The tortoise and the hair- A sob story

Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair, shining gleaming steaming flaxen waxen. Give me it down to there, hair, shoulder length or longer, here, baby, there, mamma, everywhere, daddy daddy hair! Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it, my hair!- Quote from Hair

George Bernard Shaw once said that youth is wasted on the young. I can only imagine this quote was the abridged version and what he was really getting at was all the hair he was finding in his bathroom sink. To have reached for that circuitous route would have required several more books as well as a series of movies.

I’ve been blessed with a good head of hair, and while I realize I should be giving thanks to the Saint of all Things Hair- Richard Gere- I can’t help but to wonder if my lease is up. I am in some rather fierce negotiations with my middle age contract. No matter how hard I press for concessions and no matter how flexible Father Time is at the bargaining table, I’m getting the distinct feeling that thick lustrous hair will not be a part of the new deal.

It’s true that I took my hair for granted most of my life. As a teenager, the girls loved my thick wavy hair. They would remark about how they had to pay big money to get the same effect. And my response to this? I tried to straighten it. I wanted long hair, the same kind of long hair all my girlfriends crushed over on those heavy metal videos. Of course, I overlooked the one glaring weakness of Big Hair. It’s thin as linguini and not long for the world. By the nineties, most of those heavy metal rockers looked as if they had been subjected to involuntary chemotherapy sessions.

I treated my hair as if a pariah because really, I didn’t know just how good I had it. I was a really bad partner for a really long time and no Hallmark card is going to fix this parting of the ways. Sometimes sorry really IS the hardest word.

There was a period of time in my hair’s life when you would have been hard pressed not to find a ball cap affixed to it. Never mind that my wife loved it when I would shake my chestnut ransom loose deep in the night. Never mind how all her girlfriends eyed me up as if I were a walking slice of tiramisu while bemoaning all the hair their husbands’ heads had left behind. And never ever mind the Pat Riley phase which followed this, when I went all helmet-head on my main mane.

Post marriage life brought with it my Hair Rennaissance thanks to a chance encounter with a younger woman who commanded me to free my hair from the shackles and to just let it breathe. The relationship was short lived but the advice was ageless, or as I was about to discover, aged.

Funny things happen when hair is released from an imprisonment. Funny as in completely fucking depressing.

I discovered the first wave of follicle cleaving warriors had not only moved ashore but was advancing steadily, destructively and certainly. It wasn’t readily visible to all, but it would be soon enough. All those years of ignoring the intelligence reports and now the enemy was in my front yard. Winston Churchill would’ve called me out for being such a dismissive, arrogant putz. And the little guy would’ve been absolutely dead on.

The possible solutions to this problem involve the kind of voodoo I normally associate with those infomercial carnvial barkers who do their business in the middle of the night. I don’t believe a word of them no matter the testimonials or money back guarantees. Besides, I’m not worried about losing money, I’m worried about losing hair.

I’m thinking there is only one possible way to go. Once the war is lost, raze it. Raze it all. Get a big bottle of triple digit proof and kamikaze myself into the Witness Protection Program-Home Edition. To think that the shaved look might actually be in my future makes me want to befriend a police sketch artist who happens to read tea leaves as a sidejob. Most guys make it work but I fear I won’t be one of those guys.

I have to take solace in the fact that we live in an age where shorn to sheen is in vogue. Michael Jordan ushered in the era of “Bald is Beautiful”. He turned what had been a tired, hopeless slogan into a reality. His accomplishments on the court, understandably, pale in comparison.

There is still some time for me, perhaps five years. I’ll pull the plug before the combover becomes a logical progression. And into that dark night I shall go. No matter how brightly the picture it wields.

I hate Johnny Depp . . . wherever he is.


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