It came down to a decision. When does it ever not, right? In a single year, you will make over three point seven billion decisions. Did you know that? No – I completely made that up, but the figure sounded feasible.
Everything from waking up in the morning and deciding whether or not to make your bed now, later or never, to stopping to pet the dog on the way into the kitchen, is a decision you do or do not make. Life: a sequence of choices and decisions.
I thought seriously about shaving my head this morning.
Yeeep. Just taking the plastic claw thingy and dragging it over my scalp until I was bald and beautiful, and no doubt blubbering after the rush of adrenaline had worn of.
I think it’s interesting how people laugh politely at the proverbial insanity of writers. In fact, we expect them to be just a little mad; for if they aren’t, what good is their art? Well, madness may conjure up lots of pretty metaphors and glamorized ideals, but it’s only pretty to look at from a distance or read about after said Mad Writer has had mounds upon mounds of favorably quantitative success. Real madness is dark and depraved. It’s self-absorbed and megalomaniacal. It isolates and deteriorates, stripping hope and joy and selflessness from a person until there is nothing but a fragile, paranoid, moody individual who may or may not aspire to greatness. I see nothing about madness to laud and revere. I want no part of it. If you see it coming for you, run and scream, tuck and roll, bake a cake — do whatever you have to do to keep it away.
Might I be honest with you?
I tend to wait as long as possible before disclosing that I’m a writer; up until that point, to the stranger, I am perhaps intelligent, insightful, and well spoken. Then all of a sudden the chin bobs up and down, the eyes shrink to slivers, and it’s “Oh . . . well of course, then. You’re a writer.” Here a very marked pause counts the beats until wherein the next question goes something as follows: “So what have you published?”
Cue the death of a piece of my soul.
And now tis expected of you that rose petals should fall from your mouth when you speak, but it’s not at all wonderful if they do. Doctors save lives. Teachers educate children. And writers, they say lots of lovely things. Tell me, you, is a star any less spectacular when it’s coruscating in the Heavens? Further still, the act and very nature of a human being devoted to fulfilling its purpose is a marvelous treasure. We’ve only just forgotten that it is.
I’m back to considering removing all my hair.
The feint sound of buzzing coos to me in the distance.
And now I’m picturing my spouse’s face upon arriving home from work today. He’s standing in the doorway, his black and silver mesh lunchbox clutched in his left hand. It drops to floor – along with his jaw – with a loud thump. Then he begins to nod in a circle and says in controlled even tones, “You, uh . . . you look . . . good!”
And by “good,” he of course means hideous abomination, and then, bristling like a cat dunked in a tub, I skulk off to adhere all my hair back to my scalp, using Elmer’s glue and a staple gun.
So the decision is mine to make: I can continue to sit here feeling just a little too sorry for myself. I can shave my head. Or . . . I can finish my amazing cup of coffee, get cleaned up and dressed for the day, and leave the house thankful that I have both a car and legs to do so.
I’m hopping in the shower.
Have a very blessed day, everyone.
P.S. I’m keeping my hair.