Monday, October 18, 2004

NY Journal # 13 & 14 & 15 - hair no more

Lucky 13 Journal ?
The Last Journal of Sampson
The Last Day and The First Day of the Rest of My Days

Yes... if you caught the biblical reference, you've guessed it: My long hair will be no more, as of tonight. All of it. Gone. 7 years in the making, now 4 days planning, and .. I'll guess it'll be 15 minutes in the offing. Why? I'll get to why. Needless to say, I've been operating under a somewhat heightened sense of reality these past 4 days as I count down to what is both a trivial change of a so very not-important physical appearance change and... at times, seems to be the beginning and end of everything I know...

Yielding to Delilah's requests, Sampson revealed his secret: "if my hair is cut off, then my strength will go away." - Judges 16:17
- Sampson took himself Way Too Seriously.

Hair as a symbol of identity: psychologists say that hair, before skin color and race even, is the first thing people notice. More than height or weight, facial features, all of it. Why? Well... it's right there, on top of your dome. Can you even avoid noticing someone's hair? Probably not.
Yeah, but why? Seriously, I don't know, stop asking. Whether or not we understand why it's so appearance-defining, there is both reason for attachment to your hallmark of identity - and also reason to be aware of this faux identity, rise above it, and not play the game.

And so I'll list that as # 1 on my list of Why's:
1. I'm sick of the 'game'. my hair does not define me. if it did for some people, fine, it's gone as of tonight. Now what?
2. No more morning 'hassle'. huge amounts of conditioner, leave-in conditioners, gel for broken, frizzy, split ended hairs. No more 15-20 minutes brushing, re-brushing, putting in a pony tail and often braiding. even after years of this, my arms get sore near the end of brushing and braiding. ridiculous.
3. No more ponytail. if I never wear my hair down, why have it? this has often been my # 1 reason for wanting to get rid of it. seriously, it does not look good down, it goes everywhere when down and gets bushy and ridiculous. Only when it's wet has it looked good down and seeing as how I don't live underwater, wet only lasts so long.
4. No more pulling hair out accidentally, breaking hair, getting hair caught in.... EveryThing possible, more split ends or uneven length due to breakage.
5. No more kitties walking on my hair at night.
6. No more not being able to wear hooded sweatshirts, comfortably at least.
7. No more relaxing the hair, straightening it, dying it and/or whatever else I've done to it over the years.
8. There is the practical, dating factor as well: Some girls really like guys with long hair... that's fine. It would have been nice to meet more of them while I had the hair. On the flip side: the -majority- of girls will not even consider dating guys with long hair. Would this ever be reason alone to cut my hair - hell no. Is it a fortunate bonus I'll enjoy - hell yes.
9. It stopped loo... no, -I- stopped considering it as 'looking good' -the majority of the time- a long time ago. Years maybe. the length of the pony tail and/or braid has always been a nice thing, but everything that comes in front of the ponytail is spotted w/ frizzy, broken pieces that -I've felt- has always made 'my hair' looked unkempt.

.... given more time, I'm sure I'd come up with a dozen or more reasons why it should go. It's taken an ever increasing level of bravery, of a detached awareness of the none-importance of hair (I should maybe blame this on that damn yoga and Zen theory) to take the leap and start again at Hair Square One.
AND SOoooooo... tonight, we are having a cut-all-my-hair-off party among our poker party friends, with, yes ... pictures to be taken at various stages of de-hair-ing. We are going to try to fit in as many different hair styles as possible in between full hair and no hair... I'll upload a slideshow once I get the pictures back.
I'll probably also post another journal in a few days, detailing the event and my adjustment to my new non-hair state.

Ok, I'm late to meet friends for football watching...

Long-Hair-Kory, signing off......

[I wrote the below on Monday since haircutting got delayed and in hindsight, i think i needed to keep proving to myself that it was the right idea. My home cable connection was down until today so I didn't have access to email addresses, or I would have sent this sooner]

Wellll... aint it just the way the hairball bounces. I open my mouth and out come lies, LIES i tell you! Hair cutting did not happen last night. It has been delayed a day or two due to.... well, I'm still not sure what happened. I was ready, my friends were not. It turned out to be a mild relief though - another day's reprieve for the condemned man standing at the gallows... uhh to speak. I was going to just do it myself, or have Matt do it but it was getting late & i figured 'screw it, it can wait a day or two'. A different friend will be on shearing duty tonight or tomorrow at the latest. I'm hoping it's tonight now 'cause I just want it over with at this point. [said 'friend' flaked... both days. what the F? ok, maybe it WAS just me who'd pay to be present for a friend's head shearing]

