My Flattop ……
By JimB ©opyright April 2020
I can’t believe it.
At sixty-two years of age I still have the body of a woman twenty-seven, I was told by my two younger sisters, my three younger sister-in-laws, and a lot of my friends and co-workers.
My shoulder length black hair had some gray stranges starting to show.
But, I did not care. It comes with aging.
I was marred twice, divorced twice.
After ten years of marriage to the first one, I caught him with his “office assistant”. He always told me to call before coming by his office to go to lunch.
Now, I know why.
The second one, well he just stopped being interesting. Always having other things to do, especially at night.
He filed and I signed. I got the house and he got the last payments for the next ten years.
Am I looking for number three!
Maybe in a few years from now, maybe not!
I am sitting at my kitchen table thinking of something to do.
Something I have never thought of doing for years.
I mean I remembered when I was young going with my dad, when he and my two older brothers when to the barber shop for their monthly haircuts.
Their barber, Crystal, would always pick me up and put me in the child’s barber chair, which was between two larger, adult, barber chairs.
I always got a sucker when she finished their haircuts.
Dad kept his haircut in what was called a “Business Man’s Cut” and mom loved it.
My brothers got a short crew cut in the summer and a flattop when it got colder.
Mom and I went to Miss Alan, a cosmologist as they were called back then. Mom started going to her after she and dad moved here after getting married.
I was twelve when my two younger sisters popped up, as we were told.
My brothers were just starting to date girls.
And, they were letting their hair grown a little.
Mom kept her hair at the shoulders, while she kept mine a little longer or shorter when summer came around.
I somewhat hated it when my brothers started letting their hair grow, not getting the crew cut or flattop.
I like running my little fingers through their hair cut.
They did not say anything but mom would tell me to “stop”.
Dad and mom passed away seven years ago.
My brothers graduated from college, got married, and had taken jobs out of state.
We do get together once a year and call on special days.
My younger sisters graduated from college, got married, and stayed here.
I graduated from college, with a degree in business management and got a great job with a local company.
I have been promoted three times and I am now the Vice President of Marketing. I will be able to retire in three years.
Sipping my coffee I could not believe what my mine was thinking about doing.
I felt my body wanting to get up and go.
I never had thoughts like this, nor ever given thought of it.
But, here I was thinking about cutting my hair short, very short, for the first time in my life.
Over the last few days I talked with my sisters, Connie and Debra, about the thoughts. They just laughed and told me, “You need a man, sis.”
Debra even went a little more forward, telling me, “Maybe two men – one in each opening.”
After two hours and four cups of coffee, I took a deep breath and got up.
As I back the car out the garage, I told my self, “I’ll drive to the barber shop in the strip mall but will not get out the car”.
At ever stop sign, red light, I turned the rear-view mirror toward me and looked at my self, my hair.
“NO WAY,” I told myself and continued driving to the strip mall and the barbershop.
When I got there I noticed there were not that many vehicles in the parking area.
In fact, there were only two cars parked in front the barbershop.
I took my little make-up mirror out my purse and check my make-up and brushed the fingers, of my left hand, through my hair.
But, for some crazy, stupid, reason I pushed my hair so it was laying flat on the top of my head.
I got a little shiver through my body when I did it a few more time.
I got out the car and started walking towards the barbershop, when my eyes caught the sign out front of the second hand store, about a “One Day Sale Special”.
I turned and walked to the store and did a walk through. I saw a few things I liked.
As I was walking toward one of the clerks, for assistance, I noticed a woman walk in with her son in tow.
He had a fresh haircut, a “flattop”. He looked really great with it.
My right hand rose to my head and I pushed it over my head. I got a big, strong, shiver through my body.
I stood there watching as he, and his mom, walked a few feet from me. The urge to run my fingers through his flattop came to mine.
I took a deep breath and walked, fastly, out the store.
I started to the car.
My mine told to go to it but my feet started walking to the barbershop.
My mine gave in.
As I got close to the barbershop my eyes began to glance in the big window. My eyes notice one man sitting in a waiting chair.
A few more steps and my eyes caught the site of a customer in the only barber chair.
It was a one chair barbershop, my mine told me as I reached for and opened the door.
I took a seat a few chairs from the waiting customer, a gentlemen around thirty. He looked at me as I walked pass him.
He had a somewhat “Business Man’s Hair Cut”.
When I looked at the barber chair my eyes caught site of legs, legs of a woman.
