With the Eyes of the Blind by Buzzbaby & HeadBoy
He looked deeply into her warm brown eyes, catching his reflection in them as he sought out her unspoken thoughts. Where he used to look into his morning coffee for answers to the great mysteries of life, he spent the last several glorious mornings looking into those eyes. He saw joy in simple things resident there on most days. Occasionally there was a flash of fleeting anger, and just as rarely, a cloud of sadness. He might have been flattering himself, but he also thought he saw her falling for him, even though she hadn’t admitted it yet. She believed some of what she read and some of what she heard. But she believed nearly all of what she saw and he wanted to take that from her.
“I trust you,” she said, tentatively using a long finger to trace the outline of the adhesive blindfold that lay in wait on the counter. He had fashioned it from soft black cloth with light adhesive edges that would seal out her sight for the next few hours. Tossing back her deep brown mane, she looked at him and smiled. The fact that the blindfold’s design left her hair unfettered did not go unnoticed.
He kissed her eyes one at a time. Then her mouth. A long soulful kiss that turned to hunger in anticipation of the next few hours. His hands went from her waist to the nape of her neck, where he buried them in her baby soft hair.
“Tonight you will see through the eyes of the blind. When deprived of your sight, the other senses rally to give you the answers that your eyes take for granted. Do not ignore your sixth sense – intuition and premonition. That will help heighten the experience. Above all, remember that the sense of touch is not just what you come into contact with. It is also the sensations that arise from touching or being touched.”
He untangled his hands from her hair and picked up the blindfold. “Are you ready?”
She gulped and tried to force words out of her mouth. They would not come forth. She struggled to make her vocal chords respond; again, nothing. Finally, a pensive nod of her head told him to proceed. She felt those brown tendrils of hers brush up and down her shoulders. They had discussed this before, but she never thought she’d go through with it… Her heart began to race as the room went dark. The blindfold fit almost too well. There was only blackness as she adjusted to the sensation she was beginning to feel.
She remembered the high school assignment years ago, when she was blindfolded and forced to spend an afternoon struggling through the hallways of Eastview High, bumping into lockers. It didn’t give her insight into the life of the sightless, just bruised knees. This was different somehow.
She could hear the clock on the wall ticking away in its martial form, tick, tick, tick. The room smelled, vaguely, of a citronella candle that rested on a shelf nearby. She wondered why she’d never noticed any of this before. She’d been down in this basement a few times, and none of these things had caught her attention. Time seemed to race and drag at the same time. After what seemed like three hours, she heard his feet shuffle slightly to the card table he’d set up for the evening’s experience. She heard his feet stop, the table creak on its aluminium legs, a metallic object was lifted from it, she knew what it was… or did she?
The brush ran through her hair, he didn’t speak. She could hear his breathing getting heavier, faster and more excited. The brush pulled through her mane in even strokes which became more manic, shorter then longer. His heartbeat filled her ears, ears that would soon be revealed for all the world to see. See? What could she see now?
She noticed all the scents in the room had become more noticeable: his cologne was sweeter than she’d noticed before, the citronella candle bordered on the smell of sugar burning on the stove. The smell she knew too well from summers at grandma’s house, making fudge and watching Lawrence Welk reruns with her old, sweet, grandmother. The stench of machine oil from the clippers that lay on the card table, awaiting the moment they’d fire into action, the faint waft of rust from the table itself, left out in the rain once too often.
The sound of the phone ringing upstairs, and the answering machine picking up. The “beep” and an undistinguishable voice leaving information for him to retrieve when they were done here in the dark cage that held her.
She felt the straps secure her hands under the chair, and the soft, near-velvet, rope that bound her feet to the chair legs. If she thought of running, and she did, she could not. The die was cast as the brush strokes again grew long, patient and loving. Then they stopped.
A “thud” shattered the background noises as the brush hit the table. There was an audible “click” as her removed the number 5 guard that was in place on the black, oily, Wahl clippers he’d cleaned and prepped for the occasion. His breathing had graduated to heavy panting, like a hound dog on a July noon in the Arizona heat.
The “clang” she heard was the switch gliding into the on position, he’d pressed it so hard, it left an impression on his thumb. The word “damn” was mumbled from his lips… the clippers sparked to life with more of a “thump” than a “pop.”
Every muscle in her body tensed. She struggled to free her hands to no avail. She could feel those delicate velvet ropes around her ankles hold fast as she tried to kick free. Words would not come through her too dry throat. Her stomach became a tangle of knots and volcanoes erupting into her neck and to the back of her mouth.
Her head began to tingle like an army of ants crawling across it in unison. She knew what was coming. Her body remained a tense, coiled, thing. Like a jungle cat ready to pounce, she struggled for an out. Then, she felt the thoughts racing in her head, the “what if?”
“What if this looks awesome? What if it looks alien? What if my ears are huge? What if they were the most nibble-begging part of my body?” Her muscles relaxed. Her fate was sealed, why not at least try to enjoy what she’d agreed to? The teeth of the clippers caught on the side of her head as they began to glide toward her hairline.
