Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Baldie's BACK

Last night I got out the clippers and, as I’ve done on a weekly basis for several months now, I buzzed my hair down to “zero,” which refers to the metal teeth of the clippers, without any attachment (they go from 1 to five, if I’m not mistaken).

But I didn’t stop there; I picked up the shaving soap, got the water hot and lathered up my scalp as best I could. Then I put a fresh blade on my razor and shaved off any remaining hair, as if I were preparing myself for brain surgery.

Last Tuesday, upon my return from New York, one of my first acts of personal care was to shave off my beard and “soul patch” under my lower lip. Now I’ve shaved my head, so that the only hair readily visible to my admiring public is my eyebrows and eyelashes.

Interestingly, there are no gray hairs left on my head or face. I’m thinking maybe that was what this shearing was all about. My official story is that this is my “summer cut,” and the truth is my head is a lot cooler now. (And it’s good to have a cool head.) Truth be told, I miss the hair I had as a younger man. I’m saddened by the realization that I can’t grow it anymore. So, I’ll keep it bald instead. The last time I had a baldie was right around the time Jackson was born, back in 2005 or so. I enjoyed it, but the maintenance got on my nerves. Shaving my face every couple of days is enough of a pain; the whole head was a tedium that got to me in the end. But I’ll try it again, at least for the summer, and see how it goes.

As a consolation, I think of a mind game that Susan Dreyer Leon taught me, and that I used to play with my students when they had the hiccups. “Close your eyes and think of three bald-headed men,” I’d say. (Personally, I always imagine Patrick Stewart, Michael Jordan and Kojak.) The idea is that while your mind is distracted, trying to pull up the images of three bald men, your breathing relaxes, and no more hiccups. Try it next time. It works . . . sometimes.

Anyway, I’m happy to know that I can now be part of the cure for hiccups.

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