Just when I thought it was safe to go back to the barber's – the asymmetrical haircut is back.
I spent most of December with a baldy bit behind by right ear thanks to the spot of light brain surgery I underwent on the first day of advent. It grew back quite quickly, but the rest of it insisted on racing ahead, leaving me looking weirdly unbalanced. Moreso than usual, I mean.
Problem was that having someone gouge a hole in the side of my head, however skilfully, had left me more than a tad sensitive about letting anyone anywhere near the wound. In nerve-twanging, get-off-or-I'll-kill-you-where-you-stand kind of a way. Suddenly everyone wanted to dispense Christmas hugs on that side and, frankly, it was giving me the screams.
So professional hairdressery was out of the question. Once the bald patch had grown back a bit I did shorten off the left side a little with some beard clippers I've owned since a best-forgotten goatee project, but it left the top piled oddly high and fluffy and creepily reminiscent of an even better-forgotten Eighties adventure in coiffurey. Still, it was cold, I could wear a hat. Then I only looked like a stalker.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I decided I was starting to frighten shop assistants and the wound was now touchable enough for me to seek professional help. I even decided to forgo my ten-minute, ten-quid usual and go to a proper hairdresser with clean floors and sharp scissors and stuff. My thinking was that in the comfort of a well-lit, tidy salon with trained trimmers I could explain that I was only six weeks past a head operation and was still undergoing radiotherapy, and that they would need to be very, very careful and ideally not touch my scar at all. The hairdresser listened very attentively, agreed that none of this would be a problem, then passed me off to a girl of about 12 who proceeded to scald my scalp and scrub it down with highly perfumed Swarfega before passing me back to her older colleague who spent the next half-hour prodding my wound with a variety of instruments I can only imagine were last popular among inquisitive clergymen in mediaeval Spain, before charging me £22 for much the same haircut I always have.
I felt really, really sick, and not just about the £22 (men seem to understand this, women don't seem to get why that's a problem) and went home to sip gingerly at a glass of water and try not to vomit. This was my last goodish day before the episode I described in the last blog entry which led to me being put back on steroids (still going great, thanks for asking) so that may not have been entirely to do with the haircut. But it was bloody horrible.
And now, just under a fortnight later, my patch of thatch is falling out again, in exactly the same place as was shaved before because that's where they're shining the daily death-rays. I'm told I might also go a bit thin on top, because they're also beaming some radiation in that way, just for luck (actually, it's because they direct in multiple, weak beams which converge on the naughty spot to deliver a combined payload there but cause less damage along their own individual paths rather than just one, powerful beam which would cauterise everything along its route: it's a good thing).
Still, at least I've been told it probably won't go all patchy, so with a bit of luck I won't have to shave my head entirely. I have no problem with the Kojak look, it's just that what with my operation scar and another one dating back to a bizarre drinking incident circa 1990 involving a hanging basket in a pub, it might just leave me looking like I've recently escaped from a vivisectionist.
And it might become symmetrical, again. The beams have to come out somewhere, and their point of egress of choice is the exact same space on the other side of my head, so I may end up with a shaved at both sides look, another back-to-the-Eighties do.
Apparently that's fashionable again. Who's willing to join me on the cutting edge?
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