Almost cut my hair, my ass!

Fuzzy images from 1970s era Navy boot camp courtesy of the Way Back Machine. (Blame Sherman) I am not in this picture by the way.

As I was shaving my head this morning, I looked in the mirror and wondered what it was all about. Hair. As in: “Gimme a head with hair, long beautiful hair/Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen … “

Hair was once an important factor in my life. It defined me for awhile. It made a statement. And now — bald. Bald like the tires on a Juarez taxi.

My hair fell just below my scapulae when I went to boot camp in 1974. It was never that long again. And it kept getting shorter and shorter. And grayer and grayer. Until finally I started practicing relatively maintenance free hair grooming. Wash it. Shampoo it. Shave it every couple of days. It’s like eating air, there’s nothing to it.

I wasn’t a hippie although you wouldn’t know that from hearing people in my hometown talk. I even had a guy openly pray for me in church. “Dee-liver him and his har from eeee-vill!” I was nonetheless one of the few guys in my school at the time with long hair. It seemed to bother a lot of people. Not among those people were my parents, God love ’em. To them it was a phase. They’d seen DAs and turned-up collars on my older brothers who tried to look like an Elvis-Dean-Brando cross. And to a certain extent my parents were right.

Hair meant something — to me at least — for a brief while. It meant rebellion. It meant a counter-culture. It meant stick it to the man! Power to the people! Far out man. Groovy. It means much less if only a memory today. I think I looked better with it than without it. But on the other hand, I looked better at 25 than at 50. Not much I can do about that short of surgical intervention. Then it’s still no sure bet.

What was it all about? It was about youth. If you find me a fountain of youth I might drink from it. But maybe not. There is always some catch. So suspicious, cynical fellow that I am, will probably remain the aging version. I was always so keen on change as a younger man. Now I don’t think change is always for the best.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get eight feet deep on you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *