The Wild Rogue River by Ted Morgan [email protected]
This is a fictitious story that digs into daydreams about female haircuts and head shaving. It is my effort to return to our community the riches I have gotten reading the Story Archive. I do not mean for the story to cause anyone to hurt or humiliate another person. Real haircuts and head shaves should be joyful experiences for everyone involved, not humiliations – unless that is what the person being sheared really wants. Maybe – I hope – a lot of women play with this fantasy. I am almost but not completely certain that I could engage in the behavior I depict. However, it is fun to think about it. At least one woman to whom I have talked responds only to forced haircuts, though she remains more than ambivalent about receiving one.
Melanie Daniels had the icy good looks of a mature but Classic California Girl. At 39, her adolescent tans had aged her a bit more than she would have liked. Still, her contour caught the eyes of men. She wore almost the same dress size she had worn in her early twenties. Her red smile and pale blue Scandinavian eyes engaged immediate attention.
Her once sun-touched blond hair had taken on slightly darker qualities that suggested the fine distinctions of a mature classic French wine. Also she had that poise and sense of passionate sexuality that women finally gain in the thirties. She did not fawn and she did not push. However, she enjoyed being pursued by the right man. In other words, she was not as completely unattainable as younger Classic California Girls, but invited astute and confident chase. You had the idea that you might have a chance – even if you did not.
As a hair fetishist, I found her hair my focus of her physical attractiveness, but her humor and intelligence secured my devotion. Her tawny hair ran well below her shoulders but completely to her waist. Her hair had thick texture for a native blond. It was full and thick. She had to have it thinned fairly often. Melanie brushed her great hair to a bright sheen by lifting it over her head and dropping it down her face. She then brushed robustly and exuberantly.
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She did this often enough in public that I realized brushing defined an important part of her flirting. Frequently, she voiced her intelligence in an adamantine, ironic timbre. After you got to know her, she voiced a much warmer, gracious tone.
Sexually, Melanie followed the advice of the classic essayist Michel Eyquem de Montaigne: She took off her modesty just as she took off her clothes when she climbed into bed. She put her modesty back on with her clothes when she climbed out of bed.
Melanie and I first met at a political rally for Presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy on April 4, 1968, an awful day in United States history. Stunned by news of another assassination just after we met, we went for cocktails to recover enough to get home. That year, I worked for a famous advertising agency at the Wells Fargo Building in San Francisco. There I had worked up from the requisite mailroom experience to a copywriter. I dreamed of becoming an account manager. Melanie, I discovered, already was an account manager for a rival agency. However, she was then fourteen years older than I was.
Her job is why she wore elegant business clothing. Tight skirts and jackets the same variations of dark blue and gray. Her Classic California Girl good looks deepened her aura. She was one stunning woman, though with more of a late fifties and early sixties style than a late sixties one, except for that extraordinary thick, long, red-yellow mane.
Assuming “an older woman” passed completely beyond my grasp, I assumed that I would never, after that afternoon and evening of riots and despair, see her again. When I was 20, I assumed a beautiful aged 23 was out of reach. Asinine me.
However, she surprised me. Suddenly, we “ran into each other” at lunch and then fatefully at the American Conservatory Theater during a performance of Richard Howard’s translation of my then favorite play Moliere’s ‘Le Misanthrope’. Well, we didn’t see each other at the performance but later at that little bar across the street from ACT.
No longer dressed like a cold blond icon from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, Melanie Daniels wore what almost looked like a simple but elegant cocktail dress. She saw me as I entered and walked toward my table. I was drinking with my blind friend Bob, who had gotten me a ticket to the play. I stood up to greet her and asked her to join us. Melanie surprised me. “That’s why I’m here.”
I had put my blind friend up to complimenting Melanie on her dress and she complimented me on my camel blazer. Bob laughed as I acquainted the two to each other. Gin on the rocks, then my drink of choice, and Scotch, Melanie and Bob’s choice, shifted us into conversation, social intimacy, and mutual esteem. Two old Georgia boys and a Classic California Girl enjoyed a long evening of a bit too much spirits.
Bob, Melanie, and I hailed a cab. Bob dropped us off at Melanie’s apartment in Pacific Heights and took the cab back to his place on Hill Street in the Mission District.
Okay, I know that we guys want immediately to get into another fetish haircutting yarn, not a gushy romance story. I myself like stories that begin with hair and end with baldness, not a lot of girly poetry. Still, I don’t care if many of you guys read my yarns. I dream about that amorous woman who finds certain reveries and daydreams compelling as compelling as romantic as I do. Okay! I’m getting to the good stuff.
