The countryside

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The countryside


It was two, nearly three months now since I moved to a small village about 20 miles from the city. I was kind of forced to move there because of financial reasons. Couldn’t longer afford the city. Well anyway, I live more beautiful and cheaper now. But …. It’s a village, if you know what I mean. Nothing much to do here and I feel like an outsider.

Have to be careful not going into the city each week. Got to build a new life here. That includes finding a new hairdresser. I did some reconnaissance last week, first on the internet. Then followed by some drive bye’s on my bike.

To be honest, my usual place in the city treated my well. I still was going there if only to avoid risks that may bring a new stylist. Somehow now that ‘risks’ have turned into attraction of some kind.

So I picked a small salon nearby , that had four barberettes,  for my  next haircut. As their website seemed not to be fully up to date, I found it difficult with which barberette to make the appointment. So I finally decided on a Jessy, an experienced barberette in her late thirties.

Next day I took off on my bike to the salon. On entering I saw two barberettes at work, no Jenny.

One of the barberettes, Carole the owner walked to me.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes I got a 10 o’clock appointment with Jenny.”

“Oh I am sorry, Jenny called in sick 10 minutes ago. We did try to phone you, but guess you were on your way already. Would you like to reschedule or if it’s okay with you and you are willing to have coffee and wait for twenty minutes, I can cut your hair myself?”

That was not exactly what I expected. It took all my bravery to go to this new place and now I had to decide on the barberette in seconds. Guess I’d come this far, no turning back now.

“That depends on the coffee. Yes of course.”

She returned my not quite so funny remark with a smile and got me a coffee.

“Don’t hurry for my sake, I’ve got the day off so ….”

In Carol’s chair was a young woman with blonde hair that touched her shoulders. On the floor was a bunch of hair that had been cut. Carol was moving the woman’s hair up and down, till finally to woman nodded yes.  It looked like the shoulder length was just a station towards another destination. I could not keep my eyes away from it. Carol took a pair of scissors and slowly cut the woman’s hair in a straight line front to back, just below her ear. Quite some hair came off. Carefully Coral made this cutting line all around her head. Then putting the scissors down and while moving the hair in the back of the neck upwards, again talking to the blonde.

Carol and the blonde stared at each other by the mirror for a few seconds, and then for the second time the blonde nodded.

Carol now pinned some of the hair from the side and the back upon the top of her head. Grabbed a pair of clippers and  gently pushed her chin down. Without delay she moved the clippers up to shave her neck, completely. Wow, talking about a bob!

This barberette was sure scissor happy and did know who to convince a customer into a new style. That was not only my judgement but appeared to be true when to woman grabbed her coat.

“Nice haircut” I said to her.

“Well you know …” She laughed. “Frankly I did come in to have just a few inches off, the split ends. It’s not that Carol talked me into this. Just gave me the final little push I needed to actually daring to try a new style after twenty years. She’s waiting for you now, have a nice day. Watched out for her shears.” She again laughed and left the salon.

I looked away from the blonde leaving and saw Carol standing behind her chair, holding a cape as if she was telling me to hurry up.

I walk towards her and seated.

“So what did you have in mind today?” she asked.

“Just take off two inches I guess. I must confess I left home with wild ideas about a new style, but as this is my first visit here …. I’ll stick to my present hairdo”.

“Wanna tell me what those – wild ideas – were?”

“If you got a moment I can show you some pics on my phone.”

“Yeah sure ..”

It showed her my album of very short styles. Mostly women.

“May I ?”

She took my phone and swiped the pictures up and down.

“I like this one. It’s a girl but would suit a guy as well. Or this one, yes definitely this one.”

She held the phone in front of me, showing the guy with short sides and back. The top a tiny longer, combed forward with extremely short fringes. I think they call it a French crop.

“That is very short …”

“We can leave it a tiny bit longer, not shaving the sides. But honestly if you are willing to take the plunge, just go for it like in the picture. It’s not by accident you saved this picture on your phone is it. It will look good with your glasses and make you look younger …”

She glanced at me in the mirror, wrestling with both her hand through my nearly shoulder length hair. Opening her eyes very wide, non-verbally asking for my reply.

“Will it suit me you think?”

“Only one way to find out.”

“Okay let’s do it.”

“Are you absolutely sure? This means a lot will come off. No way back once I start …”

“I will cut it dry, we’ll wash out the tiny hairs after the cut.”

She caped me and started combing all my hair down.

“I’ll start by removing the bulk so I do not need pins doing the precise cutting.”

Carol held a pair of shears lager than the usual ones.  Without any delay she took one strand after the other between her fingers, firmly closing the shears and cutting in a straight line. First the back. I couldn’t see, but I did feel big chops. Then proceeding to the sides. After doing a blunt cut just above my ears, she raised the hair with her comb making more cuts.


“I’ll do the top now. I will cut it to the length this style desires before blending the sides.”

This was somehow unexpected as most stylist work the other way around. She repeatedly took a strand of hair, pushed her fingers to my head and made a cut. It lasted forever. I did feel hair falling, but had no clue how much as I had to close my eyes partly not getting hair into them and she held her hand in the way of my sight. It wasn’t until her second run, pulling up the hair with the comb and scissoring  over that, I realized this was going to be, already was, extremely short.

“I like it, already looks so much better then when you came in …”

I couldn’t  speak a word.

“So that’s the top. So the back and sides .. what do you think. Keep half an inch or are you in a daring mood?”

“What do you mean?”

“Shave it …..  you’ve come this far so it would be a shame not to go for like in the picture. I think you should do it.”


She took the clippers and waited …

“If I was your girlfriend I would beg you to do it.”

“Okay make it the shortest.”

“Does that go for the top also?”

“Well maybe it puts less attention to my bald spot …”

“If you don’t want folks to see your bald spot, that can be fixed you know. But have my doubts if you are really ready for that. You might completely freak  out. ”

“For what ..?”

“To take it ALL off, that’s the only way to sort of disguise that bald spot.”

For a moment I could not breathe. I guess running short of oxygen got me hallucinating. Was this actually happening?  It sure wasn’t my intention when I walked in. Then on the other hand, I had luscious dreams about this sort of thing happening, for ages and ages now.

“I don’t know. Remember I came in for a few inches off. That’s precisely what’s left on top now.”

“Too bad, wish I could change your mind.” She put her hands on my head, covering what hair was left on it. She leaned her chin on my head and stared at me in the mirror as if she was a eight year old kid and I just ate her last cookie.

“Are you short of breath …? Can I get you something …?”

She placed herself right in front of. Looking at me as if she examined me … and held my head between her hands. Leaned over … and placed her lips on mine, kissing me furiously .

“Sorry. I seriously thought you were going to faint. So gave you some mouth to mouth, extra oxygen.”

Looking her in the eye with a smile on my face. “Well, actually you took my breath away”. She laughed.

“Well anyway, it was intended as a kiss of life. Honestly. So …. I guess now you owe me one for saving you. Don’t you agree?”

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