give the whole thing a high-and-tight

Several people lately have told me I should dispense with any hesitations and shave my head. These admonitions are usually accompanied by an insistence that my refusal to do so is because I am somehow loath to admit I’m actually balding. Let me try and address that for the here and now: I am clearly balding; I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Oh and I must admit I’ve been tempted at times to give the whole thing a high-and-tight that’d do a boot camp barber proud, I’ve just never gone the distance. Mostly, I think, because Sharaun has discouraged me. Second-mostly, I think, because I have a really hard time envisioning what I’d look like sans hair. Well, sans all hair, that is. In some way I think shaving the dome would be nothing short of luxury. I could cease worrying about hats in summer and instead slather the entire bald thing with sunscreen. I could throw away the old hairbrush I keep at work for those days when I do a midday gym. I could save money on shampoo. I might look younger. Then again, I might look older.

I had this discussion with a friend of mine from work who was visiting. We run into each other every few months it seems, but when we do I always enjoy our conversations. Ten years ago I worked with this guy before he moved onto a different job at the sawmill, in another sawmill location that is. And no, I think I’ve mentioned before I don’t actually work at a sawmill. In the non-blog world it’s an international technology company; personnel-wise a huge stable of nerds slaving away in front of computers. Anyway he’s had a shaved head for years now, did it sometime after he left where I work and went to work where he works now. He was encouraging me to do so, even while admitting his stubbly head shreds pillowcases.

His argument was compelling, not because his head looked so magnificent or he’s a gifted salesman, but (I think) owing to his current situation. See, this buddy of mine is on the precipice, about to make a large-scale transition in his life. About to leave his career at the sawmill (a quite successful and well-run career thus far, additionally). He’s weeks out from moving into a winery in the desert and taking over lock, stock, and barrel. He and his bald head are trading the shoulder-high cubicle maze and HR reps for days under the sun in the grape rows. Looking at the light in his eyes as we talked varietals, soil conditions, acreage, and supply/demand, I began imagining his head shining under the harsh desert sun as he tallied sugar content in the chardonnay. In every way I romanticized his current lot…

Somehow the allure of working the earth to produce something even Jesus deemed an “upgrade” to water, a substance already molecularly perfect and life-sustaining, transferred onto the discussion of whether or not I should shave my head. So it was that I found myself sitting there contemplating if liberating my skull of its furry covering might not also liberate my soul from its corporate prison. I doubt it… but the subconscious connection was made. Maybe my thinning crown is holding me back from my own desert winery… from my own hours toiling in the hot sun or down in cool dry cellars smelling of oak. How much might I gain by casting away so little? Look… I’ve turned it into a parable.

Yeah, I know, and I’ve written before, I have a good gig at work. It’s not too hard, just stressful; I’m compensated well for what I do and the demand on my time is far from unreasonable. It’s just fashionable to denigrate your job, right?

Maybe if I just shaved my head…


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