LONG AND WILD AGAIN

Not all that many years ago some people close to me reacted strongly to a jest that I was thinking of growing a ponytail. Well, they didn’t threaten to murder me if I did. It was more like a promise.

They wouldn’t believe I’d actually had one, back in the day.

No, it wasn’t until my old housemate from after college visited and confirmed my description that their resistance evaporated.

I still can’t get used to the reality that in place of his own huge blond Afro he’s now completely bald, by the way, although I suspect that reality played into what happened after he and his wife left for home.

I let my hair grow, at least what’s left of it.

As one of those close to me said in relenting, Well, if you’re writing hippie novels, you may as well look the part.

Ahem.

Or reliving a part of the experience. Or calculating the odds that I’m in a range where one diagnosis could lead to chemo and then … or even that I might shave my head in sympathy with someone else who’s undergoing chemo. Or even that this might look better than a comb-over, and that was even before the Donald started crowding our news pictures with his own atrocious mop.

In other words, I had a premonition of now or never.

Well, that was over a year ago.

While my hair’s growing much more slowly than it did when I was in my early 20s, the mane’s down to past my shoulders again, reminding me of what happens when it’s unfettered in the breeze or I’d be running. More often, it’s back in a ponytail, especially when I’m swimming.

But it’s nothing like I remember. It’s coarser now and tangles easily, for one thing. Then there’s all the thinness on top. At times, it’s even annoying. And there’s all the gray.

So even if it’s low maintenance and avoids trips to the barber, I’m wondering what’s next.

I guess I’m open to suggestion.

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