The Cutie at Camp
Sitting on a shaded picnic table between our bunk houses, Todd ran a pair battery-powered clippers over his dark hair. How long had it been since his last trim? Maybe two weeks? Tiny clippings covered his white t-shirt as I watched, half-concealed by the corner of the Esther Bunk. As pale scalp showed around his ears, I imagined the scratchy fuzz against my lips as I smoothed the stray, sweaty hairs from behind my own ears, my white gold hoops hot from the afternoon sun.
I first saw Todd at registration, abashed at my parents’ melodramatic goodbye. It was then that I first wished I’d brought something cute to wear. For the summer before my senior year, my parents insisted I go to church camp. With college and senior prom just around the corner, they clearly wanted to insure that I’d follow the path of purity and Christian wisdom. I was very unhappy with them over the whole thing until I realized how many cute boys were at the camp.
Gasping as Todd removed his shirt, I realized I’d been salivating and choked, audibly. Of course I couldn’t turn away from the chiseled vision before me.
“Hey!” He called before scoping the picnic table for his glasses.
I cleared my throat to little effect before croaking, “Hey yourself.” Approaching him, I tried to play it cool. “You couldn’t wait to get home before having a haircut?”
Three heads taller than me, he showed the underside of his muscular arms, shrugging back into his shirt. With a dreamy chuckle, he replied, “What can I say? I like to look sharp. And God-I mean Gosh! It’s too hot to let it get shaggy. Don’t you think?”
“Indeed,” I agreed, as I would have no matter what he said. Suddenly self-aware, I brushed aside my fringe. As he watched, I wondered if he had implied that I was shaggy. It was true, after all. I’d brought conditioner, and made sure to shower ever day, but the sun and sweat were easily winning against my thick, sandy blonde hair.
Again with the dreamy chuckle, Todd flicked at the high pony tail which my shoulder blades at its frayed ends. “You know,” he muttered, “I have the clippers, and I’m surprised nobody’s asked me for a haircut. Would you like one?”
My mouth hung open, unbreathing. Todd looked down into my face, smiling, but determined. I blinked, unsure if he was joking. He had to be joking, but his stillness insisted otherwise.
“You want to give me a hair cut?” I licked my lips, tasting the prospect as he beamed at me. “Why?”
“Because I like you,” he said and exhaled, looking to his Nikes.
“Really?” I breathed. Guys weren’t usually so up front with me, eager to stake their claim on my interest. I always figured it was cause I was shy. It’s not like I wasn’t pretty. Yeah, I was somewhat mousey, and somewhat skinny, but I knew I had a pretty face and a nice-looking body once I gave it a good look.
“Yeah. I do.” Todd returned with a stoicism I didn’t understand.
Then I remembered. “Why do you want to cut my hair?”
“Because I’d really like it… I’d like to see you with short hair.” As if sensing my bewilderment, he continued, “It’s just a thing with me. Sorry, I know it’s weird. I don’t mean to be weird. You hardly know me…”
Oh, I hated to see him so dejected. And really, I didn’t want to blow my prospects with Todd, the hottest guy who’d ever shown any attraction to me. I took his hand in mine, and pressed it to my lips. “It’s okay,” I said, looking into his dark eyes, feeling the hairs of his hand on my lips. “I appreciate you sharing with me…”
I sat him down on the picnic table, and kept his hand in mine, and continued, “I’ve always been told I have pretty hair, and I thought a lot of guys like long hair. But you like it short?”
“And you like me… What if I let you cut my hair? What will that mean to you?”
“It can mean whatever you want… I know there’s only so much we can do here… as far as being physical together… gosh, I shouldn’t have said anything.”
“But if you cut my hair…” I pressed, searching his face. “How will you cut it?”
“Well, I only brought one guard for my clippers. It’s a number 2… a quarter of an inch,” was his matter-of-fact response.
“That’s really short. You really want to cut my hair that short?”
“Well, yeah.” Todd replied, and I caught him daring a glance that caught my suppressed surprise.
This was so weird, to me that is. And if Todd had gone around asking other girls if he could cut their hair, he wouldn’t seem so distressed over the whole thing. This was a big secret he’d just shared with me. And why me? Was it because I’m quiet, and he knows I wouldn’t tell anyone? Was it because I seemed like someone he could coax into giving him what he wants? But I did want to give it to him… kind of. But a radical, Buzzed haircut…
I pursed my lips, and admired the clear line where Todd’s neck met his nape his skull, covered only with stuff fuzz. And I did want to touch it, and kiss it. I released Todd’s hand and twisted my own hair. Watching his lusty eyes, I confessed, “You know, I did really like watching your haircut… and I do like that look on you. I guess it’s not so weird that you’d like that look on me.” I felt myself blush. “Do you like kissing and touching? Or is it just haircuts for you?”
“I like all of it… And I like you,” Todd replied, dreamy, as if drunk on the sight of my hand massaging the fine hairs on my neck. To that, I smiled.
“All right. You may cut my hair… however you want.”
“Wow. Awesome,” he said in a daze.
But it was time for dinner, and then vespers. We’d have to do the haircut later. After blowing kisses, I returned to the girls from my bunk, feeling like a crazy person. I don’t know how they didn’t notice my excitement. At dinner, my distracted voice couldn’t even form a full sentence. And my spaghetti went cold as a stared out the windows, then at Todd’s reflection, with his own group. I wondered if, after it was done, Todd would be my boyfriend. I wondered if he’d be the first guy to make love to me. I wondered if we’d talk during the school year, and spend next summer, or the rest of our lives together. Me, with short, buzzed hair in a wedding dress. How would I wear my make-up? What kind of jewelry would I wear, to best compliment my lack of hair?
