I’ve been letting my hair grow. I’m currently at the shaggy unruly stage, way over the collar but not yet long enough to tie it back, so it’s kind of annoying. I could lie to you and say it’s because I like the look, or that I’m trying to recover the illusion of youthful virility (that ship sailed long ago), or it’s out of admiration for AC Grayling, or that I’m finally accepting the Biblical rumors that it can be a source of strength, but none of that is true. I think I’ve developed a mild tonsurephobia.
“Phobia” is too strong, though. It’s more of an aversion; I’m not afraid of barbers, I’m not worried about getting a haircut, a professional snipping away with scissors is not a concern. It’s more that every time I consider making an appointment, I veer away and decide it’s not necessary. Let’s not bother right now, OK?
My last haircut was last November.
I decided to try this other barber in town, a long-established fellow I just hadn’t gotten around to. I walked into his little shop and was brought up short: it looked like there was a corpse sitting in the barber chair. We’re talking Crypt Keeper here. Ancient, pale, wrinkled, cadaverous, bald. And then he opened rheumy eyes and in a phlegmy voice, told me “he’ll be right back”. It turns out one of the local senior citizen’s homes shuttles their residents to this barber, and the guy was like 95 years old, had almost no hair, but he still cared enough about his appearance to get a regular trim of what little he had. That is entirely admirable, and certainly there is nothing wrong with the elderly getting a haircut, and this gentleman was commendably active and alert and friendly (except when he’s napping while waiting for the barber to get back from an errand) despite my initial impression, but…holy intimations of mortality, Batman. I feel an entirely irrational dread now everytime I think about visiting the barber.
Then…it was last November, remember. I had another reason to develop an irrational association with events of that month. I also associate that orange abomination who came to power then with his pink cotton candy floss of a hairdo. His obsession with that fake pile of creepy fibers on his head repulses me. Hair care? You can get carried away.
And then there is the Nazi haircut, that high side fade that has become the recognizable tonsure of the “alt-right”. There’s the Trump sons’ greased up slicked back hair, the used car salesman/sleazy banker look. This is a bad year for hair styles. It’s as if barbers and hair salons are in a conspiracy to make all their clients look like ugly fascists.
So it has come to this, and here I am. If you expect to see me and encounter something like a dishevelled, graying werewolf, you’ve found the right person. Don’t be afraid, I don’t bite. At least, I don’t bite unless you’re wearing a MAGA hat.
It’ll probably be this way at least until the next election.