The Simple Secret

Submitted into Contest #33 in response to: Write a story set in a salon or barbershop.... view prompt



The Simple Secret.

I have found that I often get some of my best ideas whilst sitting and pondering in a barber’s chair to the snip of scissors and buzz of clippers. There is something relaxing to the drone of the barber as I ignore, usually him, and let whatever creative function manifest.

   Just feeling the final spray of the fragrant liquid designed to keep unruly strands of hair in place led me to the spray-less paint roller.  

    Another time, the mere wrapping of the covering sheet over me led to the one flick ‘self-erecting’ tent. I tried to give this idea to a friend, he took it, but didn’t use it. He was too polite to refuse it but when I saw I’d somehow embarrassed him, I took it back and made a pile of dough with it.

   However, one of the biggest miscommunications of my life was concerning a barber’s shop. I was in a strange mood and thought a spell in the barber’s chair would put me right. I was in a strange city and asked the taxi driver to take me to a good barber. 

   It just so happened that I had an irritation in my eye at that moment and I can only conclude looking back, that the driver took it as some sort of code. I was deposited at a swanky ostentatious place with youngish guys sporting elaborate hairdos. 

   I’m not particularly a judgemental sort of dude, well except for the ‘born-agains.’ Just can’t seem to let those people go with their weird beliefs in this age of partial enlightenment. However, gays, I don’t have a problem with how they get their fun. Of course, I make sure there’s a wall behind me if I bend over.

   I should have thought it through a little more thoroughly. I didn’t really need a haircut, I wanted a communion with my inner self and the barber’s chair always seemed to give me the best reception.       

   Naturally, the designated hair remover thought my ‘buzz-cut’ was too unruly and didn’t confer with me before he slid the shears over my skull to leave a surface that would reflect the sun. 

   Strangely, the ambience and odours of that establishment had induced an almost trance-like condition in moi, and I was oblivious to what was happening up above. 

   During the time that I was being attacked in the upper-reachers, I was having my greatest cognition. I saw the extent of Mankind’s woes and how they could be, if not eliminated, reduced to proportions that many would realise the nature of the game that we were creating for ourselves.

   I wasn’t even aware of the unusual cooling in my top part until the next day. I was too caught up in how I would bring this simplicity to the world and save it. No, just joking, not to save it, firstly it didn’t need saving, but how to make people realise that. I needed another session in the chair.

   I must have presented a weird sight to the hairdressers as I was walking around as though I was in a daze, and in truth I was. I didn’t care what they did with my hair, it was the chair I wanted. They in their turn assumed that they thought I couldn’t make my mind up, so fired ahead by taking the lot off. Another assumption must have been made that I was ‘one of the ‘clan.’ They assumed this was my way of introducing myself to them, for my contemplation was interrupted by the whole contingent of the ‘hairstylists,’ as they insisted on being called, grouped around me and calling me “Dearie.”

   I roared with laughter and assured them that I was not about to join them but to change them. “No, no.” I assured them, “I’m going to give you the secret that all of Man has been striving for even if he didn’t consciously know it.” This I did. 

   It took much longer to explain the intricacies of ‘The Secret,’ than the simple telling of it. For a start, it wasn’t believed. How could something this simple be the answer that had eluded us all? There was also a sense of disappointment. Eventually, they did get it and their lives were changed. No, not changed necessarily as to the things they were interested in, but their way of looking at life.

   They coaxed me to their club for me to tell all of their friends. All through that night, I illustrated the simplicity of my revelation and how it didn’t have anything to do with any outside agency. I saw the changes that happened to these individuals as they, in turn, cognited to this simple truth and knew their lives wouldn’t ever be the same again. Many had broken down in tears and said that that which they had been fighting against all their lives was erected by them in the first place. 

   I left there in the daylight and felt I had succeeded in formulating a relatively simple way in which to explain a simplicity which I would take to the world.

   I had no doubt as to how I would get world-wide exposure for this truth. It was needed to bring about a greater degree of calmness and love everywhere. Religions would cease to have any relevance in anyone’s life once the simple revelation was grasped and understood.

   I was able to bring the heads of news organisations together and plan out a strategy to make the revelation a world-wide one.

   It took three months of translations and explanations to finally get this ‘Secret,’ which wasn’t a secret, as everyone saw, as it had been staring us in the face as long as Mankind had existed.  

   I am working on having the ‘Secret’ carved into as many surfaces as possible just in case during some cosmic cataclysm our modern communication devices are lost. If Man is ever reduced to a primitive state again, it will always be able to find the ‘Secret’ somewhere in the world. This may prevent any inclination of Man to descend to the dark ages which earlier civilisations had experienced. I have managed to distil its essence to one paragraph which I have no need to reiterate here.

   Each carving will be headed simply as:



March 14, 2020 23:54

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Jubilee Forbess
22:23 May 14, 2020

Fantastic imagery and solid ending carried the story all the way home!


Len Mooring
07:37 May 15, 2020

Thank you, and coming from you, you've made my day.


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