Here's the deal: next time you go bald, you can totally pimp out a pic of yourself sitting in the sun so your brown eyes look almost green, a photo filtered within an inch of its no-longer-celluloid life and I won't say a thing. Except great pic! You look amazing, I'll say, neither of us mentioning that in real life you can now see the wrinkles on my forehead, the crease between my eyes, the red marks and whatnot, nothing to hide but everything exposed. There--like that.
|If you look hard enough you can almost read my mind...|
Because let's face it: my old hair was a slut. A big fat whore-y little slut of a hair, colored 6N brown, auburn, lighter in the spring, hot pink toward the end there--fuchsia, really, a word I always have to think of as fucksia so I remember which order the c and the s go--flat ironed and straightened so that when my hair did eventually die its fast, loose fun life I half expected to bury it in a y-shaped coffin while around me everyone giggled. Seeing as how it wasn't virgin hair, I was surprised when the clinic in Tel Aviv told me to save it when it began to fall out in clumps.
Lest you think I am a terribly conceited woman, which I am but I don't want you to think so, that's how vain I am, here is a pic of myself mid-metamorphosis, having just hacked off big chunks using my dad's tiny little beard scissors no bigger than nail cutters. Yes, I look shocked, haggard, old, awful, like a woman in a bathroom trying to escape something horrific. Which I guess I was...
Of course this is right before I shaved it, stuffing wads of my slutty dyed dead hair into a plastic bag. The next morning when I went to the clinic for blood tests I handed over the plastic bag and thought nothing more of it. Onward and upward! I soon discovered that a good lip stain does wonders for chemo bald, and that sunglasses, as always, are my friend.
Fast forward to the evening before I left when the clinic called to say I needed to come pick up my hair. Something something always lost in translation, because huh? I pictured them giving me a wig made of my old hair and just wanted to get out of there, get on the plane and leave that country where I understood so little about breakfast food and politics. But I didn't want to be rude so I went to the clinic where they did not give me my hair, thank god, but instead ceremoniously gave me this certificate.
And a letter written in Hebrew, which Tala, the receptionist translated for me, crying as she read that my hair had been donated to a child with cancer. And I cried, too, of course, having already signed my release paperwork and a strong believer in the Irish Goodbye (or French Exit, whichever vaguely ethnophobic term you prefer). I stood there at the front desk and cried big fat bald tears while she paused at words trying to think of the right one for how do you say? I pictured a little girl with an even smaller head wearing a wig made of used hair, dyed hair, of bright hair, happy hair, of my hair. So yes I stood there not knowing how to leave and totally cried.
Today I think my hair maybe just might be growing back the slightest bit. A fuzz in the light when I catch it just so. It's like watching paint dry, for sure, how I ask Bryan and the kids 7 times a night do you think? It's maybe growing? Look, rub it. Right? Do you think?
And I don't know. Like anything it will when it does and my wondering is a joke, but I also wonder about the little girl. I assume she's in Israel, but I don't know. Jerusalem? A little girl in the middle east somewhere with hair the color of impermanence, and I can't help but wonder, pray, I guess, that beneath all the dye, all the death, all the fucksia, that her hair is growing back, too.