And as predicted, there are other reasons for cutting my hair that I remembered after sending the last journal: 1. No more hair ties, no more hair to be found all about the apartment, no more brushes full of hair, no more bathtub drain full of hair. no more immediate guilty-verdict when it's questionable 'who's hair that is' - a factor that will also help greatly in my future career as high society criminal. 2. no more being mistaken for random strangers friend with long hair. 3. no more having it be assumed that i know where to "score" illicit substances for people.4. Ah - no more dirty-fighting-liability; No, i most certainly am not planning on getting into any fights, but if it happens, I'll be happy to not have a nice ready, handle to be grabbed. 5. And my personal favorite reason: I -may- have a treasure map on my head. seriously, how will I know unless I cut my hair? Ridiculous you say? Fine. You shall not share in my pirate's booty! 6. Last but certainly not least, my hair is being donated to a group that makes wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. I figure with the amount of hair I have, I've got a whole hospital wing covered.

THINGS I MIGHT MISS ABOUT LONG HAIR: 1. Annoying all of the various corporate overlords, directors, managers, fellow employees. Anyone who's ever thought "how did that guy get hired?". I love it. If you cant see past someone's hair, .. I'm not even going to finish that sentence.. it would have ended with the mention of a good, swift kick in the groin being needed. Oops. i guess I just finished that sentence. 2. Braiding. Believe it or not, I taught myself to braid my own hair only after Elizabeth moved back West. Elizabeth had always done it for me prior to her move. Sure. Braiding is easy, braiding your -own- hair... not so easy. at first. Over the course of a week of practice, I gained the physical memory with my fingers to know how it should feel as it's done so that it's almost easier to do it Without watching what you're doing. It was... well, kind of exciting to learn something like that. It felt like learning to juggle... if you can juggle, you know what I mean.3. Warmth. Yes. I am picking the wrong end of our celestial swing around the sun to be going warmth-insulation-less. 4. My official membership in the Long Hair's Club: yes, it's sad. They make you turn in your gun and badge the day you leave the club. What? wrong c.. ..Ok, I'm being told that's a different club.5. The rare occasion when a girl would gush over my hair being "sooo beautiful" or jealous of it's length. The grass always being greener on the other side, my response was almost always "I'll gladly trade you" (they laugh and agree we should but always run when i actually bring out the scissors.. what the hell?!?)

AND ON THAT NOTE.... no more hair talk. at least not until it's actually gone and I'm crying like a safety-blanket-less baby.

SO.. ya, hey! I'm working a temp job! exciting, isn't it? No. the answer is: No. it is Not exciting. It is quite possibly award winning in it's capacity to bore. As in "a hole through my skull". As in "I have read every page on the internet with all of the free time I have, now what?". As in "I fall asleep on weekends just thinking about my job". As in "How is this worth $60 more than unemployment?". The job is at a telecom company that my roommate Matt was temping at before he got a permanent gig at the company his girlfriend works at. I'm doing almost the same thing I was at MCI and yet I never really thought of MCI as boring. Go figure. That's the work itself, the rest of it is somehow kinda cool. It's far downtown, 3 blocks from Wall Street, right at the southwest tip of Manhattan (across from Battery Park and right in front of South Street Ferry station if that means anything to ya) It's nice to be in the thick of an actual working "work" environment. Every place else I've worked has been too sparesly populated to feel like an actual "high traffic work neighborhood". Our building being so close to the water, I can take my lunch back to the office and eat lunch with a 180 degree view from New Jersey to Brooklyn, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island, Grovernors Island, etc included. It's pretty impressive. Even more impressive is the selection of food choices down here. Restaraunts, sure, but I'm talking about food carts and food trucks. Everything from Middle Eastern food to Indian to West Indies to Pizza to dumplings to BBQ to Fried Chicken to fruit shakes to American-diner fare. Most people would never even consider getting food from a food truck serving ethnic food... I'd hazzard to say that most New Yorkers thrive on it. Cute little old Jewish ladies getting jerk chicken, Suit&Tie businessmen closing a deal on their cell phones while in line for lamb over rice, construction workers queueing up for Indian. And all at least 30%-40% cheaper than the local restaraunts. The neighborhood itself is pretty fun to walk around in as well... of course ENDLESS upon endless historical sites (that's a lot of endlessness, eh?) in the area, Wall St a few blocks away, WTC 2 blocks from that, South Street Seaport 5 blocks, Bowling Green park and the Indian Heritage Museum, Battery Park.. it's all right here. I guess that means this was a part of town I hadn't previously explored all that much. Should I be suprised that I'm still discovering new parts of town? HA! right. I'd guess I've seen 1/1000th of this city so far, if that. OK - enough for now... Kory-with-hair signing off For REAL this time.

[P.S. we cut my hair last night. details and pictures to follow, in the next journal.]

