Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Brooklyn Shave

As i washed my face with a towel almost to hot to touch and spread shaving cream on my 8 year old face, prepared the razor by taking out the blade i knew that shaving was the controllable thing that separated men from boys. Then I saw the movie “My Name Is Nobody” where a trail weary gentle man cowboy (Henry Fonda) sits in a barber chair for a shave, holds his head back while the barber, who we just learned is an assassin, holds a straight razor blade to his stretch back neck, maximally vulnerable, then the click of the hammer of a gun being pulled back and that gun pointed at the barbers crotch, the barber changes his grip on the blade and moves from the neck to the upper cheek and proceeds to give Fonda a clean shave, the barber even seems nervous as he glides the razor up Fonda’s neck, more assassins out side the barbershop seemed confused, Cool and collected Fonda checks his face in the mirror, then gun fight, No, real men get straight razor shaves.

Looking for pizza in Park slope Brooklyn, there are lots of pizza places but no where spoke to me, one place advertised Guinness Blond beer on their marque, really? so much good beer and corporate beer thinks that the word Guinness means good blond beer, for suckers only pease, so no, if they don't know beer, how could they know pizza. The coal fired pizza place didn't seem to serve pie by the slice. 

Then a barber shop, a hair cut was just finished make by the smock getting undone form a patrons neck and carefully pulled free such that hair fell on the floor and not on person.  The barber makes eye contact with me and gestures for me to sit in the chair. I continue to just watch. The barber walks outside, i ask “do you do straight razor shaves?” he responds “of course, eighteen dollars, I do a good job” i think i can see a blade on the counter top. We chat for a bit, my furry face still looks good but its time to shave or clean up my face, and I love a shave so i walk in the door and sit down.

His name is Jack and he left Tajikistan with his family when he was 14, Israel then Brooklyn, where he has been since. We talk while he shaves my head with an electric clipper then electric razor, he asks if i want the straight blade, i say no because i assume it will cost more and I'm feeling only so not cheap. He does my eyebrows and ears too, including separating my monobrow.

Then he adjusts the chair back, i fiddle to a comfortable spot, 

electric razor to remove beard
lotion briskly applied to face
hot towel wrapped up under chin and around entire face including the eyes, but my eyes have been closed since i reclined, sinking deeper and deeper into the barbers chair with each moment.
shaving cream applied by hand
straight razor starting at the cheek, 

his hand drags behind the blade feeling my skin. This continues over my entire face, sometimes it feels like he is pulling the skin tight sometimes that he is just monitoring the blades work. 

The razor to my neck, up it glide, other hand still monitoring and soothing.
(i think i feel a nick as he razors over  my old chin scar that i got learning to rollerblade and superglued closed because there was so much blood and that is what superglue was originally for, right? its a spot that i always cut and most barbers open little but this time there’s no blood i think i imagined the nick, or maybe he healed it as he worked)

slow and deep face massage while applying more lotion, moving my face skin away and around the structure underneath, i wondered if they were even really connected.

second hot towel.
second time with a razor over my entire face
more lotion

he asks if i want aftershave i don't answer and he says, “of course you do” I'm not a fan of the old man smell of aftershave but i know that the is important to finish the job.

it stings good and wakens me from my stupor like relax, i do my best to not wince, think i pulled it off.

maybe the best shave I've ever gotten.

Still doesn't make me a man.