Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Sound of Settling

I'm starting to go grey.

I don't think it's going to be any day now, and I'm not sure if anyone who sees me on the street (or even often) would notice yet - and if they do, no one's made a crack or joke so far. But slowly and surely it's happening.

And I'm thinking a lot about it.

I was doing my hair in the mirror for Proof a few weeks back and I noticed this one long white strand dead center in my spit-curl, staring at me from the mirror. I've had grey hairs before - it was a favored game of my ex to find them in my head and pull them out, so I've known that they're there. But this was different. It felt different. It was stark, white, and up front in a way that could not be ignored.

Yesterday I started looking through a mirror and found a lot more. And today in the shower I started to really think about why it was bothering me so much. And not in any kind of prominent or intense way, nothing painful or anxious, no freak out, just a bother - like a small hangnail that I'll subconciously play with even though I know I shouldn't until it starts to hurt.

I don't want to go grey.
I don't want to get any older right now. I don't want to become any less attractive.
I don't want to settle.

Tough luck, right?
I mean obviously, not many people do.

I just wish it weren't the hair, y'know?

I care a lot about my hair. It's one of those things where I don't always have a lot about my physical appearance that I can usually point to with a great deal of pride. And that's too bad, cause I doubt that has as much to do with the reality of how I look so much as it has to do with my own warped perceptions. But even with all that self-defeating internal rhetoric I have playing out on a daily basis, I know one thing - I've got nice hair. Really nice hair. Thick, bouncy, soft, curly, full - all those stereotypical words you may hear in an overzealous shampoo commercial also happen to fit my flowing locks. The kind you just wanna play with. I know I do.
I really don't want to lose this one thing that even on the worst feeling days I can sort of pull out and use as a turbo boost of self esteem.

But more importantly than any kind of vanity or self-conciousness, I've discovered that that hair is a real pronounced part of my self-identity. Ever since New Mexico, when I grew my hair down to my shoulders and finally had that long hair I always wanted, this sort of shaggy would be rock star look has become a part of my mental picture. Driving down the highway on a sunny day, blasting loud catchy melodies with the window down, hair swirling in the pressure vortex of my elantra, or carolla, or one day convertible - I'm happy. Few things get me so quickly to that ever elusive far off state of happy. This is how I see myself. I'm 23 - I don't feel like letting that go.

I don't really want to deal with getting older. There's a lot I feel like I've missed out on, opportunities I wasted, chances I didn't take - hours refreshing the same webpage waiting for content. I'm in a place now where i feel I'm starting to rectify that, inch by inch, choice by choice.
But it's hard to keep that momentum going when it feels like there is a ticking clock waiting on top of my head, letting me know there's only so long before I'll have to look in the mirror and evaluate whether I have more time ahead or behind.

Or maybe I'll just look distinguished...


Anonymous said...


Nice read.

Anonymous said...

Jason, you really do have fabulous hair. Amazing, gorgeous, bouncy, touchable hair. And it will still be all of those things when it's grey.

Max Nova said...

I've had gray hairs in the beard for a while, but then I've been old for seemingly a long time.

Damo said...

Don't everybody look all at once, but I'm def receding. So you all can go and choke on your beautiful damn salt 'n pepper locks. (read: quit your bitchin', it could be much worse)


Ozkirbas said...

Özkirbaş - literal translation in turkish means "Distinguished white-haired" - meaning intelligent with virtue.

Fun fact of the day.

Jason Heat said...

It would.

B.Graham said...

Girls actually love gray hair. Little known fact.