That night Melanie did take off her modesty for a while and I tried to forget about mine. In the morning, she acted as if we had never explored the sexual mystery of the other person. We talked about advertising. She was professional enough not to share any proprietary secrets and I didn’t know any from my agency.
“Why were you massaging my scalp last night?”
“Huh?” My face flushed a tad.
“Your fingers dug through my hair to my scalp like Livingston plunging into Africa. What was that about? ”
“Poetic!” I mumbled.
“Poetic nothing. You were indulging a fantasy, weren’t you?”
I begged off. “Let’s talk about this another time.”
“There won’t be another time, if you don’t tell me what you were dreaming.”
Then I spilled out the “lurid fantasies”. Remember this was eight or more years before Bob Fitzgerald’s The Razor’s Edge. It was a long time before Helen Sanger’s celebration of the Renaissance haircuts, and Janet De Vito’s highly charged piecemeal shearing and headshaving. Before those archetypal happenings, the only women who got shaved were women enduring humiliation or actresses, or more likely starlets, portraying victims of humiliating haircuts.
This was not the kind of thing that a young advertising copywriter with great ambitions to explain to a mature account executive – especially if she was the most beautiful woman with whom he had ever made love. No. Not really. Not at all! With these lurid desires and thoughts, I felt considerable self-loathing.
Surprisingly, Melanie didn’t blanch. She didn’t call me a sexual deviant or even call the police. She just chortled in amused delight. She told me that many women had the same fantasies. (They did!)
She told me about a really bad movie that opens with the best fetish scene ever depicted (back then) in a movie. In the movie an entrancing long-haired starlet gets sheared and shaved while Joseph Stalin stands in front of her and watches. Melanie said that she had gotten intensely aroused by watching the movie a decade earlier.
She said that after that she enjoyed weird fantasies about being forced to endure abnormally humiliating haircuts. Sometimes in her fantasies, she got buzzed. Sometimes her hair was chopped off. Sometimes she endured a cold head shave in a brutal prison. Standard fare for a guy, but strange to hear from a beautiful, sophisticated lover. Really!
Melanie told me that she felt turned off but, at the same time, captivated by her nightmare fantasy. She could not explain it, except to say that once in early September back in Minnesota that she and some other girls got shaved completely bald in a parochial school after a nit inspection. No one found any nits or head lice, but someone thought it a good idea to shave the children’s heads as a preventive measure. She was eight at the time.
Oddly, she said that this was the most humiliating experience of her childhood. However, as she matured, she began to think of it as an intense erotic echo from her childhood. What an improbable story from the Classic California Girl! Hadn’t she implied that she grew up on Bodega Bay?
I was not and am not certain the story was true. Who knows?
Sharing that fantasy animated a strange but rather compulsive intimacy between Melanie and me that lasted for almost four years. Melanie did not want me to cut her hair or shave her. Instead, she stroked her (and my) fantasy of her enduring a savage haircut. It took me nearly four years to figure out how to do the deed. Still, I did figure it out. In the meanwhile, for almost four years, not a single amorous snip – certainly not ever the efficient hum an electric clipper but lots of hot talk during making love about cutting off hair and fingers digging deep into a mound of tawny hair to almost virgin scalp passed between us.
During those vast dark years of the late sixties and early seventies, I never saw even a hint of bald women. I did from time to time read about a few radical feminists giving each other haircuts in protest of being taken only as sexual objects. Just the way to become a sexual object in my book.
Silver Shores is a small and then isolated village on the Pacific Coast between Crescent City, California and Bandon, Oregon. Zane Gray, the famous author of Westerns, once lived and worked nearby in the Rogue River Valley. My friend Mitch and I played golf in that same Valley, not three miles from the rugged, wild Oregon Coast.
Mitch Brenner was a criminal defense attorney, who practiced in the Bay Area. I think that he had met Melanie in a bird shop in San Francisco long before I was old enough to play. I met him through Melanie.
Mitch spent weekends on Bodega Bay. That must have been why I thought Melanie was from there. I later learned that she was a daughter in a prominent family that controlled a shipyard. Melanie alienated her family in two ways. First, she had never married. Second, she had a business career in advertising and refused to grow out of her need for a job.
Mitch eventual told me that he and Melanie had been together for several years. He wanted family, he said. He also said that Melanie wanted rough trade. “Melanie gave me a weird feeling. I didn’t think she has ever really grounded. She is so damn pretty she can find a handsome lover anywhere and anytime she takes a mind to.”
Eventually, Mitch confessed that he knew all about her fascination with getting a forced haircut. “Go, figure,” he muttered. He married one of her society friends and got the entire wonderful disaster of wife, children, and a mortgage – at first with impossibly too high notes and later for what seemed in retrospect a steal.
Mitch flew his own twin-engine Cessna. Apparently, he spent a lot of time polishing his flying skills. I liked going up with him. From time to time, we flew to Silver Shores to play golf.
For some reason, Mitch knew the famous Sheriff Arthur Baird, a retired California Highway Patrolman (CHIPS, I guess), who earned a Master of Counseling degree. Art looked like a quintessential Mississippi sheriff. His red-blond to gray crewcut matched the stereotype. His extended belly matched it. However, he was actually a sort of libertarian and almost a rather left-wing guy.
He didn’t worry about recreational drugs or a bit of gambling. He didn’t seem to worry much about anything, except arresting criminals on outstanding warrants. Mitch said that he thought that Art got an under-the-table kickback from bondsmen who needed a bit of local help.
Silver Shores stood at the end of the trail, on the border between the North American and the Pacific Plates (don’t know that we knew this then, but it stresses the notion that Silver Shores lived in an isolated if not entirely idyllic place).
Men with outstanding bench warrants – for missing court or not reporting to jail – fled, usually with their wives and children, from all over the country to Rogue River County. The only jobs for most of these men came at the plywood mills.
Whenever Art drove out to a mill to arrest anyone, the mill usually had to close for the rest of the day. Too many workers knew that he might be coming for them. Art told the managers of the plywood mills that he would try to come late in the afternoons but that he also had to keep up the uncertainty of surprise. Mitch made certain I met Art during my first visit.
Over drinks at the clubhouse after an 18-hole round of golf, I asked Art about the infamous stories of the sheriff of an isolated coastal county harassing hippies with unwanted haircuts. He laughed and said that he wasn’t that sheriff.
Then he told me about the large number of volunteer deputies he had. His county was a rough place and he figured some of his boys might get a little bored and a bit frisky, but he had great confidence in his boys. They would never hurt anyone.
I didn’t press the question. After all, this wasn’t Philadelphia, Mississippi. This was open-minded Oregon. What harm could a little haircut cause anyone?
Mitch later told me that Art didn’t keep a close eye on his volunteer deputies, not out of neglect but out of a generally high regard for the innate goodness of human beings. He was a Unitarian, not a Presbyterian. Maybe Rogue River County included some rouge policemen. He said maybe I could hire some help in helping Melanie realize her heart’s desire. I smiled.
A few months later after another great round of golf but a Pebble Beach this time, I blurted out, “Mitch, lets put it on the line. Let’s get Melanie her forced haircut for her.”
“Well, there are several legal, ethical, and moral problems involved,” he mumbled.
“Yeah, I know. It’s not lawful, honest, or good to do it. Still and all, it might be the worst and the most thrilling thing that ever happens to her. She’s forty-three. She can afford to do anything she wants to do.”
“Tell you what. I know some old boys up here. You get Melanie to drive up here. I’ll make certain these old boys find some pharmaceuticals on her. You ride with her and you may get to give her the haircut of her life and yours.”
I had long suspected that Mitch had a latent sexual aberration. If he meant this, I knew he had it.
“Trust me. Just let me know when she will drive up with you. Use her Austin-Martin. Make sure she drives in this county.”
I could not believe I could actually do this to a woman I adored. Nevertheless, the force of fantasy and desire took over and reigned. The rule of passion in the Dark Age of long hair drove me to revolt against the boring status quo of messy but great hair.
As fate would have it, Melanie suggested that we drive up the California and Oregon Coast during the delightful last days of August. She mentioned that Mitch owned a little place on the Rogue River. He had offered it to her for a few days.
“Great!” I blurted out.
The drive was the usual breath-taking trek. We made many stops. We enjoyed little inns (now they are called bed and breakfasts). Melanie and I took time to linger in great forests and to make love in the wild. Sauntering toward Silver Shores, we took time to celebrate her mature graces. It was the most idyllic moment of my life. We never talked about our lurid fancy.
At rainy Crescent City, I left a message for Mitch telling him to call off our ignoble plan. I suggested without any good reason that I thought Melanie and I might suddenly marry or, at least, become engaged. Melanie considered my sudden idea to detour along Highway 199 to Grants Pass and avoid Silver Shores altogether.
