I am again at a crossroads.
About a month ago I became bored with my sidecomb. I wanted to do something different, but I knew I didn’t want to chop it all off (again). So I told my barber to leave the length at the top and shave down the sides. “An undercut?” she asked. I was whisked away to 1996. “Yes,” I said.
The problem is that my hair gets wavy and poofy at 3 inches or longer. This is where we are now. The hair I push to the right is starting to flip outward instead of fall downward. My hair is straight-up ridiculous without any kind of product in it, so I’ve been wearing my AJ Styles cap during the weekends because I’ve been too lazy to put anything in it on Saturday and Sunday, but the trade-off is that I look absurd in a way that must be seen to be believed. I learned these lessons nearly a decade ago. Jealous of my brothers who could grow their hair long and not look like fat Japanese boys with ferrets on their heads, I tried to go long myself. The consequences were dire. I had hoped that this time would be different, but it doesn’t look like things are going to go my way.
Sometimes when I go to the bathroom in the middle of the day, I see what looks like talons of hair at the back of my head sticking out at all angles. I wet my hands and feverishly try to pat down this insurrection, and I suppose it works – but only because I can’t actually see it. This is what it looks like. Why didn’t anyone tell me? Frick. It looks like in movies when people dig a huge pit in the jungle then do a terrible job covering it with twigs, leaves, and branches. I don’t even know what to do with it. I keep telling myself that I’ve come too far, that I can’t chop it down now, that if I let it get long enough, I can slick it all back and cover that mess up. But what’s the upside? I feel like the best I can hope for is Shinsuke Nakamura, but I don’t think my employer would feel too great about me walking about campus in that and a shirt in tie next fall.
I always knew that my hair would enter the ugly stage sooner rather than later, and I knew that I would be tempted to quit before pushing past it. Maybe it’s because I already know the truth: I’m a guy who has the kind of hair that can only do two things, but I keep on trying for that third.