Wednesday, February 25, 2015


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. 



Anonymous said...

You are filter can fake that.

Mr. X said...

"Great pic! You look amazing!"

Okay, aside from my obvious cut-and-paste of your post, you really DO still look beautiful.

It's okay if you don't believe me, though. If I were you, I probably wouldn't believe me, either. But, no matter, it's still the truth.

That second photo makes me think you're starring in a B-movie. Maybe you're a guard in a womens' prison. I guess it's the lighting and the showerhead in the background. "You lookin' at me?"

I like your necklace. I know someone who gave his daughter the middle name "Namaste." She was way premature and got off to a very rough start.

You look nice and healthy. I hope your ability to eat is improving. Can you believe all you've accomplished in the past two months? It's truly amazing.

From the snowy east coast, I send my best to you, Bryan, Zoey, and Ozzy.


Mr. X

Petunia Face said...

Thank you both!

And thankfully my appetite is back. Along with 10 of the 20lbs I lost. :)

Linda G said...

You are so amazing; beautiful inside and out!!! I have been following your posts for a good while. You have made me laugh and cry or both at the same time:-) . Your incredible strength and beautiful grace show through at every turn. Blessings to you! Keep that wonderful sense of humor! It has been a friend to you. xo

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say..well write....that your face is rounder and smoother again which is very becoming. Then I read that you gained 10 lb. already and I hope you're gaining some more..
You probably don't like the first picture that much without your hair, but there is something special about that picture - interesting to say the least. You know sometimes a good photographer catches the essence of someone's portrait and you can't help but stare at it because it's so intriguing - that's how I feel about your photo.
Your hair will grow back, no question about it, but you never will have a bald head again, so this is your one and only time to embrace it - you certainly own it (I know unwillingly, nonetheless). How did Zoey and Ozzy react to your absent hair?

Petunia Face said...

Well Ozzy told me to put my hair back on, but now they're both used to it and Zoey has begun wearing beanies because she thinks I look cool. :)

Mr. X said...

I'm glad your appetite (and weight) is coming back. Else, I might have recommended you drink this:

(uh, NO...)

Just when I think I've heard everything, something like this comes along.

Nitey nite

Anonymous said...

I know the vaccination topic is already a done deal (well not really) but I liked that Jimmy Kimmel is going in on the act too.