Today I cut my own hair.
It wasn’t easy.
It wasn’t pretty.
It did end in tears.
Like all brutal acts of insanity and self harm, there was a triggering event.
Picture if you will:
The mild-mannered novelist, entering his fifth week of isolation. Laser-focused on his current task, determinedly chasing a particularly vexing fly around the house, his electric fly swatter at the ready, he ignores the terrified screams of his family.
They are of no consequence when a fly is about.
We can’t have flies inside houses. That isn’t normal.
They belong outside.
And then, tragedy strikes (for our erstwhile hero, that is, not the fly).
His overly long hair swooshes down in front of his eyes and in that terrible blinding moment, the fly…escapes.
ESCAPES, I TELL YOU!
Our hero can be heard to mumble, just above a broken whisper, “He tasks me, he tasks me, and I shall have him!”
So as the above, extremely reasonable anecdote clearly illustrates, the hair simply had to go.
As I stepped out of the bathroom, vision unencumbered by an overly hirsute state, the Missus took one look at me and laughed while simultaneously throwing up.
(You have not experienced true horror until you’ve seen someone vomit-chortle. It’s like a spit-take, but more colorful and far less pleasant smelling.)
The kiddos were more curious once they got through their dry heave-giggle fit. When one could finally speak, he asked, “Dad, have you ever been stupid enough to do this before?”
I’d be lying if I said no, and I raise my kids by example to not be obviously deceitful, so I just gave them an enigmatic wink as if to imply no.
Yes, it was stupid of me, a man who scars his face every time he shaves (with an electric razor, no less!), but I just couldn’t take it anymore. And the only other alternative was a…shudder…man bun.
Clearly that isn’t going to happen.
Honestly, if you had to go a month enduring with what I’ve been dealing with, you’d feel the same way:
- Previously noted impaired ability to hunt down and punish flies.
- Confidently running my hand rakishly through my hair to move it out of my eyes.
- Flipping my full-bodied hair sexily in order to see who I’m flirting with (always turns out to be the Missus, fortunately, except that one time I gave the dog the wrong idea).
- Facing down angry neighbors every morning after my shower, still dripping wet and with only a towel wrapped around my waist, because they don’t think my vocalizations while shampooing my hair with Herbal Essences is appropriate.
I could go on, but I don’t want to upset the frail among you. (Trigger warning: hair)
And given the present state of the world, clearly I can’t just go out and get a proper haircut.
Oh sure, I’ve heard the rumors of the pop-up stealth salons and black market barber shops, clandestinely operating their “non-essential” services in contravention of local health ordinances.
But secretly slouching to one of their shops to partake of their illicit offerings only serves to validate the government claims that they should not be operating. That they aren’t essential. I’ll be damned! If I can’t walk openly into a hair salon to get a trim and a shave, well, I just don’t live in America anymore!
(More like Amerika, amirite?)
Plus, these places charge a lot and really up-sell you hard on hair care products when you try to leave. While I may be privileged, I’m not that privileged!
Instead I’ve been forced to take a long, hard look at myself in the mirror, a pair of scissors in one hand, a fistful of hair in the other, and trying to figure out how to hold those scissors at the right angle to actually snip away some of that pesky growth.
And so it will continue as long as I am locked in my home, sheltering in place.
Or, as my kids are constantly putting it, “We’re not locked in here with you! You’re locked in here with us!”
The Missus tells me I have to love them, and that weeks of forced proximity is not an excuse to turn my electric fly swatter on them. But I tell you true, tomorrow I might start eating my own. And that’s despite being a pescaterian.
Assuming I can see well enough to find them.