“Senses. Think about senses. Taste. Touch. Smell. Sound. Intuition.” His voice breathed the words into her ears only once… yet suddenly they were repeating in her head. Over and over again. Nearly drowning out the sound of the clippers that lay in wait against her cheek, just begging to be pushed into the sheaf of glossy brown that was her hair. The shearing was inevitable and now she was resigned to savor the experience – every minute sensation.
The vibration slightly tickled and it was warm on her cheek. She pushed against it, almost nuzzling it to get the full effect of the electric motor.
The vibration had turned to a dull throb, centered deep within her. A throb that matched her heartbeat. Or was that his?
The basement was damp and cool, yet she felt small drops of sweat beading on her lips. Her tongue ran over them, catching the tiny beads and with them, the acrid taste of clipper oil and citronella. The smell of the hot oil was in her nose and now impairing her sense of taste. “I need something to clear this smell from my memory,” she thought.
And as if she willed it to happen, the vibration on her cheek moved toward her ear. Gone were the heartbeats… the ticking clock… the throb that was so powerful that she was sure it was audible. The hum was deafening; a high-pitched buzz of equipment waiting to be challenged by work. And work it did.
The first little tendrils to fall were no match for the clippers and the hum barely changed its tenor. She thought the falling wisp of hair was a fly brushing by her cheek… either not realizing or not accepting that the shearing had begun. There was no need to strain to hear or feel what came next.
The Wahl’s motor kicked down a notch in sound, much like the lawnmower when he hit a patch of particularly dense grass. The pressure on the side of her head increased and that’s when the smell hit her nostrils. A rush of fragrance that it took her a moment to place. Her Herbal Essence shampoo – released into the air by the hungry teeth of the clippers, mowing off the hair from ear to temple like just so much green grass. She thought of the commercial – three hot guys shampooing a fully dressed model – and it made her laugh at the irony of what was happening in the space on the other side of her blindfold.
Apparently her falling hair was like water to that Arizona hound dog, because his breathing had slowed considerably. She heard a click and the buzzing stopped. His feet shuffled away from her, but not so far away that she couldn’t hear the brass zipper of his jeans being unzipped or his shoes being kicked off into a corner. It amazed her that his jeans, even after literally hundreds of washings, made so much noise as he slid them over his hips and let them drop in a heap on the floor. “So that’s what a heap sounds like,” she thought.
There was a soft sigh of satisfaction from his side of the basement and then the padding of feet encased in white athletic socks back over to the makeshift barbershop. The closer the sound came, the more she could smell that shampoo smell. He had taken the shorn lock with him and now he was coming back.
She felt a slippery silken ribbon being slid back and forth under her chin. “No. It’s not a ribbon. It’s my hair.” Moving her head around, she tried to direct the severed lock back to its rightful place -covering the right side of her head from ear to temple. He stifled a laugh and dropped one end of the lock, causing the clipped ends to brush her cleavage. She shivered, knowing that the only way her hair would touch her breast like that was if it was indeed shorn away.
“Amazing sensations, aren’t they,” he whispered, tugging back slowly on a handful of hair he had gathered at her nape. With her face tilted up in this way, she could feel the minty warmth of his breath on her face…
The breath in her face mixed with the droplets of sweat hanging on her lip. An unattractive combination, but one that was hers alone. The drone of the Wahls increased as she felt the back of her head get lighter, the tickle of hair falling down her back and the damp near-still breeze hit the now exposed neck of hers. Her stomach unknotted as she felt the air on her head, the drumbeat of her heart had returned to her chest, and she felt herself breathe in the stillness of the moment as he shuffled his feet around to the other side of her head.
His feet sliding along the concrete floor made a noise like sandpaper running across some Bob Villa project he watched on t.v. so many times as the night wound down. His foot tapped to some playful melody in his head. She could hear it, it sounded like a bad attempt at some Barenaked Ladies tune. The lyrics ran through her head as she felt the clippers stick into the spot behind her ear and work upward. She could actually feel the teeth of the Wahls eat away at her scalp, forcing her mane down to nubs in an instant. The downshifting Wahls picked up speed again when they hit the top of her head. He ran them over the same spot five, then six, times.
By now, she knew she’d been shorn, but had no clue what it looked like. She loved the feel of the clippers, nibbling at her scalp, the coolness of the room catching behind her now-exposed ears, the lilt of his cologne, her Herbal Essence shampoo, the stuff she wouldn’t be needing for a while.
“Do I use soap when I wash my head?” she wondered. Was shampoo still necessary? “Ivory Soap? Jergen’s Lotion? What does a bald girl use to care for her naked head?” The thoughts in her head became a reality at that moment… “Bald girl?” It echoed in her near-naked head. “Oh… My… God… I really let him do this! What was I thinking?”
She long to touch her head and realize it hadn’t happened, but she knew it had. She’d felt the clipping, the back and forth motion of the Wahls as they cleared path after path, row after row of her head. Then the clippers stopped.
