The Barbers

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A person with a distorted view of the world in a distorted world goes to search for happiness.

Drama / Mystery
Age Rating:

May God help my Gods

My hair had grown long and unruly, so I went to the barber. He cut and styled it to the latest trend. My tooth had been hurting for a few days, so I went to the barber. He pulled it out. The right leg had been bothering me for a while, so I went to the barber. I asked him to amputate it for me. His professional opinion didn’t match my uneducated one. Since the left hand is my dominant one, I should get rid of the left leg. This way balance would be restored to my body. Suddenly the leg stopped hurting. I decided to go away and think about this for a little longer. I was not sure if the balance in my body could grow another leg.

The walk to where I slept and ate turned out undisturbed from physical pain. The sea smelled so salty. The sun looked eminently yellow, no, golden. People lazily strolled in the park while gossiping. Someone called out to me in a cringy enthusiastic voice. Did he know me from somewhere? The thought of that sent shivers down my spine.I could see his face in a blur. My vision was not good and the barber said it couldn’t be fixed. Sooner or later my eyes would have to be scooped out, like the ice cream from its container to be sold to sweaty obese children. The target was approaching. The amount of disguise videos I had seen on the internet deemed itself useless. There was no escape for a fool such as me. The man was 1 cm away from me. 3...2...1 he went past me. His face became clearly visible. I had never seen him in my life before, and neither had he me. The young man was meeting a friend who was standing 2m away from me. They hugged and exchanged some friendly swear words with each other. Then left my field of vision to never be seen again. I couldn’t tell if I was relieved or disappointed. Nobody was there to tell me what my face looked like. I accepted and rejoiced over it. I didn’t need a friend. I already had my saviours and was on my way to bump into one of them.

“Let’s have a cup of coffee!”- she said in her always cheerful tone which at times was torture. I wanted to tell her about every sin I had imprisoned in a world different from the one we shared. My attempts were cut in half when she revealed her doubts about the real lover, the dreamy and the good one.The dreamy lover was tempting her with pleasures of the flesh but most importantly of the wallet. Expensive resorts and virgin beaches screamed bragging rights from every drop of water and chlorine. Meanwhile, the real lover was not living up to his expectations. In his childish tantrums he often made her feel not perfect enough. If I pleaded insanity I’d agree with him. However my aim was innocence so I told her what every good lover would: “Stop investing in this doomed relationship with a boring man when you can find 100 other better ones. After all you are very pretty.” As I said the last sentence I felt like puking. Such a hypocrite. Her very oval and somewhat pointy eyes always sparkled with passion, the thin and silky hair could make jealous every Charlotte and Arachne, and she could twist her body in the most impossible ways to look like the social media Medusad. These self and luck-given assets made her what the popular guys at a high school would call “hot”.

All in all nothing about her attracted me. We always had something to talk about but it was mostly reminiscing about happier, funnier and easier times. She wanted a lot of things from me and I tried to give her all of them. Some she liked and some she didn’t. Thankfully she didn’t make any efforts to hide her displeasure. She also had no reserve in asking for more and more. And I gave it to her. She often referred to herself as my princess, my queen, my saviour. My life got baptised as “life” by her. Every drop of alcohol I got to meet and every fun acquaintance I got to taste are credited to her. Every toxic relationship that didn’t become less toxic, but I could finally label as toxic ,owes it to her. The situations that laid doubts in my mind because of twisted morals found solution so easily in her ideas. She simply asked “why?”. No real answer existed to that. The laws of my conscience could only be put into forgettable words, like feelings “named for the sake of having a name “, such as Occhiolism or Ambedo.Due to the belittling therapies and other measly cures I got bound to her desires.

- You look sick and pale. Do something about it. It’s unsettling.- her words rivaled the bitterness of the coffee.

- I know. It’s not that easy.- My speech level decreased to that of a grade school child.

