Being Bald

by jamesmerolla

I am a bald man.

It took me a long time to admit that. I fought for every thread that withered helplessly.

Once I had a great head of hair, healthy, strong, with depths of brown unreachable from the surface.

You think you’re going to live forever when you have hair like that.

When I look in the mirror I still feel young.  I am resistant to the march of age, my eyes still veiled by the past. But, when I look at my hair, I see the unmistakable traces of age, breaking like egg on the top of my head.

Bald men begin to question their mortality much earlier in life than men with hair. As soon as your reflection becomes unrecognizable you begin to understand just how fleeting you are. I never imagined myself being bald.

I believe that makes us the patron saints of manhood, martyrs for the male ego, wearing our insecurities like a hat. We know the inner monologue of every man, rich, poor, sickness and in health. We can feel it reflecting off our shiny bald heads.

     Jeez, look at that guy. Poor bastard has nothing, there’s nothing up there. I wonder how old he was when he lost it. He looks like a late bloomer. I bet he first noticed at the end of his ‘shaving his head to look cool phase.’ It started growing in a little thinner on top. Thus began a futile battle against nature.

     There is no way I would trade my gray hair and fucked up prostate for that. Even if I thought I could make balding look cool, I wouldn’t trade places with him. I bet his prostate is as clean as a whistle too. He probably still pisses like he was 18. Tough break bald guy, but, no deal.

I can’t look in the mirror and pretend I’m a rockstar anymore. I was Lou Reed circa 1967, and then when I got a little older I became Rick Danko cira 69, a guy that could still wear a mustache in an un-ironic way and look cool, because he’s experienced and young people look up to him.

But the moment I finally admitted I was going to be bald, there were no more rockstars in my mirror. They all died in plane crashes and drug overdoses in my mind.

Now I’m contemplating doing the whole Warhol thing and just start wearing goofy wigs all the time. Maybe I’ll be the quirky loser artist type.

And I’ll just be known as “Wig Guy” to that group of 20 something year-old kids who still think I’m cool in an ironic losery way. They’ll say things like “I’m not letting Wig Guy sleep in my bed.” and “I think Wig Guy almost cried last night.”

I’ll be the guy sitting in the corner of the bar reading.  We could have a cool conversation about a bunch of films I don’t understand, and pretend I’ve heard of some band you found on the internet yesterday. And then I’ll say something creepy like admitting I talk to myself when I’m alone.

Let’s all laugh and get this out of our system, but seriously, give a respectful nod to the next bald guy you see.