Friday, December 15, 2006

The End of the World


My hair’s getting thinner.  My teeth have always been bad, and they can (in theory) be fixed, so the fact that they’re bothering me doesn’t bother me as much as this bit about my hair.  It’s just thinner.  Last time, I had Joyce dye it for me, and she said something along the lines of, “Holy shit – I’ve never seen hair this thin.”  Which reminded me of last time I went to get my hair cut – I mean, repaired… I have my friends cut it for me, if they will, except for once a year or so when the problem gets really out of hand – anyways the hairdresser said, “You have really fine hair.”  (And then she said, “Was your friend standing on a HILL when she cut your hair?”)

I didn’t think much about it until Joyce mentioned it a few months later.  Joyce’s hair is a lot thicker than mine, and she’s about eight years older than me.  Which makes her 49.  Which makes me 41.  She’s pretty well-preserved in every way, but she’s got wrinkles and I don’t have wrinkles anything like hers.  Yet.  I find Joyce a weird sort of comfort, and inspiration isn’t exactly easy to come up with in this crazy old world.  But still. 

It’s not that my hair, like, LOOKS thin, or fine (It doesn’t look thin or fine to me, and I’ve asked people about this and they always seemed surprised—I choose to believe them); it’s just that, apparently, it is.  And I know it.  Now that I think about it, I can feel it.  I can feel my skull, more easily, with my hand, through my hair. Now that I think about it, it never used to be this easy to feel my skull with my hand through my hair.  I saw an older lady on the bus to work the other day and she had hardly any hair, and I thought, I bet she knows she has thin, fine, practically non-existent hair by now.  I bet she’s dealing with it.  I bet the whole thing started out for her the way it’s started out for me. 

I wouldn’t say I find this depressing.  I can’t afford to find something like this depressing.  Good God.  I’m still holding my own.  Most people, apparently, haven’t realized how thin and fine my hair is.  Just my latest hairdresser, and Joyce, and me.  I guess it isn’t really all that thin and fine, yet.  No experts have told me that my thin fine hair is going to get any more thin or fine, or fall completely out, like most of the hair must have fallen out for that poor older lady on the bus. 

I think occasionally about this problem (this is obviously one of those times) , and I contemplate buying body-building shampoo.  But never when I’m in a store.  When I’m in a store, I’m always economizing.  I buy cigarettes, and vegetables, and chips, as economically as I can.  If I have to, I buy contact lens solution and toilet paper and/or tampons and/or catfood.  Body-building shampoo never even crosses my mind when I’m in a store.  I still have to get beer after this.  For heaven’s sake.

I guess it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I ended up with even thinner, finer, hair.  After all, the lady on the bus had much, much thinner, finer hair than I do, and there she was, on the bus, going somewhere.  There are people with no teeth or hair whatsoever, and you see them on the bus, going places.  I remember thinking when I was younger that I would rather be dead than have to take a bus every day, to some job.  But that’s where I saw the older lady – on the bus.  I don’t feel like dying, yet.  If I can feel my skull more easily than I used to, well hey. 

What would be the end of the world?  I guess it’s easier to get on a bus and go somewhere. 

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Old Comments

  • ok, found your writing… smile

    i love this, and i haven’t even read your other post.  my mother and her mother and her mother’s mother have/had thinning hair, and my hair is much thinner on the left hand side of my forehead, and i worry about it in about the same way as the narrator of the story. 

    what i especially love about this is the tie-in with the woman on the bus.  i lived in columbus, oh for a few years, and having grown up in maine before that, never experienced bus life before that.  so when i finally got used to a bus life, i found it fascinating, to say the least. 

    this isn’t very helpful, just blabberish.  i’m gonna go read your other post, now.

    Posted by mmpottlehill  on  02/04  at  10:20 PM
  • Interesting text reflecting a bit of the process of loss of vital energy as one slowly sways away from youth towards the inevitable ageing process (hair and teeth being key elements of seduction).

    I like the way this narrator wrote her thoughts in a sincere way, with no “make-up”.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/12  at  07:34 AM
  • This is very inspiring. The writer shows us our flawed ways of responding to trivia while taking so much for granted. A piec of writing with a valauble lesson.

    Posted by Prometheus  on  12/29  at  01:40 AM
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