Later, he’d arranged for his bunkmates to double up with the guys in the Philemon cabin. Surrounded by two sets of bunk beds, a wicker chair was placed in front of a little mirror. I’d decided to wear pink lipstick and a little bit of eyeshadow. A cool, foresty breeze wafted through the screened windows, but couldn’t totally remove the faint scent of teenage boys. Anxiously, I fiddled with my purse. “I brought a camera… I think it would be nice to have a couple pictures of before and after, and I can make doubles for you, if you want.” I blurted.
“Great minds think alike,” Todd said. Grinning, he pulled an instamatic from under his Atlanta Braves comforter. “Maybe we can take pictures with both our cameras, just in case?”
“Yeah! You’ll send your doubles to me, too?”
“Yeah… Then, maybe… would you send me more pictures, when your hair’s growing out? You know, this doesn’t have to mean a lot to you, but it’s a first for me, getting to cut a girl’s hair. I’ve always dreamed about it.”
“You’ve always dreamed of me? Or someone like me?” I suppressed a nervous giggle.
“Yes, beautiful Charlotte.”
Oh God, I flushed at the sound of my name, in his voice. I wanted to be his… and we had the cabin to ourselves. Oh my… I was going to be heartbroken if we couldn’t at least make-out after this. Stretching my neck, I undid my ponytail as its coarse curtain tumbled down the back of my white t-shirt. I handed him my camera and we did two poses with each device, knowing we’d need some film for the After shots.
“All right. I’ve hardly been able to contain myself… let’s just get to it,” I gushed, plopping into the chair.
“Okay sweetie,” Todd spoke, and I felt the quiet joy in his voice.
The Big Cut
Through the little mirror, I could barely seem him, but it seemed like there wasn’t any guard on his clippers, which rapidly approached with a high-pitched roar, coupled with a sizzle as they scraped through my mane at the base of my neck. Oh God, I’d never ever had hair this short before, down to my hairline, down to my chin. I slowed my breathing as more and more weight was relieved from my neck. I swore, over the sound of the clippers, I could hear the thumping hanks of my hair falling into a pile on the floor. And I couldn’t miss a moment of it, straining my eyes to see the work in the mirror. It didn’t feel like just a haircut… with Todd in the picture, it felt like everything in my life was changing.
One of Todd’s big hands tugged at my length, while the other plowed away at a tension I wouldn’t feel again for a long time. The initial cut felt like it was taking longer than it should, until the emergence of the clippers behind my left ear marked the end of four years growth. It would be at least four years, until my hair ever grew back to how it was… But I didn’t care. This was the most exciting thing I’d ever done.
And in the mirror, I looked cute with a chin-length bob and long bangs. I smiled at myself and shook out my short hair, studying the mess on the floor, stiff, sun-bleached strands piled on darker, finer hairs.
Todd grinned and caressed my neck. It felt amazing amidst the coolness of my hairs absence. “You like it, don’t you?”
“Oh yeah. But don’t stop,” I returned, with an involuntary whimper.
He snapped the guard onto his clippers and placed them again at my hairline. I nearly jumped at the sound of them clicking and humming back to life. Then Todd ran them up the back of my head, and with each pass, I felt the cool air on a new section of my scalp, a feeling I’d never known. This was what I’d been missing, with my life of long hair. It was all so exciting… how could I not forever keep my hair short, just to cherish the memory of the most exciting thing I’d ever done?
As Todd carved around my right ear, I noticed, as if for the first time, the narrowness of my jaw in relation to my ripe little cheeks. Even the little point of my chin was softened by the lack of shadow about my neck. And my little ears… surely they would call Todd to nibble at them the way his did to me. Just breathing, I now watched Todd at work, giving a deep hum now and then, with the concentration of his work. I couldn’t see myself in the mirror as he blocked my view, finishing my left side.
Starting at my crown, he clipped away at the top of my hair… pass after pass, after pass. I caught a glimpse as he stepped behind me again, making sure I was even all over. My hair was so short… a quart of an inch, I knew, but I could hardly tell where I had hair and where I didn’t have hair. This probably explained where the term ‘toe head’ came from, but oh… I loved it. And I never realized how small my head was, baring glory to my neck and shoulders.
Todd hummed. “Do you mind if I taper the sides and the back? I think it will look a lot sharper. I can’t do it to myself, but usually I get it done.”
“You mean… you want my hair even shorter than yours?”
Todd gave a nodding shrug.
“All right. If that’s what you want,” I stated, then exhaled.
So he removed the guard from his clippers and carefully carved around my ears, so close I could feel his warm, sweet breath on my scalp. Oh God, I wanted him so bad…
I whispered, “Does this turn you on, like it turns me on?”
“Oh yeah,” he muttered, automatically.
I confessed, “This is the first time I’ve let a man have his way with me… in any respect. And I’d be happy to do… other stuff, after this.”
“Same. I hoping that would be the case… I don’t know if we’ll get another night to ourselves,” Todd replied, and carefully finished my look.
Afterward, we made-out, for a long time. I noticed how the back of my head was bald, up to my ears… I was bald. Oh, but it didn’t matter, I thought, lost in Todd, forgetting about the after photos until we were naked. I guess things really were getting serious between us.