Friday, March 14, 2008


Tonight, in a move that was long overdue, I continued a cycle I have maintained since I was 16.

I cut my hair.

Big deal, you are saying, what makes you so special?

Well, maybe I'm not so special. But I can't remember the last time I had a haircut, and now my hair is too short to grab on to. That's the cycle. From very long to very short. It's been about six years since I had the very short, which makes this the longest cycle of the long cycle since I was sixteen. I've had long hair for the whole time I've lived in Brazil.

I remember when my brother and I went to Hawaii to visit an old high school friend. He told us later that he tried to tell his then-girlfriend what we look like. "Well," he said, "They might have long hair, but then again, they might have short hair." Helpful advice. "They might have beards, but maybe they won't." That was how we were, moving back and forth, changing it up. My brother has had short hair for many years now, and I've had long hair for many years too. It was time for a change up.

Evani lobbied for a cut that would leave my hair about chin length. No way, I told her, it's all or nothing. I'm going for the clippers. I really enjoy moving from one extreme to the other this way, especially from long to short because it's so dramatic and has such an effect on people. Even Evani's a little flipped out by the change. Luckily, Lucas is not (maybe just a little)- he was the one I was worried about.

I actually prefer myself with short hair, and I can't really believe I let it stay long for as long as I did. It was getting to be a trap- I've been meaning to cut it for a long time and just haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I had pretty much decided that I would cut it tonight, and then started thinking oh, but my mom is coming, maybe I should wait until she's gone, blah blah. And the worst of the worst- I'll never have hair like this again.

I may not. But then again, the last time I cut off my long hair I was determined not to grow it out again, and now I've had it the longest, for the longest time, of my entire life. But I don't miss it, not one tiny bit, and I'm way too bald for long hair (have been for years).

The whole long hair thing has pursued me since I was very young, being raised by hippie parents and all I suppose it was inevitable. The big break was at sixteen when I decided to go to a buzz cut for the first time and realized just how liberating it is. And I love that feeling of short cropped hair, running your hand through it, feeling it stand up like bristles on a brush.

I came home thinking about finally making the chop, and then Evani goaded me: "Mark's been talking about cutting this hair forever" so I said "Let's go." And I meant it.

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