In Which Our Heroine Goes Bald

I cut it all off.

There was no ceremony.

With my housemate in the other room I slipped away and unpacked the men’s clipper kit I’d purchased the day before. Inches of wavy hair fell into the sink as I ran the nibbly grille over my scalp. Rawl! Rawl! It growled deeply as it encountered thick patches. Rewl! Rewl! It cried at the short ones. I looked at myself in the mirror. My eyes, enormous now, looked back from between my black eyelashes. My thick eyebrows seemed thicker and I decided to start penciling them again. I ran my hands over my dome, still scattered with the debris of the massacre, and reveled in the tingly massage. I felt Egyptian, ancient, feline.  

I went outside for the first time and howled as the wind scrambled between my hairs, tickling every single cell on the surface of my head. I shivered and laughed as my hairs introduced itself to me, one by one. Hey Anna! Hey there! Oh, it’s me! Yeah me too! Hey! We had a party, as I turned my head this way and that, and I felt like a lewd lady, doing some obscene act. It was sensual and intense, a wild moment between me and my scalp.

Friends rushed towards me, phalanges outstretched. Fifteen or twenty fingers at once rolled around and around the contours of my dome, fascinated and delighted with the new look, the new feel. My head issued an invitation, it seemed, that hands were powerless to resist. After a few hours, new acquaintances would say “do you mind?” as their fingertips approached, twitching with restraint. My yoga instructor, administering a quick massage during meditation seemed to linger just a bit longer than usual, slipping down behind my ears and loitering at my temples.

Reactions were mostly positive. “I love it!” they cried. “I’ve always wanted to do that!” they exclaimed. It was the girls, who reacted the most. Sometimes I’d see a glint in their eye, and I’d look at their locks in pity, knowing their days were numbered. The fire would be lit and I’d gently nudge them to the follicular future they already desired.

Sometimes I’d see fear instead. My hair, it seemed, also issued a challenge. A dare. An insult to every nourished mane. “Why don’t you cut your hair??” they would hear my head saying. “What are you so afraid of? What are you so attached to?” my hair would whisper, while I did something else entirely.

For many, my face was not even there, its place taken by a looking glass. For a few minutes at least, they would look at me, to see themselves, and imagine. Some would like what they saw, some would turn away and shudder.

It grows back, each time. Every day, in fact.

When the time feels right, I lift those hungry little clippers up from their altar and let them rawl and rewl their way over the lunar landscape that is my head. Scars and moles re-emerge, and the ends of the strands stand sharply to attention.

Here I go, aerodynamic once again.

Watch out!