"A very private appointment" stated the advertising board outside the dimly lit entrance to the city centre barbershop. I had often seen this sign but seemingly only when I was really satisfied with my own barber at the time. When I was between barbers I rose to the dare extended by my lovely Angel G who promised to accompany me to an early morning showdown with whoever cut hair inside such a foreboding shop. I was greeted by a receptionist in her fifties who asked me to take a seat and offered me coffee. The inside of the shop was plain, quiet and had cubicles with curtains across each of the four booths to assure privacy. I was intrigued and wondered where G had got to as she was to make a nonchalant entrance after I had started which was scheduled for 11.00am. On the dot of 11.00, a man approached and formally introduced himself as Simon, looking me up and down as if I did not reflect the normal client profile of this up market emporium. Beckoning me to follow, we entered the furthest cubicle from the entrance and he helped me off with my coat, placing it on a hanger and he invited me to take a seat in the black leather chair, which along with the wash basin directly in front of the chair, made up all the fixtures in the cubicle. The tools of Simon's trade were necessarily kept in a cupboard to the left of the chair and as excited as I was to be cocooned in this private cubicle I was already wondering where my guardian Angel was when I needed her to witness proceedings. The claustrophobic nature of the setting increased when Simon brought in his young female assistant or apprentice. There we were three of us in a cubicle built for two. How cosy it would be when my partner turned up to watch and supervise as promised. There had always been a certain amount of brinksmanship involved in our visiting of barbershops, Angel would invariably have to go first in case she changed her mind after I had been barbered and there would only ever need to be a single barber at work in case, horror of horrors, we were barbered at the same time and all input and control was relinquished.
"What would you like me to do today?" asked Simon as he carefully gowned me in a full black silky cape which he secured at the neck with the Velcro fastener. At that time I was wearing a long flat top which was high maintenance and led me to visit a barber every two or three weeks. I had allowed an extra week prior to the appointment and asked for a flat top claiming that my partner always thought there was room for a shorter style. "She'll be here in a while to look it over as she is an expert having lived with this style for a couple of years", I said as he combed it through. "First thing is to wash it I think" said Simon and I shuffled forward to the sink as the young woman assistant prepared my shampoo. The forward facing shampoo was a totally new experience and instead of looking up at this attractive young woman who wore her raven coloured hair in such a way it was a walking advert for the barber she assisted, cut as it was in a flattering short back and sides I was immersed in a torrent of suds and water. I had not really had time to notice the severity of the haircut as there was only one mirror in the cubicle and the assistant had stood in a reflective blind spot just inside the curtained entrance. The curtain was now closed, the water rushing over my head was blocking out all my primary senses and I was hoping the vigorous nature of the shampooing was meant to be therapeutic rather than relaxing as I felt as though my presence was unwelcome, as if there had been an atmosphere building between the two which I was about to feel the fallout from.
Finished with the shampoo I was sat back and towel dried by the assistant whose name I never did find out, and just in the nick of time I heard the voice of my Angel as she announced her arrival to the receptionist. "This is cosy" she said her face breaking into a beaming smile as the curtain was held open for her by the receptionist. We all turned in silence to admire her in her waxed green coat and black denims. G was wearing her hair short but not drastic in those days and at a pinch we could have appeared normal in any other setting than a cramped cubicle surrounding a soon to commence group work of a haircut.
Simon remained impassive as he combed the damp hair and attached the #3 guard onto the clippers muttering "Start with this and then see how it looks as we go shorter". There was a respectful silence as the clippers hummed into action up the back of my head and unlike many shops with their tinny radios and `muzak' systems, this silence would only have one transgressor as the two watching ladies stood in awe at the deftness of Simons clipper work. Again and again the clippers were run over the back and side with almost monotonous repetition. Then after reducing the hair down with the #2 guard, Simon asked me if I was comfortable with the small scars on my head being exposed. I had never been aware of them and he took two hand mirrors to show me the two, inch long scars at the back of my head above the ears and now hairline.
barber then spoke to my Angel and asked her how short she thought the flat top should be as if she were my parent. "I don't like to be able to hold it between my fingers anywhere below here" she said as she nipped at my temple which was still long enough to receive a tug. The three of them thought that was highly amusing. "And the top?" asked Simon. " I like to see the scalp across the top apart from in front of his ears." G replied.
This was quite a revelation hearing Angel being so assertive and I am sure the privacy helped. Reduced through further clipper work the outline of my skull was exposed to a greater degree than ever before. "Care to have a go?" I heard Simon say as I stared at Angel through the mirror. Thinking I was hearing things I thought it a little strange to refer to the job in hand in such a casual manner especially at these prices, but I could appreciate that the apprentice needed to do this type of work for her qualification. The apprentice stood motionless as it was Angel he was inviting to use the #1 guard on my hair.
As far as my fantasies went, this had to be a dream coming true. Angel took the clippers from Simon, thanked him and after aiming a delicious smile at me via the mirror, without hesitation she eased my head ever so slightly forward so I could still observe proceedings and pushed the clippers into my nape making very slow progress up to and above my right ear. There was strength in the strokes and I am sure if I could have seen the impression they made I would have been delighted. She then moved to the other side and repeated the action. Here was my beautiful if untrained Angel clippering me down to the scalp. I nearly exploded under the gown and imagined how much this new found power over me would be affecting G's libido. Simon allowed her to finish the whole area under my occipital bone and then he took the guard off to complete the hairline. I knew there would be only a shadow of hair around the back but enjoyed immensely the thought of her focusing entirely on my fantasy coming true in the confined space of the cubicle. The top was cut using a flattop comb with integral spirit level and in order to achieve the desired precision Simon had his assistant hold my head still while he took several unguarded passes across the top with the clippers. His assistant stood directly in front of me straddling the footrest on the chair and ever so slightly dug her nails into my temples and jaw as the clippers threw up the tiniest of hairs. She was very attractive with her hair cut around her ears and a fair amount of wax exaggerating the masculinity of the style on such delicate features. I caught her eye and she winked to show her approval of the whole appointment.
Once finished I was offered a second shampoo but this merely served to rinse away the cut hair and treat the scalp. This time the assistant was more relaxed as if proceedings had pleased her after an uncertain start. Simon took out the dryer and within five seconds was hanging it back on its hook. G walked round the front of the chair and gave an approving nod of satisfaction. It was the shortest of flat tops I ever had and I know I would have never taken it down to such a short length without the combination of privacy and the will of my Angel G. "Would you cut mine?" asked G as I was being disrobed and helped on with my coat by the assistant. "Sorry Madam, but the only females heads I barber are my staff, as I feel it is important for them to have an appreciation of the experience that we offer here."
I paid the receptionist a sum four times what I normally paid at the barbers and thanked the pair of them but declined a further appointment which was offered two weeks hence.
On the drive home we stopped off at the Hairdresser's Cash and Carry where we purchased a black silky gown and a flat top comb. We've had hours of fun with both playing at `Simon says.....'
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