The barber, a woman named Terri from the name on the sign above the mirror behind the barber chair, was combing her shoulder length hair from a center part.
“I thought you had Saturdays off,” Terri asked her customer, Jean, as she continued combing her hair from the center part.
“Louise and I switched days,” her customers, Jean, told her. “She is taking her daughter to do shopping for her birthday tomorrow.
“And, Bob and I want to have a three day week-end.
“You know, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday!”
“Something special going on?” Terri Inquired. “I mean you are all dressed up.”
“Yes,” Jean answered with a smirk. “I forgot the BIG boss was coming this afternoon for a walk through the business.
“And, you just don’t show up for work, like we do on Saturdays, in jeans and a pullover shirt.”
Terri patted her on the shoulder, “Know what you mean.
“Dan’s boss is like that, too.”
The sound of a cellphone rings filled the barber shop.
The man answered it.
“YES, I will be there in fifteen,” and hung up.
Standing up he looked at Terri, “Got to run.
“One of our trucks got into an accident and I have to check things out.
“If it is a fender-bender, I’ll be back in about two hours.”
“Take care,” Terri told him.
“Well, Jean,” Terri asked her. “What do you want?”
“Remember when Bob and I had a few days together, like we will next week-end.
“When the boys were eleven and twelve and his parents came and got them.
“I came for a hair cut and told you I want something short.
“So, I could get to do something I like doing!
“You gave me a short hair cut, which worked out well.”
“I remember,” Terri replied standing on the right side of the barber chair.
“But, I thought you said he did not like the cut?”
Jean turned her head to, with a wicket smile, Terri, “I lied.
“He loved it and wanted me to keep it for the rest of the summer.
“But, I thought he was joking.”
“So, you want the same hair cut?” Terri asked Jean as she stepped to the counter behind her barber chair.
“Yep,” Jean quickly answered. “A little shorter, maybe!”
Terri reached under the shelf, taking hold of one of the clippers. She clicked it on, put a few drops oil on the teeth and let it run a little.
“This clippers is different than the one I used back then,” she told Jean.
“The cutting head has a tighter, closer clipping head, .00000 the instructions say.
“I’m using the half-inch attachment first.”
“As long as it is short,” Jean replied. “And, I get Bob to give me what I have been asking for a few years.”
They laughed and Terri patted Jean on her right shoulder.
Just as she was about to click the clippers to life, the telephone rang.
She turned the clippers off and answered the call, “Terri’s Barber Shop”.”
“Hi, what’s up?” she said to the caller. “Sure, I can do that.”
She let the caller talk.
“When will they be coming by?” she inquired. “Are you sure about it!”
“Okay, just give me a call before they come,” she told the caller.
“That way I will know for sure.”
“Okay,” she said to Jean, as she patted her on her right shoulder.
She placed her left hand on Jean’s head and tilted it downward.
Slowly she pushed the clippers up Jean’s head, following by three more passes on each side of the first one.
Stepping to the left side of the barber chair she began moving the clippers from the back of Jean’s head forward sending a pile of dark brown hair to fall passed her eyes into her caped lap.
“I was hoping for something a little shorter,” Jean said as she looked at the left side of her head, in the mirrors behind the waiting chairs.
“I can take it shorter,” Terri replied. “But, how shorter is up to you!”
“How much shorter?” Jean inquired.
Terri removed the half-inch attachment and showed her the attachment less clippers.
Jean looked at the attachment less clippers, “Hummm, that short!”
“The top will be a quarter of an inch,” Terri told her.
“What the hell,” Jean told Terri, as she turned her head to the mirrored wall.
Terri stepped to the shelf and put the quarter inch attachment on the clippers.
I sat wondering what they were talking about. After all this was my first time in a barbershop for a haircut.
For a “flattop” at that!
She continued making pass after pass over Jean’s head until all her hair was a quarter of an inch all over.
Talking the attachment off and tossing it on the shelf, Terri clicked the attachment less clipper back to life, “You ready!”
Jean looked at her, “Can’t turn back now.”
Terri began pushing the attachment less clipper up the right side of Jean’s head, working slowly toward the back.
As Terri began pushing the clippers upward behind her right ear, Jean let out, “GOD, it looks like I am ……”
Terri stopped, “I told you this clipper clipped closer than the one I used back then.”
Not waiting for Jean to say any more, Terri tilted her head downward and began clipping the back of her head, up to the occipital bone.
I looked at Terri and she had a smile on her face for some reason.
