the large chair to face the waiting area and pushed me up out of it. As I stood up from it I looked to see all of my friends with their fresh bowlcuts waiting to leave. Tommy’s mother payed for the bowlcuts and as we were leaving she said, ” looks like we have a new tradition, maybe next year we will just have the party here.”
The barber said” I think that’s a lovely idea.” He pulled out his calendar and marked the date a year from the day as he smirked sinisterly at us.

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