The streets were aghast with footsteps, it seemed like every woman on Chestnut Street was going to Ms. Dylan’s for their annual book club gathering.
It seems like a new face is among them, a new head of hair.
Name: Addie Green
She learned about this club though Denise Faye, a dear friend of the neighborhood and chairwoman of the family board of housing.
Ms. Dylan was angular woman and a housewife, her husband was a basic businessman who oversaw worker conditions, the couple was very well beloved for their support of unions and strikes for better work conditions.
Even though she barely left her property, Ms. Dylan would donate what she could could.
So when she started a book club, everyone wanted to join.
But it was a very seclusive club, acceptance had to be of recommendation.
Addie was lucky enough to live right next to a higher up in the club, especially on Chestnut street, a narrow strip of road that stretched not that far.
“Now, Addie”,explained Denise,”You’ll be attending weekly meetings, pardoned only by medical reasons or holidays. Since this is your first time, there will be an initiation process”
Addie nodded,”What does the process entail”
“You will find out soon enough”
The day arrived, 1:30 came and Addie was ready, putting up her waist length, Auburn hair in an updo.
The walk was brisk as every member’s was, the Dylan laid firm on its foundation, the walls were white and purposefully cracked in a pattern.
It was big, very big, and some windows were tainted for privacy sake.
The women piled in and clacked their shoes on the floor to the chairs that were set out.
Dylan was checking her role book and conducted the women to their seats, Addie was new and she was placed on the sofa with Denise and Chichi Brown.
With everyone seated, Denise clapped her hands,”Ladies, ladies”
The crowd went silent.
“Thank you”,said the hostess,”We have a new member”
She motioned to Addie,”Miss Priss, would you come up here, please”
Addie rose,”Um… I’m Addie”
“It’s just a title”,Denise lulled,”Don’t take it personally”.
Addie is beside Ms. Dylan, a feminine hand was placed atop her shoulder.
“Miss Priss here will be joining us this year and hopefully, she will become part of the family permanently”
Addie blushed as Dylan turned to her, cradling both of the young lady’s hands.
“Do you solemnly swear to uphold the family values of this club and its members, so help you”
“I do”,replied the young lass.
The crowd cheered,”Bring fourth the chair!”
Addie was confused but soon, she saw a barber’s chair being brought in.
It sat with a thud and Denise went to the chair.
“Here you go, Ma’am”, said a woman, handing the housewife a striped cape.
Denise turned to Addie,”Come, sister. And be reborn into the family”
All Addie could think was: Oh, this is what the initiation entails.
Addie shyly walked to the chair, help up by a hand from Ms. Dylan.
In the seat, the striped cape was applied and tightened some.
Undoing the updo, Addie’s fell in a flurry of Auburn strands.
Ms. Dylan took up the shears and showed everyone the silver glow.
Takin up a lock of hair, the hostess chopped it just short of the shoulder.
All the ladies clapped and smiled, they complimented Dylan on her Barbary skills as locks were snipped and snipped off.
The final lock yielded and Ms. Dylan started trimming up the ends.
With the snipping done, Addie’s was manipulated it a French twist and secured with Bobby pins.
Hairspray was excessive but the final product was most beautiful.
Addie was dusted off with a brush and released.
The ladies made themselves useful, cleaning up the mess of hair then the club resumed their process.
“Where were we on Little Women”,asked the hostess.
“We left off when Jo has just cut her one beauty for cash”,replied Denise.
With club over, Denise walked Addie home.
“So, all new members get a haircut as initiation”.
Denise laughed,”Oh, that was just your first cut”
Addie exclaimed,”I have to chop off more!”
“Every year, the members have their hair cut into chic styles”,Denise explained,”it’s just a formality”
“When are you due for a haircut?”,asked Addie.
“Next week”,replied Denise.
The next week:
Addie walked to Mrs. Dylan’s to witness her friend’s turn in the chair.
The ladies were a flurry of footsteps, preparing for the ritual.
Addie helped by ironing the cape and dusting off the chair.
Denise was talking with a friend and the girls seemed deep in discussion.
Ms. Dylan clapped her hands to bring the lot together and started her speech.
“Ladies. As you are surely aware, Denise Faye is way overdue for a haircut transformation and thus she will be caped shortly”
Dylan then turned serious,”I was recently informed that Denise’s aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She will be undergoing radiation treatment”
The ladies were of gasps and sympathy.
“She has asked to us to keep her aunt in your prayers. And-An… And Denise wants to shave her head in solidarity for her aunt”
The room was a field of nods and support for their comrade.
“So Denise”,began Dylan,”Are you ready”
Denise nodded,”Yes, ma’dam”
With that, Denise was settled in and caped tightly.
Her bouffant sat, oblivious to its own destruction.
Ms. Dylan wept as she cut off the first big chunk.
The club wept along with her.
“Do not pity me, sisters”,Denise smiled,”I still have my facial features”
Ladies of the congregation also snipped off some of Denise’s hair.
When her head was a mess of short, short hair, a lady brought out Mr. Dylan’s clippers.
Ms. Dylan flicked them on and plowed through the hair reluctantly and took as much hair as she could.
Addie was proud of her friend would do such a thing for her aunt.
With most of the hair atop Denise’s head dead and severed, the barberette lathered her friend’s head in cream and took up her husband’s razor.
Strips of cream came off and when it was all gone, Denise was hooded with a towel and the final result was beautiful.
All the ladies of the club kissed up Denise’s head with love.
“If you so desire, girls”,Ms. Dylan said,”Will you stand with Denise and become bald beauties”
Addie and most of the club members raised their hands.