Monday, October 18, 2010
Follicles In Retreat
I caught myself messing around with my hairline this morning. I was 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 just how far away from my eyebrows it has traveled. 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--in defiance of my vanity--parted my hair in a way that showed as much forehead as possible. Then I covered it up again.
I remember a day when I would laugh to myself (and sometimes with others) when a middle aged man with a comb over walked by; and now here I was, standing in front of my bathroom mirror following the exact same impulse that guides the toupee-d man. As is so often the case, I realize that the vulgar things that bother me so much about other people are the vulgar things that bother me the most about myself.
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?’.
I have always had a crow’s peak. I just hadn’t been monitoring its Sherman-esque march across the Carolinas of my scalp. After discovering the bald spot--it looks like the barren crop-circle in your backyard where the inflatable pool had been all summer--I compared an old picture of myself to what I saw in the mirror; 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.