My hair kept on falling out and falling out. You could see the part widen in the middle so that my scalp was visible. It is a nice scalp, pink and not scabrous, I'm happy to report. I'm sure I left a puddle of hair at my table at the little cafe down the street. So tonight it seemed like it was time. After dinner L and a visiting dignitary, R of Boston, shaved my head, leaving a road of hair down the middle. I was very cranky and scared throughout. I thought it would be a quick buzz cut, but instead it was a scissors cut followed by a tedious, scraping regular razor-and-shaving-cream process., with additional judicious snips with nail scissors. We told R if she ever gets tired of being a tenured academic she should try hairdressing. She has a keen eye and is attentive to details. Good work ethic, also. She will list the haircut in her CV under "service," as an interdisciplinary project in conjuction with the graduate program in creative writing at WRU (Well-Regarded University, where I teach). It will be called "Using Geertz's 'thick description' (and shaving cream) in the acquisition of a new skill set in experiential adult education in a non-traditional setting." We documented the whole thing with our digital camera, as you can see.
I had hair gel here but not the waxy sticky stuff, butI did the best I could. Instead of spikes I have a roll of big curls in the middle of my scalp. Still I look Goth-y. I feel that I should be mean and sulky because I have a Mohawk. I will have to smoke cigarettes and apply for a cashier job at Whole Foods. (Wait. To work at Whole Foods, I'll have to start wearing those button-like earrings that make your ears have bigger and bigger holes.) Will the punk kids recognize me as one of their own and teach me their secrets? My voisins de palier came over for scotch. M said I look very young. If I'm carded anywhere, I have no hope. I don't look much like my curly-haired driver's license photo any more. Will I be recognized at my bank? Tonight I sent an e-mail to a couple of people in my yoga class to prepare them for my transformation.
In a day or two the Mohawk also will fall off and I will be another bald girl with cancer. Or, being treated for cancer, even though the cancer has been cut out. As our cousin-brother in Marin County says, Cancer has left the building.
When my head is hairless my friend S will apply a design of leaves to my head with henna. In the middle I want her to write, U.S. out of Iraq. Then I will just be another bald-headed girl for peace.