Quarantine Cutz

I’m no stranger to hair clippers and buzzed cuts. My mom has been dropping me off at barbershops since I was 4 years old; my earliest memory being of a time I refused to comb my hair for a neighborhood party and she, determined to show me a lesson, took my stubborn behind to my brother’s barber and had him chop off my unkept tresses.

Many years passed and I still would accompany my brother to the barber, to get the closest attempt at a “feminine” cut with clippers the barbers at the shop could muster on my head. Thinking back on it, it was a nice bonding time, we would get dropped off at this corner building, get our hair buzzed and wait for our mom to pick us up at the corner, sometimes I’d have to wait for my brother to finish baseball practice to partake in our shared grooming ritual.

Things changed as my hair became more of a topic of discussion as it related to my femininity when I turned 9 and my First Communion would approach, that’s what we (or maybe I, after much pressure from my mom) gave growing it out a go. That effort stuck for about ten years, and when I was 19, on a random afternoon after a day shift at Starbucks, I went to the nearest barbershop and plainly requested to have the shoulder-length bane of my existence buzzed the hell off my scalp.

Fast forward to over a half dozen barbers and barber shops, plenty of weird looks, confused children, community coladas, reggeaton-blasting speakers, tacky sports posters, bad jokes and forced chuckles among grown men, which I still regularly endure, here I am, wanting (not at all needing) a haircut.

Since corona virus started dictating the rate at which we can leave our homes, I haven’t even attempted to book an appointment with my barber Lester, who I very conveniently summon through an app he uses. Haircuts, after all, are not essential business, according to whoever decided that sensible but oh-so-cruel mandate.

I, you guessed it, remained with the unappeased desire to get a haircut to quiet my usually whispered hair-related vanity.
So I dug deep in my bathroom cabinet for the cheap clippers I bought a long while back and decided to DIY my buzz cut, a challenge I’ve taken on before and have been no more than barely successful at completing- whatever.

So with only two blade guards and my mega-shoddy clippers, I went for it. I broke, and now have my hair as evidence. My mom was sweet enough to help me with the back of my head and some encouraging facts about hair growing and the possibility of future professionally-handled fixes.

Nothing much to do now but pat myself on the back, vacuum up the mess and move about my week as gracefully as I can.

Looking at the back, sides, and front of my head, my quarantine cut just doesn’t cut it.

My brand new quarantine looks.
A drawing after reflecting on what I had done.
My brother Frank and me with cropped hair in 1996.

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