“Goodbye Rebecca, goodbye Robert” I waved good bye to my elder sister and my 6 year old nephew. They waved back. Robert shouted, “Goodbye Aunt Alice”. I stood there at the gate watching Robert and Rebecca, especially her short pixie. I touched my bun, feeling it; the mass of black, healthy hair to make sure it was there. Yes I know I am little crazy, I know it will be there but still.
I went inside, and was tired. Luckily I had my day off from office on special request to boss. My darling husband Jack had already left for his office. I thought of having a nap but I know I have one work left. I had to get a haircut, that too in a barbershop. I hope Jack would understand.
I went in front of a mirror and opened my hair and took a comb. I collected all my hair and covered it with my hands just to see how I seen without my hair. I never thought of having this cut in barbershop in hands of a barber. I actually never thought of cutting it at all. But I need it to be off. Some things in life which you like had to be sacrificed for some greater reasons.
It started last evening. We three, me Rebecca and Jack were chatting in evening. I observed my husband’s eyes were fixed on Rebecca. I tried my best to distract him, but he kept staring at her. I know he was not attracted to her, but her hair, her short pixie, with clean nape. She seized the opportunity; she could understand that Jack was fascinated by her hair. So she raised this topic, about her hair. She said she had it cut on Monday. She boasted she always wanted to get rid of her long hair which almost reached her waists. But she didn’t have guts to have it short. (I know she was boasting. She never had hair to reach her mid backs. I remember her hair was too thin. In our family I actually got my mom’s hair, thick, strong and black. But hers are weak.)
She continued that she had twice skipped her appointment in a beauty salon as she was very afraid. (I know actually she didn’t got the appointment) It was on last Monday when she went to local barbershop with her son actually to get Robert’s haircut, but she became the next customer after Robert. She first refused, but the barber encouraged her saying, “Madam, you really need a haircut, these are to long”. His son too encouraged her, “Mom, you have decided to have it cut short, do you remember?” According to her after Robert’s haircut, she was then forced to the barber’s chair by the barber and her son.(really how can six year old toddler can force a lady of 28 years, esp. her mother to a barbershop. And barber forcing her that was too much to take)
I knew Jack too know she was lying, but I think it’s the hair topic that kept him impressed. I knew that Jack has an obsession for hair; I didn’t though he likes short hair too. We always had good time; he often plays with my hair, often braiding them, oiling it and many others. Rebecca said, “I was then covered with a cape, her hair was collected and made into a pony tail. The barber then took scissors hovering it near the base of the pony he asked, what I need. I replied in a hurry, well a short convenient hairdo. Barber immediately nodded and then I heard sch…and she saw the pony in barber’s hand”. Jack loved that part most I think. He listened to that part most keenly. I was then too irritated and leaved them excusing myself to kitchen. I overheard partially the words like, ‘clippers’, ‘nape’, ‘straight razors’ most of which I didn’t understand.
My combing was done, I pinned my hair again in a bun, changed my clothes and went to the garage. Few minutes afterwards I was in my car in middle of city searching for a pole with red and white streets. I know its madness, destroying my mane for nothing. I know she lied about barbershop visit. But I will have my haircut in a barbershop, so that I too have a story to tell Jack, which will be true, not some fantasy by Mrs. Rebecca Cahill.
I found one at downtown; I parked my car and went to see inside the shop. It has big window exposed to the main street. I see through that and observed just a two barber’s chair some waiting chair and a barber, may be off 40 or little more. He saw me watching the shop; he waived to me then pointed at the barber chairs and the moved his fingers as if imitating the scissors movement as if to invite me for a haircut. I signaled to say no. He smiled and then again continued his reading.
I turned back, went two steps to my car thinking I was out of my mind deciding to leave my hair in hands of some barber. Then again I remembered about Rebecca, how she lied about it, I again turned, went to the door of shop, took out my mobile and texted Rebecca, “am really having a haircut in Barbershop, you liar” and went inside the shop.
It has a peculiar scent. The barber greeted me and asked, “at last accepted my invitation”. I laughed and retuned back, “yes, I think I am here for a haircut”. He said, “then you are in right place Miss….” I cut him in middle, and said, “Actually not Miss but Mrs. Alice Hill, you can call me Alice, I don’t prefer formalities like Madam or Mrs. Blah etc.” He laughed and then said, “Ok Alice why don’t you then take a seat in that chair” pointing at barber’s chair.