Melanie almost cried like a child at this suggestion. I hinted this was simply to drop over to Crater Lake.
“We’ve been there. The lodge won’t have room,” she struggled to protest.
Nothing to do but to drive up through Brookings and then right into a good chance of a trap in Sliver Shores.
“Well, it’s for the best if Mitch doesn’t get my message and call off his good old boys.” The fantasy returned to haunt me.
“You look anxious.” I raged with a wild hunger – for something diverted too long, something that had waited too long.
“No, not at all,” I murmured.
“Here big boy,” she said as she touched my leg with her gloved hand. She really was a child of an earlier time than mine, even though we were really part of the same generation. I like this road. Let me drive.”
“No, I feel fine.”
“We are in my car.”
Of course, Melanie Daniels drove and, of course, nothing happened.
Mitch’s place was merely a pleasant modern little farmhouse just past the wonderful golf course. Low, rolling coastal mountain, eons older than the pinnacles of the Cascades east of us, framed the farm and its nearby neighbors. The house was plain and inelegant but comfortable and dry.
We were there for several days and I assumed Mitch had gotten word to his good old boys. We even played golf with Sheriff Baird and had drinks at the clubhouse afterward.
We took long walks up into the mountains. We sat by the fire. Our lovemaking voiced immense mutual tenderness. I hinted at marriage. Melanie smiled, “You know how crazy I am.”
“So do I. Hell, everyone has his little peccadilloes”
Melanie smiled the loveliest smile. Her hair played in the light of a fire. Her breath smelled of good wine. Her body moved like the most graceful girl. Holding her in my arms, we drifted off to sleep. From time to time a pickup truck rumbled on the road.
A horse neighed. An errant gull – the gulls in Oregon are enormous – sounded overhead. The scent of the Pacific blended with the scent of oaks and conifers soothed us. Neither of us was aware. This was essential background to our bliss.
Deep in the late August night, a slight impression of activity and movement infiltrated our peace. Melanie slept contently like a child on the sofa. I went to the bathroom and then to the kitchen for water. It was then that the dreaded and much desired assault began. Two guys wearing hunter’s camouflage burst into the kitchen. They didn’t break down the door. They used a key!
“Hey fellows, we called this off!”
“Called off what?”
“We have a search warrant for this address.” Well, their warrant looked official. It was signed by a judge, whose name I recognized.
“Go ahead. Let me wake up Melanie.” Melanie did not look surprised, just sleepy. She asked if she could make coffee for the officers and strangely they thanked her.
Their search was efficient and focused. They went to Mitch’s little office and broke open a desk drawer. “There!” one of them said.
They walked back in and stated that they had a found a plastic bag of pure white pills that looked a lot like the pure Sandoz tabs you would have seen from time to time in San Francisco when acid was still a legal drug.
All the time, I had forgotten that Melanie was not really dressed, except for a teddy. She had left open the essential openings. I gave her my robe.
Melanie casually lit a cigarette, drew deeply from it, and slowly exhaled in a long slow stream of smoke. Her impeccable Classic California Girl good looks gave her a dignity even at 43 that ordinary beautiful women would not have had in such extremity.
“Well, the desk was locked. It’s not our house. Have you gotten what you need?” Melanie coolly asked.
“We have to take you in for booking.”
“Not you. She is the suspect.”
“My God, do you know who this is? She is the manager of a major account for an international advertising company. You can’t book her. It’ll destroy her career,” I lied.
“You are in the backwoods. We could report no one was at home – for a price.”
“How much you want?” I answered without thinking. I had gone to college at Tulane in New Orleans. I knew all about enduring extortion by public officials.
“Hey, that’s a felony offense. I’ll forget you made the offer.”
“Then what do you want?”
“You’re in Rogue River County. You have heard about us. We want to give the little lady a little something to remember and we want to keep a little something from her.”
“David, it’s okay. I’m on the pill. If I have to give them a little something, I’ll just have to make my little donation.” Melanie sounded like a crude street walker. “I’ve done cops in my time,” she shocked me.
“We’ve got wives, Miss Daniels. We want to surprise them with wigs,” one grunted.
Melanie looked as good as utterly shocked, except but she almost smiled. Was she in on this?
“I’ve had long hair all my adult life. I guess I can grow more.” She didn’t even look bothered.
“Look,” I interrupted, ” let me telephone Art Baird.”
