Hair Loss

I have lots of hair. My challenge is not about growing it, but getting rid of it.

I look in the mirror and see this mass of grey on my head. “That’s big hair!” And I’m fine with that. My TV screen suggests some chemical that will reduce the size of my forehead by filling in the upper reaches with new roots. Also available is shiny black or perhaps a rich dark brown. Not for me.

I’ve always had copious hair. I just spent twenty minutes searching for an old photo of me but I can’t find it. (Sigh) When I was 25, my hair was curling up on my shoulders. Bruce then, Bruce now.

That’s what I should do … take a right now photo. See you in a bit.

Yeah, that’s me.

In mid-December, I saw my hair starting to grow every which way. But that was okay. I had an appointment with my stylist for December 30. On December 26, the Province of Ontario locked down. My haircutting options were reduced to the grocery store and the pharmacy. Undeterred, I phoned the hair salon and made an appointment for February 3. “I can last that long.” Sadly, Ontario has extended the lockdown to at least February 11. So … I’m now figuring on sometime in 2022.

This morning I decided against a repeat of 1974. Amazon, the purveyor of all things wise and wonderful, would surely come to my rescue. And they did. I ordered a hair trimmer kit that had lots of 5-star reviews. It’s due to show up on Saturday.

I can read a manual. I can maneuver a trimmer through my golden locks. And I can’t wait to see what I’ll look like. Maybe I’ll start a new trend!

An after-photo will be coming your way.

A Fork in the Road

The man, who, being really on the Way, falls upon hard times in the world will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who offers him refuge and comfort and encourages his old self to survive.  Rather, he will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help him to risk himself, so that he may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it.  Only to the extent that man exposes himself over and over again to annihilation can that which is indestructible arise within him.  In this lies the dignity of daring

Karlfried Graf Durckheim

Refuge: a place that provides protection from danger
Annihilation: the state of being completely destroyed
Indestructible: impossible to destroy or break
Daring: venturesome boldness

He’s another word to define, one that I’m in the middle of:

Retirement: the time of life when one chooses to permanently leave the workforce behind
Retirement: removal of something from service or use

So, being 71, should I contemplate the perennial nature of the couch?  Should I quietly remove myself from service?  After all, there are gourmet foods to eat; Caribbean vacations to embrace; friends to have coffee with, mulling over politics and sports.  “Refuge” is a good word.  I’ve earned the rest, the slowness of will, regressing to the mean.

Boring!

How about instead a grand adventure, calling out for other humans to join a revolution in consciousness?  I can throw myself into a project that seems at first glance “a bridge too far”.  I can go towards the barriers, the booby traps.  I can come nose-to-nose with the destroyer of dreams … and not waver or break.

Shall I be bold, venturing into the lands described by Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation:

These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise
Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds
to seek out new life and new civilizations
to boldly go where no man has gone before

Man and woman – we are going …
New vistas await.  Miracles are ours for the reaching

Shall we?

 

Nipples

I was lounging on a Cuban beach two years ago, talking to a couple I had met the day before.  The fellow looked at my chest and said “So, you’re really glad to see me.”  Huh?  Then I looked down at my nipples and saw that they were sticking out some.  But they’ve always looked that way.  And then I forgot the whole thing.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when the weather got warmer and I started wearing t-shirts again.  I looked in the mirror and there were my nipples, showing some under the T.  And in this version of Bruce, it wasn’t okay.  Here’s this nice little Buddhist guy, very familiar with letting things be as they are, starting to obsess about natural bumps on his chest.  Whatever happened to nipple peace?

This skewedness continued on its merry way until yesterday.  “Go down, you stupid little things.”  And that was pretty irrational, since my nips always seem to look the same.  Conveniently ignoring that relevant fact, I went to my laptop and Googled “normal male nipple”.  I then discovered that there isn’t any such thing.  We guys come in all sorts of configurations!

Undeterred by such variance in the male chest, I sallied forth into several Internet articles.  One plastic surgeon described “the perfect male nipple”, with the areola being such-and-such a diameter, and a nipple height of 3-4 mm.  Being alone in the house, I whipped off my shirt, went to a kitchen drawer, pulled out a ruler and proceeded to do the measurement.  6 mm.  “See?  I’m abnormal!”

Oh, Bruce.  Get a grip.  Just accept that you’re an absolutely perfect male specimen, except for nipple height.  Actually, aren’t we all perfectly ourselves, even as we regress from the mean of human features?  I think we are.

There’s the Six Million Dollar Man, and now we have the Six Millimeter Man.  Both absolutely fine examples of the male species.

I woke up this morning, put on my “Shine A Light Upon My Day” t-shirt, laughed at my nippled self, and sauntered over to the Belmont Town Restaurant for brunch.  Nobody stared.  They pretty much didn’t notice me.

Get my point?