Don’t look, just feel.
It had only been 6 weeks since the last visit to my regular salon. Nevertheless, my hair was annoying me. It didn’t look good after washing and drying. And a day later it looked like it really needed a wash. Thin, greasy strands that shouted ‘please cut me’.
As I was very pleased with new the stylist that cut my hair that time. So I made an appointed with her again instead of my regular barberette.
Many, that’s her name, did exactly what I asked for. I hadn’t had a haircut at that time for nearly 5 months and I asked to cut it about halfway the length I showed on the a picture and how it was now. During the cut we chatted a little about hairstyles that could suit me. I explained to her that for now I was happy with my longer tresses. And certainly wouldn’t like a neat gentlemen’s style. So if the day would come, I’d rather go very short. “Well, if you go clipper short, you’d have to come in here more often than now.” That prospect – having her cutting my hair – sure attracted me. On the other hand, going that short – though it crossed my mind dozens of times – gave me the creeps.
After a drinking a cappuccino, Mandy called me to her station. As I sat down, she messed up my hair with her hands and said “Quite messy, but not in the right way. So, what’s up for today. Has the day come?”
I asked her what she meant by that. She smiled and grabbed a pair of clippers. Holding them in front of me.
“Oh that day”. I replied. To be honest Mandy, I have been thinking it over for more than a few years. But it still scares me you know. Even if you’d cut quite a piece and I see that falling into my lap, I will freeze completely. I know, not very heroic, is it.”
“I’ve got an idea.” Mandy said. “Something to help you on your way. Sooner or later you will look a bit …. Sorry to say ridiculous with your thin locks and that bald spot on top. Better to get in control and pick your own day. How about making today the day. Just don’t look. Just feel.”
“You mean a blindfold or turning me away from the mirror. I wouldn’t like that.”
“No neither of those, let me explain. I will gently work on the back of your head and after that maybe a bit on top. Cutting slowly, but surely more than you are used to. As you cannot see, just feel how it evolves. If you feel okay, after I’ve done a first run, I will continue with a second and so on. Let’s find out where that get us. Or rather you of course. When the back is done, we’ll proceed. Well, we will have to proceed with the front and sides to make it a proper haircut.”
I told her she sure had a big imagination. I closed my eyes and finally I spoke “Okay”.
Many put a big smile on her face while she was putting the cape around my neck.
“Sure about this?” I consented without words, just a tiny move with chin downwards.
She took the shears and started to gently cut, a tiny bit. Even lower than the base of my neck. She continued cutting what felt tiny bits from the back. Each time, putting a strand of hair between her fingers and pulling it backwards a long way, to finally pint cut a bit at the end of the strand. Though I heard the shears cutting over and over again, I didn’t feel like much was coming off.
This lasted minutes. Frankly, for me it may have lasted hours if you know what I mean. Mandy put the shears down and grabbed another pair. These had longer blades. Not quite the equipment for precision cutting. She combed my hair down, sprayed a little water on it and with on stroke she cut off all the hair beneath the base of my neck. This was getting serious. Like in the first run, she held strands of hair between her fingers, stretching those, but now not cutting it the end but what I felt somewhere closer to my head. My blood pressure was running up.
Now I could feel locks of hair falling on my back. Big locks it had to be to actually feel them landing on the cape. Many really took her time. After putting down the shears, she ran her hands bottom top through my hair at the back of my head. Strands gliding through her fingers. She pulled them a bit towards her.
“So how does that feel?. Are you still with me?”
“It feels fine, thank you. Can I feel …?”
She pushed my hand away. “No, better you just feel the hair. Are you ready for phase two?”
“I was thinking you did that one already”.
“Don’t think, just feel. I guess it’s yes? Don’t worry we’ve got a long way to go”.
She now began lifting locks of hair with a comb and doing fast cuts of what she lifted. Slowly working her way up to the top of my head. I felt the comb over and over like scratching my head and even noticed how cold the steel of the shears were. I lost count but she must have worked her way up at least three times. As I felt, or maybe I just imagined it, each time cutting at the same place. Where the first cuts took a lot of hair, the final cutting ran close to my skin, but not that much she could reach with her shears anymore.
Again she ran her hand through my hair, or should I say over my head. There was little hair, not enough to mess around and letting slip through her fingers.
“Still feeling alright? I propose skipping phase three then.”
I could not move either speak. What was she up to?
She took the clippers and asked me to bend down my head a little. There the sound of her turning on the clippers … but immediately turning them off again. She leaned a little forward and I saw her removing the comb that was attached on the machine.
She returned to her position behind me, and without any warning pulled a path with the clippers from below just until my bald spot. It felt like freezing cold. Was she shaving me?
Feel? Well it felt like someone was moving a sharp piece of ice from below my neck up. Again and again. Meanwhile the door of the salon was opened by a new customer. Letting the wind blow inside. I felt this breeze nowhere but only touching the back of my head.
Then all went quiet. Mandy had turned off the clippers and stood behind me, a tiny smile on her face. Facing me my means of the mirror in front of us. Neither of us spoke a word. Shen laid her left hand on my shoulder. “I have this feeling THE day has come. Anyway, you’re on a one way street now. Now way turning back.”
I said “Well you sure know how to bewitch one into things they don’t want.”
“Don’t lie to me. Swear this is not what you have wished for since a very long time” She whispered in my ear. Without further delay her hand moved from my shoulder to the front of my head. Pushing the long hairs back and while her hand stopped on the mid top of my head, she followed that direction with the clippers. “All off now. You will cry in the evening, but you will send me flowers in the morning.”
She took her time, striking with the clippers from the front, over the top of my head. Joining with the bald spot on my crown. I closed my eyes, not to see what she was doing. Just feel. Feel the long hair passing my ears on its way to the cape around my shoulders. At the end I could not resist watching this beautiful barberette finishing her mission by shaving the sides of my head.
When she was finished she let me sit a while on my own. Still caped. The cape covered with hair. And so was the floor. When she returned, again with a smile she said “We can take it a bit shorter if you want?”
As I felt bald, what I saw was still some stubble.
“Maybe next time …” Okay she replied and removed the cape. She walked me to the counter where I took my wallet out to pay her.
“No charge dear. Keep it for the flowers you send ….. or better bring those next week, when you let me finish my job”.