My New Life with Eric


By Greetz

This morning, during my daily ritual, something strange happened when I looked into the mirror. I just couldn't stand the way my hair looked. Not my body hair because I didn't have any, never had; perhaps when I'm a grown up too, I will have body hair. I had always loved my chestnut straight brown hair. Especially how it sometimes hung over my eyes, like a little curtain. But today I couldn't see the attraction of it. It was too much hassle to clean and comb it. I, or rather Eric, made a mental note that I had to go fix the hair problem today. A buzz cut would do nicely. I could have it done at a barbershop today and buy electric clippers so I could do it myself in the future. Immediately I checked my wallet to see if I had enough allowance left to do all that stuff. Wow! So many banknotes; I had a lot of money. Oh, then I remembered that I had to get rid of these ridiculous clothes I had been wearing all this time. Eric had probably given me some extra money to buy some new stuff. I was really exited about being allowed to buy my own clothes! All that money. I got ready to as fast as I could so I could go down town.

To save some money I went to a second hand store and an army surplus and bought most clothes I wanted. I bought a pair of old faded jeans, a pair of bleached jeans and two tartan shirts. To get the looks of those shirts just right I tore of the sleeves. That was so much better. Not only were they more comfortable but you could see my arms much better. No shame in showing your muscle, was there now? At the army surplus store I bought a pair of army boots, camouflage pants, which I liked so much I wore out of the store. When I saw my reflection in a shop window I really liked what I saw, a big muscle hunk wearing black army boots, camouflage army pants and a tartan shirt where the sleeves had been torn off. The hair just didn't fit that image. I had to take care of that. I went to the first barber I could think of. It took a while before it was my turn. In the mean time I instinctively picked a newspaper from a stack of magazines. It was the quality paper that I always read, not that I had a subscription, I never needed one. I always left the house for work before the paper would arrive. I read it at the office where there was a selection of quality papers. I started to read, but I couldn't concentrate on the words. I really didn't understand much about what they were talking about. There were a lot of difficult words, so I just resorted to watching the photos and reading the cartoon. Ah, it was my turn. "H-h-ello, I'd like to have a-a-a buzz-c-c-ut. Please sir" I said. The man asked me what crop I wanted. "C-c-rop?" I asked him? Why was everything so complicated. After explaining it to me as if I were a child I decided to have a zero-crop. "Why not g-g-o all the w-w-ay?" I said to the man who wasn't even interested in me any more. Wow! I looked hot!

After all the fuss in those shops with money and explaining what I wanted I wasn't feeling too good before I had my hair done. But now I was feeling a lot more confident. I felt like I even walked different. Not just with more confidence but I walked more like one of those bad guys, the gangster type. I remembered the little note that Eric had given me yesterday. Boy there were so many things that I had to do today. I went to the address on the note. It was a tattoo and piercing studio. "But why?" I wondered. I had passed some in the past, but they looked really okay, this one looked barely legitimate. I wanted to turn around but I couldn't control my body, I was definitely going in. I handed the little note to the tiny man behind the counter. "He, Johnno!" He yelled without moving his head "the freak is here!" Who was he talking about? What freak. Ha, I bet he was just jealous of my muscle, who in his right mind wouldn't be? From behind a curtain a big fat man emerged, covered in tattoos and he also had a lot of metal sticking through his flesh at various places. "Hey there little man" he said with a very friendly smile on his face, while winking to the tiny man who was now sitting on a chair in the corner holding some kind of magazine. "Eric was tellin me you'd pay us a visit, and here you are. Splendid." He motioned me to follow him. He asked if I would like some lemonade or a soft drink of some sort. "L-l-emonade please sir" "Good lad. Just sit down in that chair and I'll be back in a jiffy."