I picked up the telephone receiver. Silence startled me. “Look, we know who you are, Miss Daniels. Someone wants you to get a haircut. Do you want your lovebird to buzz off your hair or do you want one of us smelly old guys to chop it into pieces?”
Well, neither guy was old. Neither one smelled bad either. In fact, they stank of vanity room soap.
Melanie broke out laughing. “I can’t go on – this is too funny but it’s not really erotic.”
“You knew about Mitch’s plan?”
“Mitch’s plan! Hell, he cut off my hair years ago. I liked being tied up. One day, he added his own agenda. Cut off all my hair in three minutes with a clipper while I was tied to the headboard. It was the most humiliating experience of my life. Then over the next months, I remembered it as the most erotic.
“I never dated him again. I loved torturing him with memory of his finest moment – mine too!”
“Fellows, I need some help here. You came of a job and looking for fun. Let’s have it.”
Melanie stopped laughing. “Cut it out!”
“You mean ‘cut it off’, don’t you?”
“Hey, this isn’t fun. Stop! I’ll have you arrested!”
One of the young men grabbed Melanie who kicked, shouted, and screamed.
“Mitch and you made a deal. We have more than one audio tape that proves you planned all of this. You have a history of sadomasochistic play. Mitch has photographs of you that would make John Wily wince. You’re getting a haircut. Enjoy!”
“David, it’s your turn!”
Melanie kicked. One of the young men stuffed a kitchen wash cloth through her perfect lips down enough into her mouth to stifle her overly dramatic screams.
The other fellow pulled her teddy below her perfect California Girl bosom. We all pushed her into a straight back chair that seemed engineered for this use.
She kicked. She cried. She pushed and squirmed. I gathered her hair into a ponytail and almost sheared it off with the large shears the boys had thoughtfully brought with them.
No, why not use the clippers from the start. The slow drill is her pleasure. The bald look is mine. Let’s take the express lane.
Hair fell from her brow. One of the boys brought in her vanity mirror with the convex mirror on one side and the contour on the other.
Melanie’s hips began to jump up and down from the chair to which we held her. Sweat ran down her brow in the cool night air. The boys had left the kitchen door wide open.
Slowly, I clipped her hair away without any guard on the clippers. First, she got the ever-popular Benjamin Franklin cut. We were patriotic in those days!
Tears ran down her face and hair stuck to her lips, shoulders, arms, and breasts. In spite of myself, I tenderly caressed my lover’s remaining hair and her nubs in the sheared areas. Melanie exploded into what could have only been a moment of passionate bliss.
We dropped the cloth from her mouth and freed her lips. I told the boys to have all the fun they wanted. Melanie wouldn’t mind and she didn’t complain. Minutes of snipping followed minutes of all the things a red-blooded American boy dreams about doing to the golden California girl and what that classic beauty longs to have done to her.
As morning light flooded the kitchen – we were in mountain valley and got the full light late – we prepared the winch for shaving. We worked slowly. We had all already taken our pleasure. The faint nubs slowly disappeared. Gray began to replace that one impeccable pate. I love the grayness of a freshly shaved female head even more than I love good Cuban cigars and playing a great round of golf.
Suddenly, Sheriff Art Baird walked in. He said Mitch had phoned and said to look in on us. The Sheriff looked surprised, but not very much surprised. He just apologized for intruding unannounced and mumbled something about Mitch saying we two were weird.
I guess he figured it’s a free country. I know he didn’t recognize the two young men. As soon as we polished up Melanie’s scalp with lotion and glossed her to a sheen, the two young men left with Melanie’s hair in hand. Either they or someone else wanted it, I guess. Melanie didn’t, nor did I. It was only a minor relic from a Dark Age we had suddenly escaped.
After everyone left Melanie and I ravished each other a last time. Then we showered and went into town for a late lunch. She thanked me for the engagement ring. When I clumsily asked what ring did she mean, she tracked the fine boundary between a California girl’s classic tan and the deep gray that lies beneath a pretty woman’s distorting locks.
Melanie never wore a wig. Never answered any questions. She did respond with her own question about how long women would endure being nothing more than sexual fetishes and sexual playthings. Mitch never owned up to anything. Melanie never did either. I didn’t know whether I set this off, Mitch set it off, or Melanie directed all of it. It just didn’t seem important to think about the road to paradise when you got there.
Those pale blue Scandinavian eyes peered under a gray shine. We were finally lovers for real – an old Georgia boy and a Classic California Girl no longer living the false life of a sexual icon – no longer a victim of a patriarchal dominion. Yeah.