This morning, sometime around 1am, I started chopping at my hair. I knew it was a bad idea but somehow couldn’t stop. I must have taken about 4″ off. By noon I knew I needed professional help to fix it. As I write, it’s 6″ shorter than it was 24 hours ago.
I loved my long hair, the feel of it on my back, twirling it, having it tugged during lovemaking. I’ll probably grow it back to its previous length. My hair grows quickly. It wouldn’t take long, in the scheme of things. Hair always grows back. Mine does, at least. All I have is time. And if I don’t then my hair will be the least of my worries.
I feel lighter. I am lighter. I didn’t fully realize how much energy was spent on my hair: when I’d wash it, what I’d do with it when it was dirty and I had no oomph left, how to keep it out of my face, how to keep cool, blah blah blah. I probably didn’t go about it the best of ways, but I suppose I needed to force my own hand.
This is what feels familiar, this trapping myself in a situation. Like meeting a stranger in a bar and going home with him, realizing ten minutes into it that your cell phone battery is dead, no one knows where you are, and you’re kind of wedded to the process at that point. You can always say no, up until the last minute, but then you’d be stuck in someone else’s neighborhood with only the bus to take home.
Just like I could have left my hair the hot mess that it was this morning. But I didn’t want to be the coif equivalent of that lonely girl on the Western Avenue bus, disheveled and rejected by her own good sense. So I got it cut. Professionally.
I like it, though it will take a while to fully grow on me. That’s okay. Keeping the analogy going, so do some of the best relationships. I may not always come to conclusions in the best or most expeditious manner, but I get there in the end. This, I think, is what counts: that even if I end up brandishing kitchen shears in the bathroom mirror at 1am in a fit of temporary insanity and frustration, I’ve got enough sense to straighten things out the next day. It’s little blessings, I tell you. Little blessings that save and comfort us all.