Corner of My Eye

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“I’m going to get a haircut”  I said.  “Wait, I’ll drive you.  You’re leaving for college in a few weeks, and I want to spend time with you.  I’ll buy lunch after.”  My mom replied.

When we arrived at salon, I put my name down and was told it would be a few minutes’ wait.  “John, are you ready?” the young stylist called.  I got up and greeted her with a warm smile and friendly hello.  She led me to a chair toward the back, facing the side of the building, where I sat down.  “So, what are we doing for you today?” She asked, as she put the paper around my neck and attached the cape.

“Number two around the sides and back, trim the top.  Nothing fancy.” I said.  Getting my hair cut was always a bit of an experience, having known that cutting hair aroused me for a number of years.  I always liked looking around during a cut, hoping to spot a woman getting hers cut short.  “Have you had a number one before? It’s hot out and it’ll grow back fast anyway.”  I agreed to the number one, and she attached the guard and started shearing off my hair on the sides and back.  “Head down so I can get your neck.  You must spend a lot of time in the sun,” she said, noticing the contrast between my dirty blonde hair on top, lightened by the sun, and the light brown hair underneath.  Once she finished with my neck, I looked back up.

Out if the corner of my eye, I saw a woman in the furthest chair to the front waiting area, facing the front window of the building.  She had just sat down and the stylist was pulling her waist length, slightly wavy, chestnut brown hair through the cape and over her shoulder to close it.  The hair hung down just below the seat of the chair, swinging back and forth.  I stared for a moment, processing what I was seeing.  A little back and forth chatter happened as her stylist pulled out a pair of scissors.  My stylist turned me toward the action to buzz the left side of my head, and I watched as she started cutting a rough bob, well above the shoulders, on the woman’s dry hair.

I was still processing what I had just seen, mildly in shock, before the woman stood up out of the chair and walked with the stylist back to the sink.

My mom was 40 at the time.  People always commented on her good looks.  She was was fit, had a pretty face, bright blue eyes, and, well, “had” is the key word here…  She had long, flowing chestnut hair that reached the bottom of her butt, that she colored from its natural graying brown.  Now she had a choppy, uneven bob hanging an inch or so below her chin, as she walked past me toward the sinks at the back of the salon to have her hair washed.

My stylist turned me back toward the mirror, and with a dry throat, I snapped back to the current situation.  She had set down the clippers and started combing the hair on grabbed a spray bottle.  My head looked small in the mirror.  Her number one guard was actually a number one blade, which cut shorter than a guard, and she had taken the buzz up a bit higher than I was used to.  She sprayed the hair on top with water and combed it all back, then confirmed the cut.  “Just a trim?  We took almost an inch off of the sides.”  “It’s been almost 2 months, so maybe more than a trim” I replied. “Just do what you think is best.  I trust you.” I said, unable to think straight.

I watched in the mirror as my mom walked behind me back to the front chair.  All I could try to do was watch out of the corner or my eye.  A popping noise caught my attention. My stylist had powered the clippers back on.  “If you trust me, you’ll let me do this.” She said.  I nodded, and she started working again at my sides and back, shearing off most of the eigth of an inch that was left there, fading it in to the number one.  I was fully aroused under the cape, watching her bald the sides.

I heard a clunk as the clippers turned off, but the buzzing didn’t completely stop.  I could still hear buzzing, further off, to my left.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see hair falling as the stylist worked a pair of clippers with a guard up and down my mother’s neck, up to her occipital.  My heart was in my throat while I watched out of the corner of my eye.  What was she doing?  This was so drastic!.  My stylist had stopped to watch too. “That’s your mom over there, right?”  I nodded. “Wow, that’s quite the change.”

She switched over to scissors and a comb and started combing my hair again, combing and holding it up, then cutting.  She worked from front to back, taking about an inch off.  The hair that I could comb down over my eyes when wet before was now a bit above my blonde streaked brown eyebrows, my blue eyes in full view.  She got to work texturing, and got the clippers back out to blend the top in to the faded sides.  Although my longest hairs had only had a little over and inch removed in the front, she had significantly shrunk the longer portion of my hair on top, bringing the blended sides well past the vertical portion of my skull, before putting a guard on the clippers and working them up and over the top of my crown from the back.  Then the clippers went away, the stylist bringing the scissors back out, finishing the blending job, and using the edging clippers around my ears and neck.  I hadn’t had this little hair on my head since I’d had a buzzcut as a kid, but I could barely take notice of it.

The entire time, I was barely paying attention, looking out the corner of my eye as the scissors cut in to my mom’s hair.  The stylist was working with scissor over comb over the back of her head, above the occipital, roughly blending it in to the portion below, which looked to be maybe a number four.  The hairs left on top were about two inches long, and being wet, stuck straight out before being combed back down to line up the next snips.

My haircut was finished, and I walked to the front to pay.  I sat down with full view of the front stylist’s chair where my mom sat.  The hair from the back of her ears forward was still sectioned and clipped up.  Then, she unclipped the front sections and combed the hair down.  Her hair had a drastic line from the longer bob in the front to the short crop in the back.  I could hear her stylist loud and clear now.  “How short are we thinking up front?” She asked, pulling strands down to frame her face.  “Like the picture,” my mom replied.  “The stylist held a comb to her cheek, making a line from her ear lobe to her lip. “A little shorter.  Maybe middle of the ear to the tip of the nose.” A nod of the head sent the stylist back to work, cutting another four inches off.

Now her hair was disconnected and bluntly cut.  The stylist stepped back to inspect, and set to work cleaning things up.  Smaller hairs flew as she flicked the scissors, layering, blending, and texturizing.  She set to work shortening the back down to a spiky inch at the crown. Then the clippers came back out to finish blending.  She popped off the guard and put a smaller one on.  “This is a number two, so you remember.  The one before was a number four.”   She began tapering the hairline around the back from ear to ear, before removing the guard and running them up and down her neck to remove any remaining baby hairs.

I could barely recognize who I was looking at as she blew her hair dry and added product.  Sleek in the front, and coiffed, almost spiked in the back above the buzzed neck, it was a drastic departure from the long locks she had worn in her way in the door.  Finished, she paid, collected her purse, and came over, looking at my head.  “Well, she certainly cleaned you up!” She remarked.  “Mom… oh my gosh!” I blurted out.  “Your hair!  What’s dad going to think?”

“Oh, your father,” she said with a smirk, feeling her clean neck.  “This was his idea.  He gave me the picture I showed the stylist.  I’ve been keeping my hair long forever, thinking it was what he wanted.  Turns out he’s been wanting me to cut it since we got married.  I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a few years now, so the decision was easy.”

End

 

For some background here, this is based on a true story, and the event was the inspiration for the prior story I wrote.  When I was in high school, my mom came with me to get my hair cut one summer.  While I was getting mine cut, I turned and was shocked to see her sitting in a chair, long hair being lopped off in to a bob, which then turned in to the style I described in the story, barely to her nose in the front with a choppy back and buzzed neck.  It was quite the transformation, and my dad seemed very happy after.  Eventually she went all the way to a short pixie, which my dad had trouble hiding his obsession over.  The phase lasted a few years, back and forth betweem longer and shorter pixies, before she settled on the long bob, just long enough to keep in a ponytail, that she still has now.

One response to “Corner of My Eye

  1. Hi John,

    You wrote a very nice story! I agree that it is very exciting to witness a big transformation while getting your own hair cut. Thank you very much for sharing this story.

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