Day 21

5.03: My hair I feel is not long for this world. This isn’t me being maudlin or extravagant; I woke up this morning with a large clump of it in my mouth. I’m still hawking up twists and bristles like a cat choking on a chicken bone.

And this is no male pattern baldness: this is chemically-induced, industrial-strength weedkilling.

I used to have a lot of hair (and still have some) but, after a long and tortuous concatenation of circumstances led to my receiving a kidney transplant, I started swallowing hatfuls of these little immunosuppressive pills. For six years, I’ve been glugging down the tiny capsules of future baldness, morning and evening, like a groom on a stag night, gobbling at his yard of ale.

As I say, being the footsoldiers of a ruthless pharmacological dictatorship, they’ve gone for the slash and burn approach.

Now it feels like I’ve hit the terminal velocity of hair loss; it falls away in great clots of wire wool, which then scurry off like skedaddling insects, insinuating themselves into my mouth, probably ears too, and God knows what other orifices.

It’s a bit sad really, and not a little itchy. Not to mention the fact that now, when it rains (as it is this morning), my skull shivers.

Anyway here’s a poem about hair by Pablo Neruda:

There are not enough years to celebrate your hair.
I need to count and praise each strand:
other lovers want to live with certain eyes,
whereas I wish simply to be your hairdresser.

Italy baptised you Medusa
for the lofty, curling light of your tresses.
My name for you is Chascona, Tangle:
My heart knows the doors in your hair.

When you stray and get lost in your own hair,
do not forget me; remember that I love you,
do not leave me to wander lost without it

through the sombre world of paths,
of pain that visits in the shadows,
and flees as the Sun rises atop the tower of your hair.

6.58: It took a while to get going, and then when I did it was practically time to stop. I hope it’s not hair-related, the Tacrolimus a sort of chemical Delilah to my pretentious Samson. Fortunately, the way people like Van Dyck have always imagined the sinuous, bulging Sampson is a pretty far cry from my weedy frame. Yet another myth dispatched by controlled explosion.

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~ by David Thorley on November 23, 2009.

2 Responses to “Day 21”

  1. I thought of sending a message as my taxi rolled past your house at 5:18am – didn’t want to distract! I like that your blog makes the first line ‘There are not enough years to celebrate your hair.’ mean different things…

  2. Do send messages at 5.18am; you wouldn’t be the first. I hadn’t quite realised how crudely I’d appropriated the hair poem, but as crass accidents go, it’s quite a pleasing one…

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