I Laughed At My Brother by Jim B.
“What happened to your hair,” questioned Mary as I arrived at the bus stop.
“You’re not going to believe it,” I told her. “I’d better call you when we get home from school this evening.”
She said, “OK,” and we waited for the school bus.
All day some of the other students would ask, and I would say, “Nothing. Why?”
There were those boys who would sneak up behind me and quickly rub their hand over my head, of course there were some who came up and asked first. The girls asked if I had gotten ill over the week-end, or even worse if I had cancer and was going through chemo. And there were those who would just stare as they walked past me.
My homeroom teacher even sent me to the Principle’s Office because I wouldn’t tell her what happened to my hair. Of course, she called my mother, who in turn told her, “It’s none of your business.”
I arrived home around 4pm and went to my room waiting for Mary to call.
I lay stretched out on my back looking at the ceiling thinking back Saturday morning and how it all happened. My fingers gently stroked my head reminding me more of it.
Then, my little brother, the little brat who is responsible, called up to me that Mary was on the telephone. I told him to tell her I would call her back from up here, using my private telephone. I waited a few minutes and called Mary on her private telephone.
“Hello… is that you Kathy?” she asked answering the telephone.
“Who the hell do you think it is?” I told her some what disturbed. “I told the little brat to tell you I would call you on your private line, didn’t he?”
“All right,” she answered. “Now tell me what gives with the hair… I mean the lack of it:!
“Well,” I began, “you know how I like to tease Jeff. I have been doing it since he was three, so do you think I’m going to stop, or give up a little now? No way.
“Saturday morning mom tells me I have to go with her and the brat to the barber shop, then she would take me to do what I had to take care of. I sure as hell didn’t want to sit in no barber shop watching him and other men get their hair cut. So I told her I would wait until they came back. But noooo, she said I had to go with them, because she wasn’t coming back home to pick me up then drop him off at his club meeting, then us going off to do whatever.
“So, a little while later we were off to the barber shop. And that is where it happened.
“We had to wait about an hour for his turn. His barber is named Ann – believe that, a woman barber? How crazy is that?”
“Not so crazy,” Mary quickly replied. “My dad and brother go to her. Mom and I go sometimes when we only want a trim.”
“Well, that’s great,” I replied finishing the story. “Anyway, when it was his turn he climbed in the chair, his feet just touched the footrest. She put the cape around his neck, wish she had choked him. Then she asked how he wanted his hair cut.
“He looked at mom and called to her. She looked up from the magazine she was reading and told Ann, ‘However he wants it.’ With that he told her to shave his head. I expected mom to say something, but she didn’t. Can you get that, a nine-year-old brat shaving his head? Anyway, I didn’t think he meant it and was going to chicken out at the last minute.
“I sat there watching, laughing to myself at how funny this was going to be, when Ann took hold of some big black clippers hanging under the shelf behind her chair. She turned them on, I waited for him to say, “Forget it… just a trim,” like he always gets. But he didn’t. She put the clippers on his forehead and pushed it back over his head. Would you believe the little brat started smiling!
“I watched as she moved the clippers over his again and again and again, until all the hair on top of his head was almost gone. Down to fuzz. As she began clipping the side of his head I mouthed, softly, “Stupid kid.” Well, mom heard it and looked at me with eyes. They sent a shiver through my body. All I could say was, “What?” I think that is what did me in.
“After he got all his hair cut off, she lathered it and shaved him bald. Got to admit it felt kind of nice when I rubbed it. Of course, you know I had to comment…
“‘Nice,’ I told him as I began rubbing his head hard. ‘Now you’ll get all the strange things out the house for sure.’
“Well, mom didn’t take to that. She grabbed me by the arm and pushed me towards the barber’s chair. “What?” was all I said.
“‘Get in the chair,’ she told me. ‘It’s time you learned about making fun of your brother.’
“I started to walk out, but she grabbed me again. This time she walked me to the chair and forced me to sit in it. Ann just watched and said nothing. So, I sat in the chair. Ann put the cape around my neck. Before she could ask, all I heard was mom saying, ‘Shave her head.’ I started to protest, but she stared at me so hard that I felt her eyes were holding me in that chair. And Ann, all she said was, ‘Got you. Down to the scalp like Jeff?’
“Mom just nodded. ‘Yes.’ I wanted to say something but she got up and walked to the chair. ‘This should give you something to think about.'”
“So, what did you do,” Mary inquired. I could hear the sounds of her breathing. I didn’t know whether to continue or not.
“What the hell do you think?”
“How did it feel?” she asked. “Tell me everything.”
