The Time is Now by HeadBoy
The cell phone sat on the table outside the cafe, Jennifer noticed it from her nearby seat. She picked it up, thought to herself, “What if this belongs to some gorgeous guy, and he calls it, attempting to find it, and I answer?” She giggled to herself, finished her coffee and watched the people walk by, with places to go and things to do. Jennifer had none today, nothing to do and nowhere to go.
She had just graduated from college, and the future was wide open. Her boyfriend had taken an internship at a newspaper in Greece, so they’d gone their separate ways; no hard feelings, it was just time to move on with life. But it had left Jennifer alone in a town that was foreign to her – so often, she’d spend her weekends on campus and not venture into the city. Almost ironic, since she came here to get away from home, mom and dad, and to discover life on her own in a new town. The life on her own part, that she’d gotten fairly adept at, the discoveries would have to wait while she played studious college kid while most of her friends had partied away the last four years.
Jennifer had plenty of job offers, but four years of intense study had left her exhausted, so she was spending a month, finally, getting to know the city she’d lived in for a while.
The cell phone felt cool in her hand, she flipped it open and looked at the numbers on speed dial, no female names, none but “mom.” A good sign, the person who owned this phone would have to be hip, judging from the design and color. She slipped it into her purse and walked up the main drag in town toward a cadre of bookstores in the old section of downtown. “Time for some recreational reading,” she thought, after having spent so much time reading textbooks.
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Her reflection in the shop windows as she walked past revealed her shape, a true thing of beauty. It showed of her hair, a blonde empire of unsplit ends and soft, well-kept, fullness. It hung to Jennifer’s mid-back and wagged back and forth as she strode up the walkway. “He’s probably rich, one of those dot.com millionaires,” she thought to herself, picturing cell phone guy in all his splendor. Her over-active imagination was churning out scenarios, huge tales of her being swept off her feet by some Adonis with washboard abs and the mind of scientist, the soul of a poet and the heart of Mother Teresa. He would find her rare act of kindness an all-too-infrequent thing not to take her to dinner as thanks. He would swoon over her crystalline eyes and porcelain complexion.
The phone rang in her purse, Jennifer stopped in her tracks, here it was… the moment she’d been waiting for all morning. She pushed her blonde hair away from her right ear, to hear his, surely, honey-toned voice.
“Hello,” she said in a chipper voice.
“Um, my name is Pete, I seem to have misplaced me cell phone.”
“Pete,” she replied, “I’m Jennifer, and I seem to have found your cell phone.”
The two spoke for a few moments, and yes, he did offer to take her out as thanks, but to lunch rather than dinner. She accepted, because there was, in fact, a flirtatious spark in their conversation.
When she got to the nearby cafe, he stood outside, waiting. She walked up, his cell phone in her hands so he would recognize her as his new-found date. He was, in fact, a ruggedly handsome man. The type of guy who could chop down a tree, build a fire and catch fish for dinner if you ever got stranded in the wilderness. He could also quote Morrisey and Emanuel Kant with great ease. His abs were, quite to Jennifer’s delight, obviously washboard underneath his tailored shirt. The spark between the two was obvious.
She caught herself staring at his hair, buzzed to submission on the sides and clippered to less than 1/2 inch on top. Her old boyfriend had the shaggy college kid look many of her cash-strapped classmates had sported. Pete was a neater, more self-assured looking gent than she’d ever dated. His table manners were impeccable, his jokes were witty, and his eyes fixed on Jennifer and her blonde hair and creamy-white complexion.
It became obvious to the two of them as they sat there talking, eating and sizing one another up, that it was meant to be. God was smiling today, he was smiling from ear to omnipotent ear. Jennifer looked skyward as Pete picked up the check, “Thank you,” she muttered under her breath to the Lord above. “My place is right up the street, would you like to come over?” Pete asked, his voice so soothing, it could only be a “yes” coming from Jennifer’s lips.