“Squish” is more a noise than a sound, but that was what she heard as he grabbed the can of shaving cream and pressed the top. His hands coming together made a muted clapping sound as he worked the lather between his palms. It felt warm when slathered on her head. It felt titillating, exciting even. But the shock of what was happening was racing through her head, as she felt him massage her scalp with the foamy, spearmint scented warmth.
Her scalp tingled. Her fingers went numb from the excitement. Her body shook. Her ear, her now-exposed ears, that did in fact invite nibbling, could hear the crackle of the bubbles popping on her head as the foam settled into place.
His hand made short strokes across the top of her hairline. The scraping of her dome felt different than when she’d shave her legs, more permanent. More definite. More, something. She felt how cold the cool basement air felt against her naked scalp. How frigid the room had become. How the sound of the short strokes made a “rasp” sound, while the long ones were more of a “whoosh”. The moment would not last much longer. Did she really want to touch her denuded head? Would she prefer not to see the reality before her? Would she cry?
She hadn’t yet.
Her ears folded without a fight when he bent them to shave around the sides of her head. Her skin began to feel sides of her head. Her skin began to feel a slight burning as the sharp steel blade of the razor scraped across it many, many times.
A hot towel wrapped around her head shocked her into the present, yet again. It made her notice the unique feeling of hot, wet, cloth on her bald head for the first time. She liked it. She hated it too. Couldn’t stand not knowing how it looked. But the scent of her skin, scraped smooth, had a touch of sweat, a bit of spearmint and plenty of fear… the smell of fear was indescribable, but immediately identifiable.
It was still in her nostrils as the Jergens Lotion bottle sitting nearby popped open, with a pronounced “boomp!” His hands squished and sloshed the liquid around.
It soothed the burning on her skull. It smelled like Heaven. It salved the wounds on top of her melon, and the pangs of uncertainty inside her.
She was convinced everything was okay when she felt his breath on her newly nude head. The edges of his moustache barely skimmed her scalp as he nibbled each little bump that his work had exposed. “So what are you now – a phrenologist who uses his lips,” she asked, laughing. Her voice was a little scratchy, but the fact that she could once again speak indicated her acceptance of the last hour’s events. “Ummmmmmmm,” was his only response.
“Are you going to let me see your creation? Or are you keeping me in the dark forever?” She was anxious; excited even to see what it was that was holding him speechless and spellbound. Was her bare head really that sexy? “Not just yet,” he mumbled as he slid his tongue over the top of her ear, tracing her non-existent hairline all the way to the base of her neck.
Her mind raced. She thought it was the cutting that was his fantasy but now she knew better. It was the result that he adored. The cutting had aroused him, but her pale smooth scalp had apparently shackled him emotionally to her. The idea of her Buddhist friends rubbing the belly of Buddha came to her mind. He rubbed her head with the same tender devotion. He might have thought he had controlled her in this experiment, but in truth, he was obviously hers. Without question.
“To truly experience this through the eyes of the blind, I think you should at least untie my hands,” she said, “After all, the blind read with their hands and in essence, their hands assist them in ‘seeing’. Can you at least do that?”
It took him a moment to divert his thoughts from his worship of her scalp to her request. “Okay,” he whispered, “but don’t take off the blindfold yet.” He slid his hands over her scalp to her neck and shoulders, finally finding the knots in the velvet ropes that held her hands fast to the chair. He loosened one hand, holding it and rubbing her wrists.
With her one free hand she reached up to her nape. It was perfectly smooth. No stubble. Nothing but cool, soft skin. Her fingertips found her ear… small and close to her head… adorned only by a small diamond stud that was previously hidden by the mane that lay forgotten at her feet. The top of her head was soon at the mercy of her palm. She rubbed small, tenative circles at first, that became larger and more urgent, as did her smile. “This is amazing! Let me use both hands!” she chuckled.
Her second hand free to join the first, she reveled in the sensation of being bald. She thought of how great it felt to shave her legs at night, sliding them between cool cotton sheets. And she fantasized about her head feeling the same way on the pillow.
The idea of removing the blindfold never crossed her mind. She could see herself plainly in the darkness.
The perfectly white teeth. The smile that lit up any room. Deep brown eyes that danced with every word. A dimple that sometimes gave away her secret desires. The sparkling diamond studs in her ears. And her outrageously beautiful scalp. Cool. Bare. Confident.
He joined her in adoration of her baldness. His lips kissed her hands as they explored this new territory. He reached forward to remove the blindfold, but she stopped him. “It isn’t time yet,” she said, grinning as she spoke. “Get me a mirror and untie my feet please.”
“Anything for you baby” was his reply and she knew he meant it.
When he returned with the mirror, she was standing by the rusty old table, blindfold still firmly in place. She patted the table, slowly identifying the items that lay there, until she found the trusty old Wahl’s. The grin on her face was impish. No. Devilish.
Kissing her head, he chuckled. “Baby, I’m afraid there isn’t anything left to shave on that head of yours!”
Reaching out toward the sound of his voice, she found his face and pulled him to her. “You’re right. But there is on YOUR head. Imagine. Shaved with the eyes of the blind.”
They were both grinning as he sat down in the chair.