- You must eat more and do some exercise. Spend time with people. The body breaks down food and turns it into fat and energy. If you don’t eat you will have none of that in your system.- her knowledge and intellect stunned me every day. She didn’t hesitate to teach me information we had learned since 4th grade. And I listened like a 4th grader, cool and disinterested on the outside but electrified on the inside. - You mock people and act as if you are superior to them. You make fun of them. That is why I’m embarrassed of you and I don’t want to introduce you to my friends.- I wondered how the conversation went here. Did I speak my mind out loud? Thankful, yet vengeful my reply was psychopathic:

- I enjoy it. It gives me pleasure. Don’t you have fun as well?

Her reaction disappointed me. I expected disgust with a pinch of fear, not a blank paper. Did she think this of me this whole time? Didn’t she bestow upon me the title of good lover? Righ then and there the real one called. They said sweet words to each other while she smiled at me. She told him she was having a cup of coffee with me. He showed no sign of feeling threatened. Surprisingly my issues came as the main topic of their love chat. They had been tossed and thrown, beaten and dragged in their mouths for a long time. I could tell because that was the first time the lovebirds agreed with each other. She would raise her voice throwing beastly love-threats directed at my disturbing habits, and soften it to a degrading baby speech to the fool’s genitalia while I was drinking my coffee.Trying to escape, I went to the counter and paid for her coffee. I thought to myself: what a good couple of samaritans. Just like that they got rid of agonies I didn’t know were strangling me. At the end of our chaste threesome we said goodbye to each other and parted on our ways: the saviour to her dreamy lover; the real lover to lustful affairs in his mind; me to where I ate and slept.

The dreadful lodging came into view. I always hated indecisive things. If my eyes refused to work properly, they should stop working entirely. I checked my face in the elevator. Very well. Boring, like nothing noteworthy happened. My fingers felt chilly and they stalled untying the shoes. One leg helped the other one while my hands were holding on the wall for dear life. I didn’t want to risk tripping and ignite imaginary alcohol intoxication. Messing up my hair to make the new haircut as little apparent as possible, I entered the living room.

- Get me a bucket with salty lukewarm water!-she ordered. Without a second word I brought it to her.- Why did you fill it so much?! I’m not taking a bath here,- her mocking reeked of professionalism. We had spectators so the show was just getting started. Her orders got more frivolous.

- Go to the market and get the good expensive cake.

- Right now?- was the first crack of the frozen lake that was my patience.

- Of course right now.

I hated that smile. The spectators loved it. Her sweet voice scared me. The spectators were enchanted by it. She was kind to everyone: loaned money without interest to people that would never return it; comforted scorned wives; gave fashion and life advice to everyone younger or older...gave me a name; fed and clothed me; taught me that nobody will ever care for me as much as she did and every service I’ve gotten, must be paid for... So I was compelled to go to the market right at that moment. 2 hours passed playing little Cosette. There was a football game on TV between two strong teams. Me and the spectators were watching. She was asking questions, pretended to understand it and then sneer at it. Out of the blue hunger grabs hold of her. Her usual territory marking tricks began again. I think the red uniform of the opposing team might have caused something that shifted in my brain. The circus in my head had enough of animal cruelty shows.

- Ask me with respect and I will go,- I stated my demand.

Another player joined the ring. He had always been present but I didn’t know him much. People claimed he had a good heart and always ready to help others. To me the strongest aspect of his life was his naivety. Lady Luck had never been on his side. Tragedy followed him since childhood. Every job opportunity turned out a catch-22 and every person that got close to him, a con artist. His ideals in my eyes were a laughing stock, but surprisingly he fought for them. Was he a knight, was he stupid, or was it both, I don’t have the slightest idea.

- You go or else...- he seemed to be threatening me. My temper got impatient. For a split second I thought: “I haven’t had this much fun in a while”. A righteous outlaw from medieval times possessed me.

-Or else what?- taunted the bratty kid inside me.

