The first time I had my hair shaved five years ago, my mother stopped talking to me for three days. She was quite convinced that I joined a fraternity and according to her, getting rid of my hair was a requirement. My newly shaved head felt good but it did not look good because it has a weird shape, very much like an egg. But more than an egghead, I looked more like a homo extra-terrestrial who had a speech volume impediment. A few weeks later, I qualified for a game show and appeared on national TV looking just like that, preserving the embarrassment for generations to come.
Now I am back sporting the same hairstyle (or lack of it) for the second time around, but with facial hair unshaved I look more like an escaped death row inmate and less like E.T.'s less popular cousin. I could also look like a cocaine addict, if my eye bags cooperate. Nevertheless, it feels good, specially for people like me who suffer bouts of psoriasis very often. At least, now I know I will get rid of that damned skin ailment rapidly. For now. Perhaps in six months, along with the hair, it will come back. Who am I kidding, of course it will come back, but at least not after six months.
My hair has a mind of its own and people judge me depending on its current state. When my hair is long people mistake me for a lot of things. My mother calls me taong-labas, the meaning of which I still do not have a clue on. I wonder if there exists a taong-loob. Sometimes she would refer to me as tauhan ni Bin Laden, which I think is worse because she thinks I actually look like a terrorist. The cashiers at fast food chains, on the contrary, think otherwise.
They refer to me as Ma'm, and for the utterly confused they just play it safe by calling me Ma'm-Sir, which turns me into some sort of hermaphrodite. I look a bit androgynous but I wear men's clothes. Neither do I have boobs to suggest that I belong to the opposite sex. The world sometimes goes insane, and I am always one of its victims thanks to my hair.
For now, I am just relieved. I no longer have to give a damn on how to dry the and I will be consuming less shampoo. The facial terrorists will no longer have any allies (my hair would usually go to my face and infect the pimples). And it is just in line with the newly launched I-Don't-Give-A-Shit-What-You-Think-About-Me-So-Just-Live-Your-Own-Life-You-Freaking-A**hole self-esteem recovery program.
I am still thinking of dyeing it white. Perhaps gray. Or silver. Maybe platinum blonde. But I will just reserve that for September, after six months, once they have grown back to considerable length. So now I am more than ever subject to various reactions such as: Sayang naman! (usually the barber's reaction before reluctantly shaving that amount of hair), and Anong nangyari sa buhok mo? which really is a rhetorical question. But given the chance I would answer either: I ate them, or I pulled them off one by one as an act of penance for what I did to those who asked the same question (and then wide evil grin). It is like asking people what they do in motels and movie houses.
Perhaps the question should be, Bakit mo pinaganyan ang buhok mo? which is definitely not the same as Anong nangyari sa buhok mo. I appreciate it better when people joke Nice hair! At least it makes me laugh.
Bye hair, see you after six months.