Chapter 1:

At the Barber's

The Overthinker


Claus woke up feeling cold that day.
His body shivered as he got out of his bed.
He went to the bathroom and washed his hands, and later his face.
'Ugh I have so many pimples, I wonder if I look poor to others.' he said to himself while touching his cold face.
Then, he proceeded to brush his hair.
With every swing of his hand, dandruff fell down. A lot of dandruff.
'Yep, I definitely look poor.' he admitted.

On that morning, brushing his hair was harder than usual. The dandruff made his hair really itchy and oily and it kept falling not only to the bathroom floor, but also to his eyebrows. Claus stopped trying to brush his hair and looked in the mirror angrily.
'No, I can't believe I washed my face and now there are little flakes of dandruff on it!' he shouted out loud.

He gave up on brushing his morning hair, and washed his face again instead. The water was really cold, but he felt that his face was way colder.
There was no towel nearby, so he waited for his face to dry and then took the broom to collect the flakes of dandruff that fell a couple of minutes before.
As he was doing that, he heard a knock on the bathroom door.
'Claus, you are taking way too long! I want to pee!' his sister screamed.

Claus opened the door and let her in without saying anything. His mother was in the kitchen.
When Claus entered the kitchen, she exclaimed: 'Oh wow, what's with the hair today?'
'I don't know, it's very itchy today.'
'That's because you don't use Aloe Vera on your scalp.'
'Come on, mom. Those home remedies aren't going to change anything. I think I'd better go to the barber. At least, my hair will be easier to brush.'
'When was the last time you went to the barber shop?'
'Two months ago, I think. That's why I need to go there today at all costs.'
'Fine, fine. Just make sure you shower after you get the haircut.'
'Don't worry.'

****

Claus tried to brush his messy hair again before going to the barber's. This time the hair looked much better, but still oily.
Claus opened the door carefully and after stepping out of his house, he also closed the door in the same way.
When he went outside, there weren't a lot of people on the streets.
'I hope there are not a lot of people at the barber shop. I want to finish as fast as possible.' he thought.

And to his surprise, the barber shop was empty. Only, the barber, a man in his 40s was there.
'Oh, you came at the perfect moment!' he said.
'That's great.' Claus replied.
Claus sat on the chair looking at his hair at the mirror. He followed with his eyes the middle-aged barber, but he went inside a little section of the shop (which was supposed to be a toilet).
As Claus began to feel comfortable, a man came inside the shop.
"Oh no, I wished I was alone here. I wished so so much." Claus thought.
He was waiting for the barber to return back, but there was no sign of him getting out of the toilet.
"What is taking him so long? What am I supposed to do here? I wish I had the phone here with me. Wait, is he probably constipated? Constipation is really the worst. But what if there is no toilet paper? Does he have toilet paper hidden in here somewhere?"

The other customer that sat down was reading a sports newspaper.
"Uh, is he faking to enjoy that newspaper? Is he forcing himself to read that because the silence here is so long?"

After 5 minutes or so, the barber finally got out of the toilet and immediately talked to the stranger. They seemed familiar.
"Is he always this warm to his customers? Is it because they give him money? Wait, I also give him money. Is it because they don't look like poor losers? Probably if I smiled more, he'd talk to me like that too. Am I his most quiet customer? Well, it's not that I care. Yeah, I don't care at all."

The barber put a light piece of cloth to cover Claus' body and started cutting his hair. Dandruff started falling on the light cloth. The light cloth was dark, so the white dandruff made a huge contrast with it.
Suddenly the barber said 'You have a lot of dandruff, don't you?'
Claus smiled awkwardly and the barber continued doing his job.

"What did he mean with those words? Is he calling me ugly? I mean, I have dandruff but there's no need to make it that obvious. Why did he say that out loud? The other customer heard it, I feel so embarrassed. There's no way I'll come here again after this offense. That stranger is probably staring at my head. I also think my head has a weird shape, but still I don't want to focus on that."

'Aaaand you're done.' said the barber.
'Thanks.' Claus tells him as he extend his arm to give him the money.
"This was so fast. Well, I wanted to return home as soon as possible, so it's good for me." he thinks.

As he goes outside the barber shop, he starts to think "I'd better run. I don't want people to stare at me. I feel my head is naked and it's also cold. Wait, will running make me feel hotter or colder?"
Without giving it a second thought, he starts to run until he reaches his house.
Claus takes a hot shower and to his surprise he doesn't notice the dandruff anymore.
He gets out of the bathroom and tells to his mom 'Mom, I told you that going at the barber's was enough to make my dandruff disappear. So getting rid of excess hair really makes your dandruff disappear as well.'
'No, it's because I put extracts of Aloe Vera on your shampoo bottle. Thank me later.' his mother says.
'Oh, is that so?' 
 
"Hmph."


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