When I think of Easter Island, what ultimately happened seems illogical to me, illogical to the point of inconceivable. After all, at some point someone had to cut down the last tree. Didn’t they realize what the bloody fuck they were doing? Did they not see that it was the last? Did they not care?
And then I think back to when I was a kid, plucking those long, stray hairs stretching out from my father’s
fleshy bulb because, in essence, it just looked funny and inconsistent standing out there all alone, like some cerebral antennae or something — so, well, it must be terminated.
I think maybe Easter Islanders had a similarly insipid mindset: better extinct than endangered.
Yet the idiotic philosophy has driven me yet again, now with respect to my own skull.
Once upon a time, I would ask guys why they shaved their heads and when they told me it was essentially because they were balding, it would strike me as absolutely absurd.
“I was losing hair, so I shaved it all off.”
In many ways, this is how I perceived the act of my former roommate, who had been using Rogaine for a short time before I came home one day and found he had cue-balled his head at the suggestion of some beer-guzzling, vagina-bearing beings he frequently hung out with at the bars. When we went our separate ways, I inherited the Rogaine.
I figured I had it, I was balding, and it didn’t make sense for it to go to waste, so what the hell? So I tried it. Squirted that little ball of foam into my palm and applied it to the crop circle on my gourd twice a day. Was there a difference? I thought so, however meager, but I soon realized that in order to keep any of the hair I earned through this process I would need to keep applying it indefinitely. That sounded expensive.
And what about the apocalypse? In the event of doomsday, Rogaine would surely be unavailable, and it would doubtlessly be stressful enough of a time without waking up in a heap of my own hair.
Is that the way it would work, I wondered — if Rogaine was discontinued would it all fall out at once?
I stopped using it.
It is the autumn of life. Just as the leaves dry out and die, falling down and away from the forest trees, so the follicles on my bulbous head go gray and take to the wind. Only there will be no spring for my shedding scalp, I realize. Here we descend into eternal winter.
Just deal with it, I told myself. Hair time is on the decline. Accept its fate.
Still, every time I would lean over at work to change the trash I felt as though that bald spot was staring everyone down. A big, pasty, Caucasian eye staring out of an increasingly sparse and graying gourd forest of follicles.
I had stopped wearing hats years ago — a major transition, I might add, as I had worn a ball cap every day for a long, long time. There were things I didn’t miss, like the way my hair would stick out the sides, how the sweat built up under the band that went around my forehead, how smoke would sometimes build up under the bill of my hat when smoking a cigarette and then bum rush my fucking eyeball. And it made my head itchy sometimes.
I was balding, though, and Rogaine experimentation was over. So I got a hat. I also took out green Winter cap I’ve had forever.
Itchy, hair sticking out the sides.
Then I came home a few days ago and said, fuck it. Suddenly I found myself adopting a sort of Hunter S. Thompson approach to my hair.
Withering away was not the way of the Duke, so he took the auto-Kevorkian route. Rather than postponing the inevitable, riding the slow downward slope to the grave, he beat it to the punch. Self-administered mercy killing. Better to go out with a big bang than a slow, agonizing whimper.
I grabbed the electric clipper from underneath the sink and mowed by sparsely-haired melon till there was nothing but peach fuzz.
I look at myself in the mirror, a bald monkey stares back.
What a large, oddly-shaped head. There is also that weird scar behind my one ear. I don’t remember where I got it from.
I knew people will ask me why I shaved it. I wondered if anyone who knew my interest in meditation as of late would think I was going monk or something.
I could be honest. Or I could fuck with them.
“Well, I’m a heavy smoker,” I could say, “so I’m just getting used to the look is all.”
My only regret is choosing Winter as the season to do this…