That’s when I felt my crime and punishment. It came not from Dostoevsky nor the latest famous gods, but from my deities. He was caressing my head deeming it a worthy sacrifice. She was reciting an enchantment that to an insane person might sound like “Stop!” or “You have lost your mind!”. Sparkles were dancing in front of my eyes and for a second I thought I heard the national anthem being sung in a stadium at the world cup final. That’s when I knew I was in wonderland. My national team would never make it to the world cup. Puppets left and right kept repeating “Enough!Enough!” like broken clocks.Some hands were hitting me, others embracing and the rest clapping near my ears. Was I being blessed by Kali?

Unfortunately the absurd game came to an end. I don’t think I won. Despite the loss I laughed till my eyes dried out. Puppet spectators were doing big gestures, but I couldn’t understand any of them. I didn’t try to push my righteous agenda on them. They didn’t belong to me , so it was a lost cause. For a few miserable minutes I desperately ached for their understanding and comfort. Once I regained my composure, those old dolls looked so ugly and disgusting. After the sacrifice ceremony ,sleep was as unbreakable as death.Or at least that’s how I imagine death to be. If it turns out different I might even reject it since,I don’t like surprises that much.

On the note of known information, the sun rose up in the east. I forced my eyes and consciousness shut four times, but the fifth didn’t work. She came into the room where I usually slept. I felt her presence a couple of times during my wrestling with basic biology. After all, my best talent is ignoring unpleasant events. However, she must have had something very important to say regarding the events of last night, because she just wouldn’t give up.

- I didn’t know a lunatic had taken shelter in my house. What’s wrong with you?- were her first words. I started laughing. That seemed the best avoiding tactic at the moment. - You have really lost it,- her second sentence.

- The back of my head hurts, - I said. I don’t know whether that was true or I forced my body to make it true. However this rescuing strategy deemed itself futile as well, because she continued her thought process unaffected.- I was right. I simply stated what is fair,- continued I. I had often seen in children TV shows that words spoken from the heart always make people listen to you.

I told her I wanted to be treated with respect, like a human. Little did I know the two were not synonyms of one another. Therefore her reply was not at all senseless. “ You are a human in my eyes, my human. I have given you everything, the food you get so picky about; the flesh and bones , you love then hate with the rhythm of the weather ,the pseudo-extraordinary intellect you so proudly flaunt in our face, to my youth, love and life.”

I had been repeating these words to myself every night before bed, as to not forget my standing. But this mouth didn’t know how to speak the truth and that consoled me in a roundabout way. However, my lies in her voice suddenly acquired shape as clear as the sun and moon. They were no longer ghosts whose existence I could continue to doubt, rather a defibrillator that shocked my heart 260 Awakenings. I had nothing I could call mine.

- Do you want to see me die? Should I kill myself? Is what I have done for you not enough? Is this your way of repaying me?- her questions didn’t seem to end and with each one her voice trembled more and more like the chords of a guitar. That’s when I realized how crueI I had been to my benefactors. Subduing my pride for dear life, hoping it would miraculously become gratitude, my stubborn head conceded. Something must have changed on my face because a glimmer of satisfaction stopped the guitar from playing.To pay for my sin I refrained myself from eating too much. Food always tasted like an old sponge or freshly made cement anyway, therefore I was unsure if that counted as repentance. However, she seemed to accept it.

The next day he asked me about technology, some malfunctioning with his phone. The Men in Black probably deleted his memory, which means something inside of me should have been an alien. Then why did I remember everything? Was the alien still inside? Mocking my wish for the supernatural I proceeded to fix the phone. I could even dare call myself a barber. Technology was never my forte. Some unecessary stroke of luck always surrounded me with masses much more ignorant than me. My statement makes me seem like a snobbish young master. Maybe that’s due to the meaning flying a bit over people’s heads. “Ignorant” is a good word. The compliment may not be enough, so this presented the perfect opportunity to repay them for their kindness, although it lacked in comparison. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t say “ thank you” . Much much more had to be done.

The back of my head kept hurting for a while. At the end of the three days, I decided to secretly go to the barber. I couldn’t tell them because maybe they would feel guilty, or she would tell me that it was my own fault. Either way both answers scared me. The barber was intimidating as well. What if my head could not be fixed and he told me to amputate it? This frail body of mine would never be able to recover from the blood loss.

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