I noticed Jean starched her legs out, her toes pointing outward. Slowly she crossed her legs and took a deep breath.
Terri was now clipping the left side of her head, as Jean right hand came from under the cape and her fingertips brushed over the closely clippered right side of her head.
“That feels,” she said to Terri, who just patted her left shoulder.
With the last upward pass Terri turned the clipper off. Jean brought both hands from under the cape and slowly moved her fingertips over the sides and back of her head.
Terri noticed her doing this. She heard a soft “sys”.
Looking at Jean in the mirror behind the barber chair, Terri said, “I can always!”
Jean looked up, as she stopped the brushing her fingertips over the back and sides.
“You have to be kidding,” she told Terri. “You know how long it took for Bob to …..
“When he realized I shaved below the waist.
“I thought he had a heart attack.”
“This will do fine for now,” Jean told Terri, when she saw her standing on the right side of the barber chair. In her left hand was some soft white, warm shaving lather.
“Just going to trim the cut,” she told Jean as she spread lather along her hairline.
Stropping her straight razor, she began taking short, quick movement with the straight razor.
Finished, the dusted over Jean’s head and across her face.
Barber chair lowered, Jean stepped from it and walked to the waiting chairs, standing next to me.
She was brushing her fingertips over the back and sides of her head. “Maybe I should have let you!”
“Too, late,” she told Jean as she motioned me to her barber chair.
I walked and sat in the barber chair.
Terri noticed I was a little nervous.
“Just put one foot on the footrest and cross the other leg over it,” she told me.
I did as she said and for some reason I began to feel relaxed.
“So, your first time,” she asked me as she pulled the cape around my neck and pinned it in place.
“Aaaaa, yes,” I replied. “How did you know?”
“I noticed how you watched me cut Jean’s hair,” Terri told me.
“Now we talked about how this hair cut was different than the one I gave her years ago.”
I smiled and shook my head “yes”.
“So, you want a trim?” she asked as she brushed her fingertips through my shoulder length hair.
I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and said, “NO …..
“You’re not going to believe this ……
“But, for the last few days, for some crazy, strange reason I have been thinking about a “flattop”.
“I am sixty-two and have never cut my hair shorter than this.
“I even talked to my younger sisters about it ……
“And, I am not going to tell you the comments they gave me.”
“So, when did you finally decide it was time to get the “flattop”!” she asked me.
“This morning after a few cups of coffee,” I told her.
“What do you think?
“I mean, you know more about cutting hair than I do ……
“Would I look good with a “flattop”?”
Terri stood there, holding my chin and moving my head from side to side.
“You will never know,” she told me. “Until you get the “flattop”.”
“What if I don’t look good with it?” I asked her.
“Like I said,” she answered, “You will never know unless you get the “flattop“.”
I looked at my self in the mirrors. I took a deep breath.
The telephone rang.
She patting me on the shoulders “Let me get this call.”
“Terri’s Barber Shop,” she answered.
“When are they coming?” she asked the caller.
“Fine, as long as I know you said it was all right for them to get that hair cut.”
“Sorry about that,” she said as she began combing my hair. “My neighbor, Grace.
“Her thirteen and fourteen year olds want to shave their head for the summer.”
“I heard teenage boys were getting their hair cut off, even shaved, for the summer months,” I told her.
She gave me a little laugh.
“Yes, the boys are doing that,” she replied. “I had a few come in last week.
“I all ways make sure their parents are letting them do it.
“Don’t want to do it and find out mom, or dad, did not want them shaving their head.
“Specially my neighbor.”
“Yes, you could get into a lot of trouble,“ I told her.
She patted me on the shoulder, “Not in this case.
“Her sixteen year old son has been shaving his head for a few years.
“Her thirteen and fourteen years olds are her “daughters”.”
“GIRLS”, I replied. “You are kidding me!”
“Nope,” she told me. “Had a mother and daughter a few weeks ago.”
I sat not saying any thing.
“So, “flattop”?” she asked me. “And, how short!”
I let out a ‘sys’ and said to my self, “I am sitting here and you’re telling me girls, even women, are shaving their head.
“My brain is bouncing it all over in my mine.
“Now I have to decide …..”
I started to tell her, “let’s forget it all” and leave.
But, my mine, my body, said, “sit and get the “flattop”.
Then, the back of my brain, the dark side, sang out, “SHAVE your head”.
I quickly shook that thought, that deep dark thought, out of the way.
“I have been thinking about a “flattop” for the last few days,” I to told her.
