(To those of you who care about the continuity of the challenge – Day 10 was another private post.)
“Are you ready?” Pat asks me and I am not so sure.
“Just a moment, please,” I say and look at myself in the mirror.
The long, blond hair sits in a bun atop my head. Strands of hair hang loosely here and there to give me a more effortless look. I scoff while thinking of all the effort I had to put into this hairdo to make it look ‘effortless.’
My trembling hands reach up and start undoing the hair tie.
“I can’t,” I say out loud, drop my hands, and get up.
A client in the corner averts her eyes but not before I see them roll. They must think of me as ‘just another Hollywood celebrity’ and they would be right. I smooth out a wrinkle from my pants, adjust my top, shake things off, and am back in the seat.
“Let’s try that again,” I say as I undo the hair tie loops.
Pat stands there patiently without saying a word.
A mixture of citrus and honey assaults my nostrils as my hair cascades down my shoulders. It is so velvety smooth that I want to cuddle it. I do. I rub a strand of hair against my cheek. “Mmmmm…”
“I’m ready,” I say out of nowhere, just wanting it to be over with.
As the locks start falling to the ground, I notice tears streaming down my cheeks but I do nothing about them. When Pat asks me if I am alright, I nod overzealously and try to hold in the sobs. “What will people think?” I wonder.
“So, is this for your next campaign?” Pat asks as he glides the clippers across my now near-bare skull.
“No…” I shake my head. “… I just found out I have cancer and wanted to get ahead of this before my hair fell out,” I explain and wipe the remnants of my tears away.
“I am going to live boldly now,” I say to break the awkward silence and smile. Now that the hair is gone, there is a spark in my eyes I have not seen before.
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