I had a good look around. Boy was this a scary place, very dimly lit, pictures of dragons and Japanese figures all over the grubby walls. The place was only lit by the lamp that was hanging right above my head. There was even a moth circling it. I really didn't want to be here, but Eric told me that I had to. Apparently he had even talked to this, this Johnno person. I was contemplating the idea of getting out of the, what looked like a dentist chair when J-man returned with a glass of lemonade. "Here y'go laddie" he said handing me the glass. I emptied the glass in one go. "Funny" I said. "What's that laddie?" "Oh nothing" It must have been my imagination but that lemonade tasted just like Eric's special tea. The J-man told me to relax and think of something that I really liked. That wasn't difficult at all. I thought about my dreams last night. My dreams filled with images of me on the Honda wearing my Dainese and sporting the fantastic, the fantastic, "Tattoo" I said out loud. "Course and a few extra things" J-man said. I felt completely relaxed. Of course I had to visit this place. I was getting my tribal tattoo. The whizzing sound of the tattoo needle made me zone out and fall into some kind of half sleep.

The slap in my face brought me right back to the real world. "We're done!" he said "at least for now." I looked at my arms and could see the outline of the tribal. "But it's n-n-ot even finished yet" I said a bit disappointed. "Listen little man, I've been working on this for 4 hours and this is you get for now! Next week we'll start filling in some of the colours. So shut the fuck up!" I looked at the outline again and smiled, I was going to look fantastic. "That's much better." J-man said. "Now just you sit and wait for the missus for you next treat." I couldn't imagine what my next treat would be. I didn't have to wait long for the woman to arrive. She entered from the same curtain J-man had just disappeared behind. The woman, her name was Jenny. "Just call me Jen, love" she said when she handed me the glass of lemonade. Boy was I thirsty. "Look, this is a surprise from Eric. He has contacted me and given me instructions about his present for you." She said to me with a smile as if she was talking to a 6 year old. "Wow!" I thought, a present. Cool! "Because you've been such a good boy" she said talking the empty glass from me and putting it next to the other one on a dirty stool. "Be right back" I couldn't wait. What would this present be? Had I really been such a good boy? Eric is soo sweet. I couldn't believe my luck. A present for me? Way cool!

When Jen entered the little cube shaped room again she was carrying a silver plate with a glass cover over it. In the grubby room it looked like a big oblong diamond. When she put it down on a little tray next to the chair I could see all kinds of medical things. Needles too. The needles were a lot different from the ones I used every morning. They had a strange shape and were much bigger. There were also other things on the tray. Rings and stuff. "Now this is going to hurt a bit. Normally we only do one at a time, but Eric told me you are a very big boy and he assured me that you can handle it." Had he really told you those things about me? Wow! I was really happy and ready for whatever was to follow. She disinfected a part of my left eyebrow and stuck a needle in. After that she took one of the rings from the silver tray and fumbled a bit. And then she repeated the whole thing. She immediately proceeded to the next spots that was to be pierced. I never dreamt of getting pierced. That was for a different class of people altogether. "Right all done" she said holding a mirror in front of my face. "Wow!" I cried. "Yep, it's a very special present indeed". I had two rings through my left eyebrow, each of my earlobes had a little silver tube running through them and I had a ring through my nose; like a bull in cartoons. I wanted to pull the ring through my nose but Jen grabbed my hand before I could reach it. "That's not a good idea little man. The piercings will have to heal before you can handle them like that." She gave me a leaflet with all kinds of instructions on how to make sure the piercings healed well. She demonstrated it for me so I would understand what to do. "Right, just sit there for a few minutes to relax and then you can leave. I guess we'll see you a lot in the future when Johnno will finish your tattoo."

When I got outside again it was already dark. I was so happy. At last I was wearing clothes that suited me better and that looked good. I had the outline of my tattoo and the piercings were just too fab! I looked like the meanest boy of the block! I started to feel like the meanest boy on the block and adjusted my walk accordingly. I was miles away with my thoughts when my mobile rang. It was Eric, he asked if I liked his present. I told him I was so happy, I was over the moon. I really felt excited. "Have J-man and Jen been nice to you, little man?" I told him the whole story. About how scary it all looked at first and about the tiny man sitting on the chair in the corner. About the nice lemonade and how complicated taking care of the piercings was. "You have paid good attention when Jen explained, I hope" Eric said. "Of course, she demonstrated it for me so I would not forget." Eric told me he had another surprise for me. I would get it tomorrow morning during my morning ritual. •

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