Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there, hair, shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there, momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy
Hair, flow it, show it
Long as God can grow, my hair
-“Hair” from the tribal rock musical Hair
I remember one of my first hair models, Billy Hufsey, who played Emilio on Days of Our Lives, which I would watch loyally despite being predominantly heterosexual at the time. While other kids thought about being an astronaut or a fireman or following in the footsteps of their father as an asshole, I thought to myself, “When I grow up I am going to have hair like him!” Even at an early age I was following the life theory of, “Set your goals low and even if you hit them, big whoop.”
What was obvious is that I started to become identified with my long hair. “The long-haired trainer”; “The long-haired yoga instructor”; “The long-haired cuticle repairman”; “The long-haired terrorist.” What was possibly worse was that I started identifying myself with my long hair as well.
And because of the strange anomaly of curly hair needing to grow out in a Jew-fro before growing down, I felt like I had invested too much time in the long-hair to cut it, for if I wanted to grow it out again I would have to go through that “awkward pubescent stage” again, similar to when your head hasn’t quite caught up to the size of your nose and you look like you’re a distant relative of Karl Malden. So I was trapped.
But was a really? Of course not. I was not Sampson and if I cut my hair my super power of being able to drip a loogy from my mouth all the way down to the floor and pick up small objects like paperclips and nail clippings would not suddenly disappear because of follicular alteration.
When I got deeper into the spiritual question Who Am I? and exploring my various identifications with my body, emotions, thoughts, employment and other items that I had come to fully know weren’t me, it was only a matter of time before the epiphany came to me, “Hey, I’m not my hair either and if I can come up with a song with these lyrics perhaps India Arie will sing it!”
But all I had known for almost two decades was this long, dirty mop on my head—and there were so many people in my life who had never known me without long hair—that I wondered if I was attached to this wildlife habitat on top of my skull housing various life forms from Audubon to vermin, or if it had grown into a dusty powdered wig a la the 18th Century that needed to be retired, or in techno terms: was it time for me to throw out my LP record collection and step into the CD Era. What, CDs are passé now? Digital downloads? You kids today, I just can’t keep up with you, Techno sapiens!
And so I decided it was time to mow the lawn, and I am not referring to my 70s porn pubes but my cerebrumular overgrowth. But not without the dramatic flair that is my trademark, as much as having bugs in her vagina is Lady Gaga’s.
(Die Antwoord “Fatty Boom Boom” music video, starts at 4:09)
[Tune in tomorrow for Part 3]