The last time I cut my hair was in July, shortly before my birthday. I had been keeping it short for four years because I despised the eighteen dollar haircuts available to me at the local barber shop. After every cut, I felt ripped off and generic. The moment after I first shaved my head, I felt liberated from some stupid icon of heirarchy and social dominance. I had made a choice to shave my head for no reason beyond financial but the act was almost violently independent. Most men with shorn locks have no ability to grow them or have some contractual obligation requiring their hair be no longer than an eighth of an inch. I was somehow different because I had fantastic hair and chose to go without.
For the first two months of uninterrupted hair, I was simply too busy. Distracted by work and the vagaries of chance and piques of heart, I forgot about trimming my hair. My hair grew out and quickly looked shaggy and goofy. I thought about cutting it frequently. I disliked it. The hair stuck up and out in odd places, but was still too short to control with a brush.
After four months of hair, I looked almost revolutionary with a wild mane of hair and goatee. It was fun having a wild and unruly mop of hair again. I could only exert a mild control over the riotous strands. I declared that I would cut it when the weather turned warm in the spring. Washington is no city for long hair, the humidity and heat are a heavy curse.
In the fifth month of hair, I learned that a friend's child had been diagnosed with kidney cancer. The prognosis was good, the tumor had been found in time to avoid a lengthy chemo treatment and multiple surgeries. His parents and doctors decided that a four month run of chemo would be the safest option. The little guy is not yet two years old. When I saw him two weeks ago, his thin toddler's hair had started to fall out. Too young to talk about his pain, it was only expressed in his eyes.
My mother called me in early March to ask if she could donate my old hair, cut off in 1999, to an organization that makes wigs for children living through chemo treatments. I agreed and will be donating my current shaggy hair as soon as it is available.