“Seeing how upset mom was about my comments and there was no way in hell I was going to get out of it this time, I said to myself, ‘Go with the flow.’ I heard the click and humming when she turned the clippers on, and I felt my throat get a lump. I was looking in the mirror – you know, the big one behind where the customers sit – watching for her to bring them to the front of my head, like she did Jeff. Instead my head was pushed downward, and she started moving the clippers up the back of my neck until it came to the top of my head. She did this about seven times. I felt the cool breeze from the air conditioner where she just finished clipping me. Boy did it give me shivers.
“Anyway, the right side of my head was next. She just took her time moving the clippers up the side of my head. I mean just to the top, not on top either. She walked around the front of the chair holding the big black clippers up so I would have to see it. I looked her and smiled. She took her time dong the left side, too. Then she stood behind me and I watched as she brought the clippers over the top of my head. She placed it right in the middle of my forehead and moved it slowly back over my head and down the middle. I looked like two mountains with a valley between them. But that didn’t last long. I saw the clippers coming back over my head and she placed it next to the cut she just did, then moved it slowly back over my head. I think the bitch was having the time of her life.
“Anyway, after what seems like half an hour my head of hair was gone. Down to a fuzz. She undid the cape and pulled it off me. I thought she was finished so I started to get up.
“But mom was watching. ‘Sit back,’ she said. ‘I said shaved like your brother’s. And I mean just that, or do I have hold you in that chair?’ I just sat back and waited.
“Ann wrapped a warm towel around my head. It felt real nice… I thought it was going to burn my head it was so hot. After she removed it she lathered my head with shaving cream, and wrapped the hot towel around my head again. This time I could hardly feel it. Then she removed the towel and re-lathered my head. I kind of liked it the second time. Then she used a straight razor, like she did on Jeff, and began shaving my head.
“She shaved a little off the top in front. Then she shaved the right side down and back. She titled my head downward and shaved the back of my head and neck. Then, she did the left side like she did the right side. All that was left was the rest of the top of my head. She stood behind the chair and pushed my head backward, so I was looking up at the ceiling. She brought the straight razor to my forehead and started shaving the top of my head. Got to tell you, Mary, I kind of started liking it when she did this. My body did little shivers each time she shaved a little.
“When she was finished my head was tilted down so I was looking at myself in the mirror, as well as my mother, who had a smile on her face. Of course, you know Jeff was getting a kick out of this and his smile was bigger than hers. I thought she was finished but she wrapped another hot towel, which I felt, around my head, again. After a few minutes she removed it and lathered my head again. Then she whispered in my ear, ‘Going to get your head smoother than your brother’s!’
“She then took a safety razor out the drawer and began shaving my head again. This time she started at my forehead and shaved the top. I was able to watch her do it, and it was strange. But I liked it even more. She shaved my head very slowly, moving her fingertips every now and then over where she shaved. To make sure it was smooth enough, I guess. It felt like an hour had passed before she was finished. But all I know was I was feeling the air conditioner a lot more than when she had finished running those clippers over my head.
“When she was finished she wiped my head and rubbed some kind of lotion on it. She removed the towel and I got out the chair. I looked at my mom, she was smiling with pleasure as if she felt she had made her point. But I just walked to the big mirrors and looked closely and gently rubbed my fingers over my shaven head, saying, ‘Great. Thanks mom.’ Jeff was surprised that I liked it, couldn’t let him know any different. But, to tell you the truth, it felt great. And I have to give him the credit. Mom was a little upset about what I said, I don’t think she thought I would like it.
“Anyway, when we dropped him off at his club meeting, I got a look of looks from those little boys. And at the mall, I got a lot of stares and some nice smiles from the men we passed. I think I even got a few from some women.”
“But, your hair,” Mary asked. “It should have grown a little, like buzz, since then?”
I chuckled to her. “That’s what mom thought. But, this morning after I took my shower, I looked at myself and back to how I looked when it was first shaved. ‘What the hell,’ I said to myself. ‘Can’t let her get the best of me, can I?’ So I took the shaving cream and a safety razor out the cabinet, lathered up, and took my time and shaved my head. You should have seen her face when I got to the kitchen. All dressed up and my head freshly shaved.”
“Did she say anything?” Mary asked, breathing a little louder.
“No. She just looked at me. ‘See you liked getting your head shaved?’
“I just looked her and said, ‘Yes.'”
“So, what are you going to do now?” Mary inquired with a strange sounding voice.
“Think I’ll keep it shaved for awhile,” I told her. “Maybe until school starts again next September. Hell, if I get to liking it, and she dosen’t say anything, I might even keep my head shaved.”
“Damn,” was all Mary said. “So, you think you beat her again?”
“Think so,” I told her. “Time will only tell.”
We hung up and I went into the bathroom. I looked at myself as I stroked my fingertips over my head. “Need a shave,” I told myself. I reached over and opened the door, so they could look in and see my shaving my head as they passed by.
“Yep,” I said. “I think I just may keep my head shaved until I am old enough to go on my own. That’s about four years.”