It’s an odd new year’s resolution: To stop taking photographs of the back of my head.
It started with another photograph of me, one taken from the specific angle that you get when you’re holding a birthday cake so a two-year old can blow out the candles.
As d’Unbelievables would say, “Lads whatever MOVE I made…”.
At first I thought the lighter patch was a bird poo or the imprint of a petit-filoued hand.
No, the lens had discovered a bald patch. Later, I took the first of many photographs of the back of my head and confirmed it.
“How long has this been going on?” I asked, as if I’d caught myself having an affair.
“It’s just your parting,” my wife suggested.
She was expertly playing the role any good partner has to play many times over the course of a long-term relationship: Somehow reassuring the other one that ‘the thing’ they are obsessing about is ‘not a thing’ while successfully steering the transition to ‘managing the thing’.
She got me hair stuff for Christmas. The key to picking a Christmas present is to keep an ear out for what the recipient has been talking about earlier in the year.
Finding galleries of the back of my head on Dropbox was a small but significant whisper for her.
This hair stuff has multi-peptides in it. Which must be good.
We all need a peptide in our step and multi means more than one, so that’s good value.
It’s also a serum and if I know anything about science from watching films, I know that serums are usually are “our only hope, Commander. It HAS to work!”
I know I am a perfect example of all that’s wrong with the whiny GenXers of today.
You wouldn’t see one of the silent generation who raised the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima worried about a little thinning as he set about thinning the enemy.
The navvies who dug the London Underground in their shirts and ties didn’t have serums.
I don’t care. I defy anyone to shrug nonchalantly when the first bald patch appears.
My hair is all I’ve got. Without it, I’m Samson, weakened, (though still fairly ripped and oily, dressed in a loincloth) restrained by Philistines.
I used to think: “Why don’t they just face facts and shave it off?”
Well I know now. It’s because they, like me, probably don’t think “they have a face for a bald head”.
It’s all very well for you with your cheekbones. But I’ll look less like Colm, more like Gollum.
I have a newfound respect for even the most outlandish of comb overs.
I see them now, not as delusional but as defiance.
There is a man who lives near me who routinely on windy days has a foot long squall of hair standing straight up on one side of his head.
As far as I’m concerned he is now avant garde – if he was in Studio 54, Bowie would have ended up looking like him.
I’m a long way from comb-overs still. But for now, I’m just watching that space.