NY Journal # 15
Ya. hey. it's cut. my hair, that is.I am happier than you could imagine. Sure, the hair looks good, I will admit, but mostly I am happy that I somehow wasn't overcome by paralyzing apprehension prior to the event or nervous tension during or panic after - like what I experienced 7 years ago when I last cut it. Seriously, I remember asking myself why I did it for months after that cut. This cut was much more 'my choice' which of course, being planned by me, involves an intentional lack of planning - something that understandably frustrates those around me but which -I- always really enjoy. So... my roommate Matt, my friend Chris and I prepared -as best we could- for the event: champagne, beer, buzz clippers and a tiny make-up mirror left by Elizabeth. Oh Ya. We then readied ourselves (ok, myself) for the event by watching a documentary the Trio channel had recently aired - American Mullet. If you couldn't guess, it's about Mullets... aka Sh-Longs, aka Sho-Lo's (for short/long) aka (said the documentary) "Mexican Gangbanger Cut" .... ?? ya, i dont get that one either. So, I figured, if anything could get me to shed my remaining attachments to something some people took so seriously and yet just made them look ridiculous anyway... this show had to be it. It turned out to not be Thee answer, but it helped. As the cutting hour drew closer, I had occasional thoughts that this was my last moment doing this or that with long hair... totally ridiculous, totally sentimental, totally counterproductive to severing a tie you intend to... well... cut. The movie ended, we moved to the kitchen and.. god bless 'em, Matt and Chris both looked at me with a look that said "no, ask Him to do it". I actually wanted to do the first few swipes of the buzz cutter so I was fine with starting. The plan was for a mullet cut on one side, a Mr T cut on the other and eventually, a long mohawk from front to back before it all came off. And more or less, as the pictures hopefully will show, that's what happened. Sadly, by the time we got to the mohawk, "time" itself had become an issue. We'd spent what felt like an hour getting to that point and we were all sick of it, so... the mohawk was a laying-down-mohawk, but some other crazy photo opportunities got set up, although I fear that they may have produced Fright-House-levels of scary pictures. So.... ya, it's done. cut. I haven't actually measured but I'd guess all of the hair on my head (facial hair included) is 1/8th of an inch long. Minus my eyebrows of course - ... no, i did not feel compelled to shave my eyebrows to match.

1. I still reach behind me to pull my pony tail out of newly put-on shirts.
2. My scalp is fun-durfully squishy!
3. I can fit into hats and wear hooded sweatshirts.
4. No matter how they try, Flapjack and Hambone can not step on my hair.
5. My head doesn't get nearly as cold as I thought it would.
6. No treasure map.
7. There are 3 really small spots where no hair grows, two of them I can trace to getting hit in the head with rocks as a kid. the other may be the alien probe insertion point.
8. 34 years of not having a shaved head makes your head very pale.
9. 7 years of long hair always in a pony tail is not good for your scalp.
ya... ok. pending-pictures aside, THAT now, really is enough hair talk.

OK. pictures are up. good to go. like my hair. Was:

And so on to other things: Have I mentioned how much I hate daylight savings [sic] time? I do, it's true. I know I'm not alone in this so where are the petitions and letter writing campaigns and mass demonstrations and chaos and anarchy? A great history of and commentary on Daylight Saving Time:
The highlight for me was: A writer in 1947 wrote, "I don't really care how time is reckoned so long as there is some agreement about it, but I object to being told that I am saving daylight when my reason tells me that I am doing nothing of the kind. I even object to the implication that I am wasting something valuable if I stay in bed after the sun has risen. As an admirer of moonlight I resent the bossy insistence of those who want to reduce my time for enjoying it. At the back of the Daylight Saving scheme I detect the bony, blue-fingered hand of Puritanism, eager to push people into bed earlier, and get them up earlier, to make them healthy, wealthy and wise in spite of themselves." (Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks, 1947, XIX, Sunday.)

- Not my kind of yoga, but I love that he's doing it AT Fisherman's Wharf:
SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters)
-- Nudists, grab your yoga mats and head for San Francisco.
City prosecutors Wednesday said it was not illegal to perform naked yoga in the city -- even at the crowded tourist destination of Fisherman's Wharf.
Prosecutors dropped charges against a limber nudist, known locally as the "Naked Yoga Guy," who made a habit of striking yoga poses in the buff in order to promote a book and his lifestyle.
The Naked Yoga Guy, whose name is George Monty Davis, had stripped to stretch nearby Fisherman's Wharf, prompting a public complaint. But prosecutors decided they had a weak public nuisance case against him because local laws do not bar public nudity.
"Simply being naked on the street is not a crime in San Francisco," said Debbie Mesloh, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
"To bring a case, a person would have to exhibit lewd behavior, block traffic or impede pedestrians on a sidewalk, something along those lines."
In another case involving a Los Angeles teenager who dropped his pants to expose his bottom, or "moon," passing motorists from a nearby sidewalk, a California appellate court ruled nudity itself is not a crime, Mesloh said.
Davis could not immediately be reached for comment.

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