“I came for a “flattop
“Give me a “flattop” before I get out your barber chair.”
“Sit back,“ Terri told me. “Forget the head shaving …..
“Yes, I saw your reaction when I mentioned women, girls, getting their head shaved.
“Let’s me give you your ”flattop”.”
With that said, I felt my head being tilted downward and CLICK ……
I took a deep breath and felt Terri start pushing the clippers up the back of my head.
I took another deep breath and felt a long, slow shiver go up and down my body.
I felt Terri began another upward push with the clippers.
Then, another one!
After a few more upward movements, I did not care.
My body was sending shivers, slow shivers, down and up my body, causing me to just sit and relax.
The more hair that filled the caped lap, the more relax I felt.
The more I wanted the “flattop”, even maybe my head being shaved.
My eyes blinked and I came back. I was looking at my self in the large mirrors.
The sides, the back, of my head had hair so short I could hardly believe I was letting Terri use clippers to cut my hair so short.
Then, I watched as she began moving the big black clippers over the top of my head.
Reality, hit me, hit me hard.
My hair was really being cut this short and I was enjoying it.
Quickly Terri was making the last push over the top of my head.
“There,” she said, turning off the clippers. “Now to make the top “flat”, first.”
She reached to the shelf for a large comb. She combed it back through my short hair.
She did it again, stopping a little back and pushed the attachment less clippers over the comb.
Slowly she worked the comb backward then pushing the attachment less clippers over it.
I watched as these movements made the hair on the top of my head, my hair flat.
When she made the last pass I could see the top of my hair, now standing straight up, was flat enough you could put a paper plate on it and it would sit there.
She reached to the shelf and picked up another attachment and put it on the attachment less clippers.
Before I could ask, my head was pushed downward and she began pushing the clippers up the back of my head.
For some crazy reason, I did not care how short my hair was going to be.
She worked the clipper slowly, causing my body to enjoy more down and up shivers.
Stepping to the left side of my head she began make upward pushes with the clippers.
My eyes caught how short my hair was after each upward push of the clipper.
The clipper left behind hair just a little shorter than the top.
With the left side clipped she began walking around the back of the barber chair, to the right side.
Our eyes met each other in the big mirrors.
“Well!” she asked. “What do you think?”
I sat looking at the top of my head. The hair was “flat” and the left side shorter.
“Wish I had thought of doing this,” I began. “You know ……
“Getting the “flattop”.
“Years ago. Maybe after my first divorce.”
Terri began upward pushes on the right side.
With the last upward push take, she turned the clippers off.
Standing behind the barber chair, she whispered in my right ear, “Short enough!”
I took a deep breath and looked at my new, my first real haircut, my “flattop”.
Our eyes met, again, this time face to face.
Her right hand brushing up the right side of my head, she slowly move it over the top of my head, “This could be this short!”
I looked at her.
I looked at where her left hand had pushed the hair on the top of my head.
She moved her left hand to the clippers and removed the attachment, “The back and sides would be this short.”
My thoughts flashed to Jean and how short Terri had cut, clipper, her hair.
“I came for a “flattop”, I told her. “This will do for now.”
She smiled as she patted my right shoulder.
“Now for the trim shave,” she told me. “Just the edge along the hair line.”
The tip of one of her finger tracking along the hairline.
She applied the warm shaving lather. With her sharpened straight razor she made short quick shaves. Leaving behind a small shaved line.
As she dusted around my head, I asked my self “if it was short enough”!
I smiled, as I moved my hands over my head, top, sides, and back.
I looked at my self in the mirror, as she lowered the barber chair.
I could not believe I had finally, after all these years, got the haircut I wanted.
The flattop I wanted.
Why I wanted the flattop I still could not understand.
But, now I had one and I could hardly keep my hands off my head.
“See you in ten days,” Terri sang out.
I turned and looked at with a “questioning” look.
“You said you wanted a flattop,” she told me.
I looked at her, as I brushed my right hand over my head, “YES”.”
“Then, you will have to come back,” she began as she sat in her barber chair.
“You know …..
“To keep it looking great.”
I realized what she was saying, “Ten day ……
“Sure, sounds okay.”
I walked out her barbershop, glancing back after a few steps, to see she was reading a magazine, waiting for her next customer, next victim.
Again, like I did coming to her barbershop, every time I stopped for a red light, I looked at my self in the rear view mirror and smiled.
Once, I even let out, “YOU DID IT”.
To be continued ……
JimB ©opyright April 2020