Pete’s house was as much a work of art as Pete, Jennifer looked around as was amazed by the artwork on the walls, the CDs in his entertainment center and the books loading his bookshelves. “This place is amazing,” she said, being used to dormitory life.
“Thank you, I work out of the house most of the time, so I tend to put plenty of effort into it to make me comfortable.”
“So, what do you do, Pete?”
“Well,” he said, with a slight pause to his voice, “I make videos and sell them. It’s very lucrative.”
Jennifer looked around the house, “I don’t see any film equipment.”
“Downstairs,” he said, unlocking the door to the basement.
He flicked on the light, at the bottom of the stairs Jennifer saw a red barber chair with cameras and lights set up around it.
“What is all this?” Jennifer asked.
“Well, I told you I make videos, that’s true. I make head shaving videos and sell them over the internet. I make more in a week than I did in three months as an accountant. That gives me plenty of time to pursue my hobbies: collecting art, playing music and traveling.”
“You make movies of men getting their heads shaved and sell them to women?” Jennifer asked, perplexed.
“Well, actually my dear, you have that backwards. I film women getting their heads shaved and sell them to men… and women, anyone really.”
Jennifer stared at Pete for a good minute, not sure what to think. Finally, she spoke, “Let me see one of these videos.”
Back upstairs, Pete put a video in the VCR, and settled in next to Jennifer. She was mesmerized by the images unfolding before her. She watched one beautiful co-ed after another lose their hair, voluntarily. And most all of them were thrilled with the end result. Jennifer blinked, repeatedly, unable to get the image of the last girl getting her head denuded. She was almost an exact duplicate of herself. Her blonde locks hit the floor, courtesy of a pair of manual clippers. The hand-operated device was silent, leaving the only sound on the tape the girl’s voice, telling Pete the difference between the electric clippers and the manual variety. “I prefer these,” the girl on tape said, “they’re so quiet. They’re stealing my hair.” A “tee hee hee” followed, she was obviously giddy. And obviously not a newcomer to the head shaving world.
Jennifer looked at Pete, he was in rapture. Jennifer found the idea a rara avis one. Something she’d never thought of, but found herself being swept up in. After the girl on screen was bald, she pulled her fingers over her scalp, and moaned with pleasure, “almost home,” she said. As Pete, on screen, prepared the razor, the girl swept up her now fallen hair. A hot towel around her head looked like a turban. Jennifer sat, lower jaw hanging down to her knees as she heard the rasping sound of the straight razor being pulled across the girl’s head. The thought that came through Jennifer’s head wasn’t one of revolution, but oddly enough (for her), curiosity. She couldn’t help but notice how flawless the girl’s complexion was, much like hers. Her eyes were nearly exact duplicates of Jen’s glowing eyes.
The video ended, Pete looked at Jennifer, wondering if he’d scared off another prospective date, or if this one would be the one that would last. Would she understand his fetish? Would she, perhaps, even take part? Probably not, most women were either appalled by what he did, or confused. A few merely thought it wasn’t for them and moved on.
“Pete?” Jennifer said, still looking at the, now blank, TV screen.
“Yes…” he replied, looking for more to say.
“Will you buy me a hat?”
“Um, okay. Is there some reason why?” he asked, curious.
“Well,” Jennifer said, the corner of her lips turning into a broad smile, her eyes locking on his, “my skin is pretty fair, and after you do that to me, I don’t want to get sunburned.”
She took Pete’s hand and led him downstairs. Downstairs where he would find himself loading the camera, hands shaking in expectation. Jennifer pulled the cape around her neck and fastened it herself. Pete grabbed the manual clippers after pressing ‘record’ on the camera.
“Are you ready?” he asked, his voice beginning to warble in excitement.
Jennifer looked straight into the mirror, getting one last look at her blonde locks. She sat up straight, squinted at the old her, the one who in a few minutes would be a thing of the past and nodded. “The time, sweetheart, is now,” she said.
The words rang in Pete’s ears. He’d hear them every three, or four, days for the rest of his life, as he’d fetch the washbasin and straight razor to clean up any stubble that showed up on his true love’s head.
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