Monday, January 21, 2008

Battle Hymn Of the Republic

I caught myself messing around with my hairline this morning: trying to comb a little bit of hair up in the tip-top of my crow’s peak into just the right position to disguise the extent if its decline. This was all happening just below the level of consciousness at first because I was barely awake, but then I caught myself. What are you doing? I said to my reflection, and then defiantly parted my hair in a way that showed just how far my hairline actually does go back, just to teach my vanity a lesson. Then I covered it up again.

I remember a day when I laughed to myself (and sometimes with others) when I saw a middle aged man with a comb over, and here I am standing in front of my bathroom mirror following the exact same impulse that guides such people. How many times do I have to learn the lesson that what I criticize others for is often a trait that I possess myself to some degree? Touché.

I first noticed my receding hairline after looking at a photo my wife had taken of my son and I playing with hot wheels on the floor of our kitchen. ‘Hey honey!’ I said, pointing at the shiny round spot on my head in the picture, ‘Isn’t this one of those ghost orbs?’

Sadly, there would be nothing TAPS could do for me.

I was aghast. I have always had a crow’s peak, but hadn’t been monitoring its Sherman-esque march across the Carolinas of my scalp. I compared an old picture of myself to what I saw in the mirror, and saw that the form of my hairline had morphed from a wide, smiling U, to a narrow, anorexic looking V.

I accept that the hairline is going, and that the pattern that is evolving will eventually leave a small, fuzzy island atop my forehead. It’s humbling to know that no amount of cool can prevent the inevitable effects of time on the body, and is worth considering that even David Byrne at some point has probably wondered whether or not hair-in-a-can is actually as fake looking as they make it look in the movies.

It doesn’t matter how art-house you are, baby. When it goes, it goes.

No comments: