I came into this world with a fabulous head of straight black hair. It was barely apparent to me; I could focus on no object other than my mother’s breast that was all the time inches from my head. The things I could have done with my hair make me want to bite my knuckle (a breast substitute).
The glory that crowned me was greatly dimmed by my first haircut, in 1975. At that young age I could say some words, including, incredibly, “for the love of all things holy, woman, don’t give me a bowl cut,” but my mother did anyway.
There is great value to a sweatshirt with a hood that draws in tight.
A hooded sweatshirt is still valued, and unlike the high school one that said, “Smiths” this one says “Smith: A Century of Women on Top” and I want to be a Marine Biologist and go deep in a submersible.
I write a 40-page thesis on Museum Wayfinding Devices. Some of my hairs turn gray and find their way down the shower train, unassisted. My boyfriend leaves me for a woman named Gail who has a mane that is, like, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful.”
I bite my knuckles continuously for three months until, finally, a friend suggests bangs.
Early Middle Age
Drawn to men with hair power and the glossy black locks that curl like the wool of a sheep and with my biological clock ticking, I invest in Latin dance lessons and within minutes I would like to introduce you to my husband.
My hair looks the best it ever has because, of course, I'm pregnant.
The Current Cut
Like a mare’s forelock, my hair sits on my forehead; I am that exhausted mother you see driving around in a beat-up old Toyota, appearing at ballet class late, without makeup, in a strange ensemble pulled together in the dark, before the sun rose, and with the kids covered in Cheerios, not one of them yet in their tutu.
So I rely on hats, scarves, headbands and distractingly large earrings. And, frankly, whatever El Andre wants to do to create “movement,” “swing” and “texture,” I let him.