I got up at that big chair, and made myself comfortable. I pointed at my bun as if to ask, should I open it. He replied back, “no no, not now, after I cape you. And leave it to me now, you just sit back and enjoy”. He covered me with a white cape.
I hated the color. He then took my bun and opened it cascading my locks. He then took a comb and started combing it and asked, “so what are we doing today Alice, probably a trim”. I replied back, “no something short” he offered, “how about a mid back U-cut or a shoulder length bob?” I replied, “Something shorter, short enough so that I don’t need to look after my hair for a long time. He replied, “Yes I guessed right, do you know I actually joked about giving you a bob cut, actually I am only good at short haircuts, anything long I could guarantee to mess it.” I gave him a nervous laugh. He asked,” how about a no. 2 buzz cut?” I couldn’t make out what he said. I asked, “Is it short?” he replied, “Pretty short “and lifted my hair and said, “Compared with this and laughed”.
He collected all the hair in his fist, first bend my head forward then backward as far as possible and the sch…chchc…chchchchc….ch. I can make out my long locks getting chopped and falling. I thought I would cry, but I didn’t. He said, “this is the hard part”.
My hand reached to touch my back so see how it is to be without that hair. I ran my fingers there spreading it and feeling it. My hair looks good at that length. All spread out. I laughed at myself. It occurred suddenly to me. I said, “Shave my hair”. He asked, “Means shave you bald?” I nodded. I think he found it little awkward, because he took his time in answering in affirmation. He kept the scissors and then went to collect some instrument which I could make out were clippers.
He switched on them, and they hummed buzzed. He then bends my head forward, such that my chin touches my chest and then thrust those clippers in my behind. I couldn’t see anything, but I could feel chunks of my hair were falling down to ground. And I also liked vibration, the feeling it gave. My parted hair in front remained the same. The vibration then moved sideways, on my left side, chunks of hair fall on the cape. I could see it now. He moved his clippers at a place two to three times, and then it moved to my front before the right. My lap was now covered with pile of dark black hair. He removed all the locks but keeping one alive, and then moved sideways. The vibration were giving me tingling sensation and wished it would better if end now. I was somewhat enjoying sensation, but in this place the sensation is not good.
Right side was complete; he then came to front to buzz of the last remaining hair. As he does that we said in unison, “Good bye long hair”. He said, “Every girl I shaved said the same line at this point”. I said, “But I am a woman”. He corrected, “Then every girl said those line at this point and at least one woman says the same”. And then asked, “want it shaved smooth? With cream and razor.” I ran my hand over my head, it appears to be shaved bald but is rough and it didn’t shined. I hesitated, “no leave it like that”. He said, “But it’s not shaved literally, it is buzzed with no. zero”. I confirmed again, “I like it like this”. And I tried to get off the chair. He halted me saying, “Hey am not forcing you, but let me dust you”. I again sit on the chair. He dusted me with a brush, and then removed the capes and then took an instrument which he called razors (straight razors actually) and rubbed it at the back, and sides. I got up rubbed my hands on my head. I didn’t notice but a small crowd has gathered in window of the shop. I waved them, and they just dispersed probably ashamed of being attracted to a woman’s haircutting. I paid him and he told, “You should have shaved, because the buzz package comes with free shave with cream”. I laughed, “May be some other day” and left the shop”
I got to my car, while checking my mobile. Rebecca has replied with mms. I read it sitting in the car. She said, “She literally got haircut from a barber, actually a friend whose name is Betty who has training of a barber but she doesn’t practices much. So she is not lying. She called Betty for haircut of Robert; Betty came to her house and persuaded her for the haircut. She accepted she lied about being in a barbershop. She even sent a video with name,. At the end she requested me not cut my hair short.
I started my car and typed a message, “just buzzed my hair at a barbershop, by a real barber” and then sent it.
One week later
I don’t know why I shaved. From whom I took revenge. Rebecca actually would like me have shaved head because general belief is shaved head makes woman unattractive, so I don’t think so. About jack, he just likes me in any avatar. He misses my long hair, but he has a liking for my buzzed head too. I think I punished myself and took revenge from myself only, my inside hatred actually took revenge from me detaching me from my hair. Yes, I kind of miss my locks, I don’t know where they are, may be in some dustbin now or in dumping grounds somewhere, or may be in some wig factory if that barber gave it in some proper hand. My head is now full of stubbles which are now can be seen. My white head is like covered with black growth.
I saw the video which Rebecca sent on that day. It’s her haircutting video, a sad one; she is crying over her loss of hair. I will tell that some other day.