Bald-Headed Assessment

I awoke quite early this morning, long before the sun would begin to nudge the darkness aside, replacing it with smudges of grey fog-laden daylight.

I made a cup of coffee and held it in my hands. Too warm, I thought to myself, for a day like this.  As I passed a mirror in the hallway, I glanced at the image of an old man; wrinkled, fleshy face, uncombed long grey hair suggestive of neglect and disdain, and a body clearly ignored and unpracticed in exercise.

Something had to change, I decided, something then and there. I couldn’t do much about my face, nor about the shape of my body, at least not immediately, but I could rid myself of that ridiculous fur atop my head.

Beginning with a pair of scissors, I cut away as much of that fibrous bristle as I could, only patches of the mane remaining.  Next, I drenched the remaining hair on my head with hot water, dried it slightly, and smeared shaving cream all over my scalp.

I stood for a moment, staring at the stranger in the mirror. The old wrinkled face wouldn’t be changed by this, I thought, but at least I’ll get to see what my head looks like with no hair to conceal it.

Pulling the razor across my scalp in repetitive motions, I could feel the blade skirt the skin, the way it feels when I’m beginning to shave my face; the hairs on my face catch on the razor for a fraction of a second before the blade slices them off at skin level.

I found that, just like I have to approach the whiskers on my face and neck from different directions, I had to drag the razor across my scalp in perpendicular paths to assure a smooth shave.  The hardest part was the lower part of the back of my head and upper neck; I had a hard time reaching.  But I got it done.  And then I rinsed my naked scalp and dried it with  a thick towel and stood to look in the mirror again.

I didn’t like what I saw. A pasty grey and beige cap seemed to have been sewn onto my head, concealing the skull and brain. That was not my skin, was it? That expanse of bumps and ridges and ugly pallor; was that me?

The deed was done, though, wasn’t it? What were my options? I could either learn from my snap decision that snap decisions sometimes go horribly wrong or I could spin time backwards to a point before this horrible experience in self-mutilation took place.

I chose the latter.

I awoke quite early this morning, long before the sun would begin to nudge the darkness aside, replacing it with smudges of grey fog-laden daylight.

I made a cup of coffee and held it in my hands. Too warm, I thought to myself, for a day like this.  As I passed a mirror in the hallway, I glanced at the image of an old man; wrinkled, fleshy face, uncombed long grey hair suggestive of neglect and disdain, and a body clearly ignored and unpracticed in exercise.

I have to do something about my appearance, I said to myself. I have to fix this. This bastard needs some repair and refurbishment. The question remains as to what repair and refurbishment I will pursue.  Perhaps I’ll shave my head; see what that looks like.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes "Intimacy is never wrong. It can be awkward, it can be unsettling, it can feel dangerous, it can seem out of place, but it’s never wrong."― John Swinburn
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2 Responses to Bald-Headed Assessment

  1. Ha! I must have been convincing here, eh?! I actually thought about shaving my head, but thought better of it. So far.

  2. jserolf says:

    This is outstanding! I love this piece because it says so much — lots of irony and the extended theme and symbols!

    Now you’re into that Lex Luther look. You need to get on your “warsuit.” Mr. Sun will soon color your head, though I suppose any new look is like listening to your recorded voice for the first time.

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