Friday, October 7, 2005

shedding the past

A lot of shit has gone down lately, and i felt like it was constantly at my back, like my shadow. So i held a ritual in a friend's kitchen last night around midnight, with a cocktail and a pair of shears. I cut off all my hair.

All my life, I'd had long hair. I've hidden behind it, in a way. It's always been my security blanket. Most everyone I know has said, "OH, never cut your hair! you're so pretty with it!" as though it were my only decent feature. So i got hooked on the idea that it was the only thing that made me appealing to men, and I hate it that i let people do that to me, or let me do that to myself. Let's face it, men love long hair. Long haired women are sexy. But none of the rest of me is conventional, so why live with the hair that's been following me around for three decades? I'm in a new state, living a new life, i figured I would make it official.

I couldn't see what she was cutting, but I could feel it. And we both knew how short it was going to be. I patiently waited and chatted and sipped for about an hour. And when she finally told me to get up, I would have a chance to look in her mirror. I expected to cry. I felt awful, because I knew it was coming, and I didn't want her to think I wasn't grateful. It's just bittersweet to lose something that you've clung to for so long.

Before I stood up, I ran my fingers through it, and my heart stopped. I didn't want to get up, i just wanted to live my life in that kitchen chair, bent over, staring at remnants on my hair around my feet. I sat bent over, much like the emergency position you're supposed to assume during an airplane emergency, and concentrated on breathing. And finally, I stood up, and I looked in the mirror. And I waited to cry.

But I didn't.

In fact, the smile hasn't left my face. I feel lighter than I did yesterday, I catch myself walking differently. I shed the last year, the last 30 years, of change, confusion, and stress, and now I'm left with fuzzy soft locks that I can't stop touching. All those people who told me not to cut my hair should see me now. My hair is hot, yes. But the glow that came with it was worth the wait, and infinitely hotter than my long hair ever was...

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