In My Next Life I Want Hair
Recovery from surgery has multi-faceted aspects. In my considered opinion, most aspects don’t bear the attention we tend to give them. The grim reality is that we get to go through the discomforts, fears, outright pain, immobility, etc., whether we want to or not, whether we give energy to the process or not. Eventually, discomforts pass.
Take a simple thing like learning to walk. When an infant learns to walk, she is cute. The baby pulls herself up onto the lip of the chair cushion, with concentration, turns around, jerks forward two steps only to land on her well-padded bottom. We, who watch, laugh, clap our hands, murmur nonsense words of encouragement. She gets up and tries again. We take her hand and ferry her around the room. She keeps going until she masters the arcane achievement of placing one foot in front of the other, until she artfully eliminates the jerks and the bottom-falls.
Not counting infancy, this is my fifth time of learning to walk—again. At near seventy, one-hundred sixty pounds, five foot eight, and minus the diapered bottom, I am not cute. Nobody laughs and claps. If I fell on my bottom, definitely that would not be cute. But I have a system. Long years ago I reduced the process to a one-two-three-four cadence, with each number receiving a corresponding body movement. All walking requires in adulthood, much the same as in infancy, is time and practice. And balance. A walking stick helps.
Let’s agree from the start that physical therapy is evil. A necessary evil. Enough said.
Every time I have surgery, I lose my hair. Vanity or not, I hate this. I have been cursed with English hair, fine as a baby’s fuzz, each strand straight as a stick. I’ve never had a bad hair day. I have had a bad hair life. Nevertheless, I have grown rather fond of my hair. I hate to lose it. The first time, nearly bald (in my mind), I resorted to wigs. Since in my early twenties I had three surgeries in three years, mathematically that equals four years of being wigged out. In retrospect, I cringe to think what I must have looked like. I had three wigs, each a different style and length. I alternated them. Cringe again.
Fortunately for my vanity, I don’t go chemo bald, though I have considered simply shaving my head and starting over. While I’m losing my hair, new baby fuzz grows beneath what’s left. That is not cute either. These days, instead of buying wigs, I entertain fantasies.
In my next life, I want to be a wooly mammoth.
Seriously. I’ve given this a deal of thought. A lot of hairy cats and dogs and rabbits look like mops. Common. Too much like giant dust balls under the bed. I considered a beautiful rosy haired tarantula but, while not afraid, I’ve never been fond of spiders.
A super hairy monkey from the rainforests of Southeast Asia with a long white mustache makes me smile. However, I have enough trouble keeping my own mustache under control. I’m fond of pigs and again, there is a lovely hairy bearded pig. While I don’t have a personal problem with beards, I don’t care for them. So nix the pig.
Nope. I’ve set my mind. In my next life I want to be a wooly mammoth, covered with thick dreadlocks of curly hair. While most people think this beast is extinct, I wouldn’t be too sure. Consider the frequent sightings of the Himalayan Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, the eastern and western versions of Bigfoot. Extinct? Imagination? Real? Who knows?
I understand there have been recent sightings of a strange being in the wilds of Alaska. People call her Sara, the Pale One. She seems to have a predilection to tea parties, which makes no sense to me. I simply repeat what I have heard on Fox News. Rumors abound.
My mind is set. Let me be a wooly mammoth, with long, thick, dark, musky, tangled locks of hair and never a cause for vanity, never a bad hair day. And if you squint a certain way when you are hiking the wilderness, you might just sight me, especially if you catch me admiring my beauty in the mirror of a mountain lake.
HDN: Looking out my back door
February 26, 2015