Bob Skuba is a whirl of energy. Outspoken, loud and opinionated, he's the embodiment of East Coast bravado.
He's got a new distinction now: He was Adam Lanza's barber.
... I used to cut the killer's hair ...
It's hard to process. Skuba was clipping hair on Friday at Robert Anthony's Hair Salon, the shop he, his mom and sister have run for the last 13 years.
First one police car drove by. Then two. Then five. Then 10, followed by 10 undercover police cars.
Then, word came of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School -- and who had carried it out.
That kid used to sit right here, in this barber chair.
You're sitting in the chair where he used to sit and get a haircut, he tells a visitor on Tuesday.
Skuba puts his hand on the black barber chair.
That sick, son of a ...
The barber shakes his head.
Lanza would sit with his head straight down, his eyes adrift, never making eye contact. Skuba would run clippers through his hair like a buzz saw.
The kid was about 12 when he first came to the shop. His mom would bring him in, every four weeks, over the next five years.
People would tell the barber not to talk with the kid, that he was a strange bird.
But Skuba's not one to keep his mouth shut. He can't stop talking for more than 15 seconds.
How you doing? How's school? What you been up to lately?
His mom, Nancy Lanza -- who Lanza killed at her house before his school rampage -- would jump in and answer for her son.
He's not in school. I'm homeschooling.
Lanza would not say a word. Every now and then, he'd mumble something. His mother was the boss. She'd pipe up when the barber asked Adam if he liked his haircut.
I don't like it, Mom would say. Cut it shorter, trim his sideburns.
When the haircut was done, the barber would tell Lanza it was time to get up. But he'd just sit there, like he was still getting clipped.
His mom would grab him by the arm and yank him up.
It's time to go, Adam. Your haircut is done.
The boy would listen to his mother. Always, always, always. Never would he disobey her.
The barber would stand there, his eyes raised at the weirdness of it all.