• "Next" I hear from across the room, one of the operators is available.

    The woman who brought me here clasps my tiny wrist like a vice, nearly cutting off the circulation to my hand, and leads me to the available chair.

    The ancient, cracked, and faded black leather of the seat's back sends a frigid chill up my spine as I go from gaping at it with my eyes to sitting in it.

    The operator walks in front of me with a dark blue piece of thin plastic designed to catch whatever falls off, make it easier to clean up. The kkkkkrrrrrkkkk of the fabric adhesive makes me shake in my seat as the operator forces my head to lean forwards, then reaches around with his freezing cold hands to secure the catcher on me. It's like a giant
    restraint, I can move my hands out from under it and wave them about, but it's no use, they won't let me up. I might as well just be tied to this chair.

    He steps back, exchanges words with the woman with vice hands, something about shape and length, it's gibberish to me. Once they're done talking, the operator walks to a counter, looks around a bit, trying to figure out just which instrument to use. He picks things up, looks them over, and sets them back down. Fickle.

    He finally settles on a toothed device. Long, metal blades come off the end to keep things straight, and it makes an obnoxious zzzzzzz when it's used. I'm terrified, but I don't show it. I sit there, looking straight ahead with a pseudo-gusto.


    All my thoughts are interrupted. My vigorous stare forward is diverted straight to the buzzer, my body starts to tremble, I don't want this. I'm terrified. Don't get that th get away, no, no, stop. What are you doing.

    The state of pure fear I'm in denies me the solidity to voice my thoughts any way other than bursting into tears, screams permeate the air, the crackly old seat becomes cracklier as I grip its arms much like the woman gripped me.

    The vibrations along my skull as the buzzer runs right across it drown out anything and everything I'm thinking.

    The woman, my mother, sits looking at me from the bench. The operator, a hair stylist, looks at me puzzled.

    My mother apologizes to the man, comes to me, and embraces me. Her warmth is comforting. My one year old body is tiny compared to her thirty year old figure. She explains to me that it has to be cut now, and that there's a big surprise for me if I sit quiet and let the man

    And that's just what I do. I hate haircuts.