The Brave and the Bald

(This entry has been sitting complete and unpublished for a number of weeks. Mostly due to the emotional freeze the event has put on me, leaving my psyche unsure whether I’m using the following words to convey amusement, enlightenment or my living terror. Time will answer that, so I won’t.)

I used to joke about how “fortune favoured the bald” using the empirical evidence of Lex Luthor, Daddy Warbucks and Ernst Stavro Blofeld to back up my claims regarding the inverse correlation between hair follicles and wealth. The fact that my evidence was based on fictional characters wasn’t lost on me. The fact that at least two of my three examples were genius-level super-villains is also something I noted. (the jury’s out on whether Blofeld was really evil)

Having just wrapped up a theatre production, myself and a few other cast found ourselves the awkward owners of 19th century-styled facial hair. We decided this had to be rectified, so equipped with shaving cream and blade, we set about our respective tasks with gusto! Cheekbones were scraped clean of the low-level scrub inhabiting them, upper lips had their infestation of fur sliced away – a particularly grand handlebar moustache was obliterated with surgical precision, leaving it’s former master younger for it. There was not a facial adornment left, but the Barber Fever was pounding – it demanded more shaving. With clean jowls all round, we moved our aim seven inches higher, and struck at the hairline.

For me, this was a life decision being made whilst under the sway of alcohol, blade madness, but worst of all, excellent company.

2003 – I looked into a mirror after taking off the hat I’d been wearing all day. I had hat-hair. This isn’t a terrible thing, but it is a truthful thing. Even then, it was obvious that my hairline was acting like a cowardly army, and pulling it’s front line back, one small step at a time. The contemplative “this is the future” stare must’ve only taken a few seconds, but in my mind I remember it like it was an intense hour-long study. After a blink, the hat was returned, and the realisation shoved to the back of my mind with a time capsule-like instruction demanding it be opened in ten years. Sadly, like the ticking bomb in the corner, I could never quite forget about it.

There’s a few things you learn when you shave your head. The most immediate is the potential reversing of such an act. I don’t mean the reattaching of clippings, but rather the floor plan of stubble that remains. You are very soon aware of whether this is a dumb move that in three months will be buried under a new style, or whether it’s a permanent look. One of these is comforting.

You will also learn exactly what shape your head has, and believe me when I say that you have NO idea what particular form your cranium has until you’ve removed all the incidental stuff. This fact is also one you must accept – for the most part your head is a bony mass, there’s not much you can do in terms of losing weight, or toning it up to make for a better form. Your head is your head. In my particular case, I lucked out, and it looks fairly okay. I can feel the odd shapes, but overall I’m quite happy. (Maybe it’s due to my habit of overly-aggressive jaw clenching, but if I grin and expose too much tooth, my particular shape gives me a bit of a Skeletor look)

The call me…Chin Laos…

Another thing you get quickly is the change in sound. Back when I had a lustrous full head of hair, rain would make my hair damp, and then eventually turn into rat’s tails of sodden blonde. Now, as a clean-skulled member of the Vin Diesel Impersonator Club, I can tell you that rain makes my skull into an organic timpani drum. Every droplet makes a distinct tapping sound, with rainfall becoming a staccato marching beat. You HEAR this, clearly. And it’s almost zen-like. You don’t care for the mess that the precipitation is making of your carefully structured quiff- there is no quiff. You simply wipe your pate of the excess moisture, and you’re good to go.

For an element of catharsis, there is now a whole section of the supermarket that, whilst once demanding occasional attention, can now be summarily ignored. Mousse, shampoo, combs…these are all redundant. I took great glee in cleaning out my bathroom of anything that I once used to work into and/or through my hair. Ironically, I know pay more attention to hair maintenance due to regular clippings and management of the rogue patches surrounded by baldness.

Lastly, a real perk – the spider-sense. When you have only a thin layer of stubble across your dome, the short hairs act not unlike whiskers. You will feel a whole new cluster of sensations, acute awareness to changes in wind, heat, and precise ways to pin point their whereabouts. I know that truly bald people will lose some of this, as the stubble helps immensely.

There is good, and there is bad. I’m currently reconciling the well-wishers who name drop Bruce Willis, Michael Rosenbaum, AFL players (…) against my personal perceptions of Uncle Fester, Matt Lucas, and every angry new-born baby.

It’s a tough process, and one that may well be completed through sullen resignation rather than tempered self-esteem.


Regular programming will recommence in 3…2…1…

~ by nick on August 14, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Brave and the Bald”

  1. Personally, I love the new look! Very sleek.

  2. […] number four of project positivity’s message is THE Nick Durbridge. He is one of the funniest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet and I’m […]

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