Hair and History
Hair is like history… and for several years, since I was a teenager, I kept it short in a variety of ways- spiked, longer in front, shaved in back, colored, striped, spotted, dyed and expensive. Since I was not allowed to choose the style as a child, my hair became changeable and chatoic in what was then a stagnant life from my vantage point now.
The moment I began to grow out my hair was in Canada, I was in front of a mirror with my ex-fiancee beside me- he said, “Grow it out, see what happens. I like it natural, I like you natural.” It was likely one of the kindest things ever said to me up until this point- and I noticed, that since I began to grow out my hair from that point in time- that is when my current history begins. Before then, was a rushed amalgam of dissonance and mind-numbing achievements. Running from life to life, from place to place, and yearly, to up my income, job to job. Each new thing to take me further away from myself; when in actuality, I was not so bad- but my life certainly was.
My life in Canada was not great, nor was my life for a while afterwards. But that is when I would like my history to begin. From that moment. My hair keeping record. When I see Loki- his hair is always long- much like the model to the left- but oftentimes, his hair is pulled back. When I met my husband, he too, had longer hair (and is growing it back slowly- he cut it just before our first date to my dismay).
When I was a young woman I was in love with a boy who had a fetish for long hair; perhaps I kept it short to spite him. Sometimes, I think I kept it short to symbolically keep my memory short. Something I have no trouble with these days, with my memory ebbing like tides- most things drifting from my mind like sand swept away by oceans- with only the heaviest and the lightest things to remain at all.
Last night, I thought to write this post and I didn’t. I was brushing my hair- I perfumed it with musk oil I had brought back from Spain- and I thought about how many lovers have touched my hair since Canada- the memory in the strands against foreign pillows- and the one I loved who I am satisfied will never get the privilege. My hair is dark now, naturally. I used to dye it in college as a Persian studies student so people would not question my course of study…and indeed, my husband assumed I was at least part Persian when he met me. Before, it was bleached blonde- with pink, short and I grew it out, and dyed it close to a natural shade as I could of dirty blonde. I get it trimmed, and I know the hair I have now was not the hair I had in Canada, but it is the hair I had when I came back….from which point, I do not know.
I remember all the people I asked to help me forget about things, if only for an evening- my friend Adrien, and others whose names escape me who would weave their fingers through my hair to comfort or to kiss me. The people who tried- and like some sort of strange antennae, would repulse me at the slightest glance of their finger near my personal space. My hair defined my boundaries, who I would allow in, and who I would not.
I realize that to most people, as open as I am, my entire life up until my engagement is a series of secrets- nothing major- but brief moments that only I am witness to all of them. Only me. All strangers passing in the night never to know the names of one another- not many, but enough. From Landsdale to Boston I was single. Since Canada, I was in a relationship for a year I forgot behind marijuana and over achievement- then stopped.
I quit the relationship, and moved forward with life. With people, with friends and acquaintances, and lovers…. Also, with stalkers and those who would dismiss me and defame me…if only I had any fame to take away,
A moment in a bar here, why Kant caused the Holocaust; another online talking about the tree of our shared childhood in the forgotten grounds of the tree-bare ex-schoolyard where we once played…and later, another time we played again as teenagers before I left for Oklahoma.
It seems too long ago to be me, but it was and still is.
Some cultures measure time by their hair, others kept snippets of their beloved’s hair in books- their family, children, and other loves saved like photographs in secret, macabre albums for no one else’s eyes- only to be found after their passing.
Some use hair in ritual- a lock of my childhood hair was found by my father once, bound with a black ribbon and nailed inside of a dollhouse. My father was horrified and removed it as soon as he noticed it- and together with his woman of the moment- we burned that dollhouse and everything in it in a brush pile in his swamp of a back yard. My life began to improve then….even before Canada.
If Canada was the awakening, then perhaps the burning of the dollhouse was the stirrings of wakefulness before morning. Daylight did not come gently, and oftentimes, it was harsh and neverending. Droning almost, a string of expresso and energy drinks, stimulants and essays. Documents, papers, dissertations, and love letters, unending love letters that were written day after day, month after month. Sometimes longer than the essays required for classes.
And I would wear my hair long, cover one eye with it’s cascade like water and look up past my glasses at the nervous man behind the pedestal. Knowing, wisely, he did not know what he was talking about and he knew that I knew it as well.
I was removed from that class; but responsible for the work in it. The daylight of life was hidden in the drywall and concrete of my bunker-like bedroom in which I hid myself of my drunk and stoned roommate…. but it was also so bright as to be harsh. My eyes unused to the glare of noonday sun as I drove, sunwise, towards the ancient buildings of my school.
My hair drank in the rays of Spain, of Morocco, and of Bethlehem. It has seen the Pagoda and the Palace de’ Alhambra- bound tight against the heat-sweat, as if rain soaked. My scarf around my neck although it was far too warm for scarves.
And here I am today, a married woman, the history is here and it has brought me here- to peace and to relief, to silence instead of screaming, and warm truth instead of saccharine lies.
No one else will touch my hair- but my stylist, no one else has the privilege in this world except my husband or the closest of friends…of which I keep surprisingly few and see rarely enough.
…and to my God, Loki who may brush it away from my eyes as often as He pleases- to remind me to look at Him instead of away in needless shame.
Tyr does not touch, Cernunnos never sees me as human…only Loki will sit close enough to touch me in the other realms where I am still myself.
…and only Edward, here, on Midgard will have it on his pillow alone with his own for the rest of my life.