Barberian

 Word count 552                                  

At 8pm on a Thursday night Duke received a call from Sally, his regular barber of five years.

“Duke, this is Sally from ‘Hair Apparent’ where you get your hair cut.  I got your number from your sign in at the shop.”

“What’s up Sally?  Did someone report me for bad hair?  If someone did, I’ll swear that it’s my fault for bad combing rather than your haircut.”

“No, that’s not it.  I have a confession.”

“Have you been applying hair remover during my cuts?  That would explain a lot.”

“Please quit kidding, it’s making this confession more difficult.  I haven’t been professional; I think inappropriate things about you.  My fantasies would make both of us blush.  The other barbers have noticed that I spend more time on you than other customers.  I know that you initiated the optional head, neck and shoulder rub, but every time I work on you I get warm and tingly.  I’m not saying you are the best looking customer that I have, but the way that you treat me as a friend and talk to me during the cut, you probably don’t even realize it, but you make me feel important.  You seem very smart without talking down to me.  So many customers treat me as more of a machine than a person.”

“So who is your best looking customer?  Maybe I swing the other way and might be interested.”

“Duke, stop it!  I’m trying to be serious.  I know what I’ve been doing and thinking is wrong.  I suppose you didn’t notice me rubbing up against your arm when you put it on the armrest.  I’m so deluded; I’ve checked your hand for a wedding ring.  Anyhow, I probably won’t even be able to cut your hair anymore because management is not happy with one of the barbers mooning over a customer.  In order to spare me any more embarrassment, could you find another barber?”

“I suppose, the haircuts weren’t that good anyway, even though I came in once a week.  It was mostly about seeing you.  If you think your fantasies are good, I should tell you some of mine.  I also noticed your lack of ring.  It appears I’ve been hiding my feelings even better than you.  Should we date a respectable amount of time before marrying?”

“I think date awhile.  I come from a very conservative family.  We all want to return to the gold standard.”

“OK, how about I cook us dinner at my place next Tuesday?”

“Sound good.”

The date:

“Do you like chicken fajitas?”

“Oh, yes.”

“Good, it is one of the three things that I can cook.”

The next morning:

“Ready for breakfast?”

“Do you have any tofu?”

“No.”

“Good, I hate tofu.  How about scrambled eggs and bacon, but not crisp.”

“We are in luck.  That’s the second thing I can cook.”

After breakfast:

“I’ve been thinking …”

“Me, too.”

“If we get married now, we can have our fiftieth wedding anniversary before I’m seventy five.”

“And before I’m eighty.”

“I suppose both of us already did the paperwork.”

“One or both of us is psychic.”

Fifty years and one week later:

“Do you think it will last?”

“Could go either way.”

This appeared in Short Humour and shorter versions appeared in Furtive Dalliance (hiatus) and FlashFlood. The idea came to me while getting a haircut, which was a cosmetic not romantic act. I combined that activity with the minuscule courtship with my editor which led to a long term relationship to form the story.

I had no idea about FlashFlood’s once a year flashathon until recently.

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