Friday, January 3, 2014

A Man And His Barber


Four months ago, I met this man at this American Barber Institute in Manhattan. Let's call him Terry. He's this tall Latin with a mini Afro. I could tell he was well groomed because there was barely any facial hair on him. He wore regular Khaki pants and a white shirt, but I could tell he was a jock because he was wearing the newest Adidas sneakers, and the first thing I remember coming out of his mouth was how good the Nets were the previous night.

The Institute randomly selects your barber. They are all students. You can't just pick your barber. Nepotism doesn't work there. After seeing my name next on the list, I was sent over to Terry, so he could work on my hair.

I will admit that I had doubts in the beginning due to the last barber making a mess out of my hair. My traditional style is a skim fade, which is very similar to what they call a buzz cut. The only difference being the hair around the ears. The hair will all be shaved to the same length all over. You will then shave about an inch of hair directly above the ears. Change the setting on the clippers and then trim about half an inch above the previous shaved area.

The previous barber messed up the line and made me completely bald.

Terry, on the other hand, was a genius in the end. He not only gave me the right haircut, but he perfected my look. He made my haircut match my youth look. The real me was out in the public. Many people have their own hairstyles that defines how they feel truly represents them physically. This skim fade cut showed the true me and I was in awed.

 
Terry later revealed to me that he was only there temporarily. I got an apprenticeship at a well established barbershop already. He was just at the institute to get his license. He gave me his card, hoping that I would stay in touch. He didn't have to worry about that at all. The following month, I met him at the official barbershop, got another well groomed haircut, and he found himself having a permanent client.

The relationship I have with my current barber reminds of me of my childhood one back in New Orleans, Louisiana. I had the same barber for twenty and a half years before I moved to the Big City. I would look at the conversations older man would have with my barber. Never truly understanding how deep the relationship is. Now that I have my own, I fully understand.

The barbers are like family to you. After all, they're the closest to your face anyone has ever gotten. They become part of your family because of your interactions. I get holiday text message wishes from him everyday. I bought him a birthday present for his birthday. We became brothers in a way without being that close. In a way, we are since we're both around the same age. I'm twenty-two and he's twenty-four.

In the end, I have to say, there is nothing close like the relationship between a man and his barber. I'm proud to have mine.


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