6/12/07

Going, Going, Gone

Last night a very disturbing comment was made to me. It was insulting and it hurt. I don’t know why I had become the target of such hatred and discrimination, but I suppose that to wonder such things will leave a man with no answers.

If you read this blog and I have the opportunity that I get to meet you, the chances are the only thing I will want to talk about is if you enjoyed the blog. I will wait on pins and needles as I devour every word you say regarding this blog. Did you like it, was it funny, did it make you cry, oh please tell me oh please tell me. It defines me as a person, please don’t destroy my very fragile ego.

I’ll try to be very low key about it, maybe even faint like I don’t care. But sweet Picard I do care, I care so very much about what you think about me. If you did not like a blog I will later retreat to my room to play with my care bears until the vision of you bad mouthing me to your friends leaves my tortured mind. Eventually I will come to the point that I realize that you are obviously jealous of me and I will no longer want to talk to you.

This is what happened last night. A couple of friends, at least what I thought were friends, informed me that they had a chuckle at my expense and my blog. They asked the question does Hossman really buy into all the things that he writes about the women loving him, especially when he was younger? Does he really believe that when he was younger in Highschool he could have had the pick of the clicks? They thought I did. They think I have bought into that version of myself, that I have bought into myself.

The first thing that I think is that they have seen the inner core of myself and must be the judgment demons. The next thing I think is that they must not know how fragile my ego is. One poor comment on this blog and I swear I will shut this thing down like the New York Health department as I move into a cabin in Montana and forever swear off technology.

But after several hours with my carebears, especially Lion Heart, I come to the only conclusion that makes sense: They were making fun of me for being bald. I know, it’s horrible making fun of someone’s drawbacks, but there it is. You see, both of these people knew me back in high school, when I had hair. And now it has gone and I suppose their respect has gone with it.

I took it to mean how could women possibly find me attractive with no hair. They both have hair so as they brushed their luscious full manes it was even worse. Why? Why hate me because I am bald. Women like bald men don’t they? It doesn’t seem that I am compensating for a lack of hair by trying be funny does it? Is that how I try to get people past the fact that in the sunlight I have face away from the sun so that my forehead shine doesn’t blind people?

Yes, in high school and even younger, I had great hair. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss it. You would never know this meeting me because on the outside I seem to be uncommonly comfortable with the fact that I am bald. But on the inside a piece of me longs for what was once full and held the promise of forever. I will joke about it but each joke is said with an inner tear.

I will cut the hair that I have left so short that you might not even realize how bald I really am. I will bash on products like Rogaine and Hair Plugs. But when I’m alone, on the internet, I am secretly hoping that these products are not the pipe dreams that they seem to be. I hope beyond hope that they actually do work but I am not an idiot enough to believe that they do. My hope has been crushed so many times that there is none left. I made the decision a long time ago to go bald gracefully. To accept it and embrace it because there was no other choice. I have been the jolly fat bald guy who cracks jokes about it to hide my inner shame. Yes, shame. I have told excuses like men who are bald have more testosterone thus making me more manly than you and your afro of locks. I have been overly macho in certain situations like picking up something heavy to show that not having hair does not make me a sissy.

But that is only a fa├žade, a lie I tell the world as inside I weep for the loss of good friends. I have had to change my life to deal with this. I can no longer go to Vegas or Blockbuster video. I can’t because they have mirror’s on the ceilings. You won’t notice this if you are not bald. I grew a goatee hoping that some of that hair would migrate up top. I have secretly prayed that the baldness stops, please don’t let me lose anymore.

I was the first of all my friends to go bald. I started to lose my hair when I was about 16. That’s when I first noticed it. People would comment on how far back my hair line was and I would joke that all my family was like that. They weren’t, not at 16. By 18 it was getting to the point where I couldn’t ignore it. By 20 my college friends were making fun of the large forehead that comes with going bald. By 24 it was a lost cause, there was nothing to do to stop it.

And it was great hair. I have used the term Brad Pitt hair, because it was. In Jr. High I used to spike it and the girls loved to touch it. I used to put a gallon of hair spray on it so that the spikes could puncture a gas tank. That was the first thing that all the girls noticed about me. It was in the 1980’s and I was very much the trend setter.

In high school I didn’t pay much attention to it, but again that was because of the style at the time. It was full grunge mode then and so my beautiful hair would sit uncombed on my head. It just took an hour to get that way. I would be to embarrassed to buy conditioner or good shampoo because it wasn’t very manly so I would use my sisters. She had some of the greatest stuff that smelled like avacado’s and mint. I would massage my scalp and caress it, beautiful beautiful hair.

At 16 it started to go. I noticed it before anyone else and I noticed that my hair was receding. It was retreating from the forehead like the French under a blitzkrieg. I made the decision then that I would shave most of it off and go what is called “High and Tight”. This is basically a buzz cut. I hoped that by ignoring the problem that it would go away. Well, the hair did go away, goodbye my dear friend.

For years I used the term “going bald” but we all know that is just a cover for actually being bald. Yes, I am bald. I have given up “going bald” as a lie that I could no longer support telling. I went bald from front to back, so I suppose things could have been worse. And luckily, if you can call it that, I have an amazingly round head. Seriously, this thing looks like an over-sized grape, almost perfectly round. So I suppose that is something to be happy about, almost like you are happy that they only took half your pay check in taxes.

I have had to adjust my life because of my secret shame of baldness. I have to put sunscreen on my head in the sun because if I don’t it will sunburn and trust me, nothing hurts worse than a sunburned bald head. But I have to do this in private because it is embarrassing. I avoid ceiling mirrors and looking at security cameras that are placed high. I always stand close to my daughter so that her beauty will overshadow my drive in movie screen forehead.

Yes, my friends, it has been rough. And maybe I do buy into the talk about little highschoolers loving me once when I had hair. But when you lose something close to you, don’t you always remember it more fondly than it actually was? Don’t you forget the bad parts, like when they left your head and instead set up shop on your back? Am I wrong for still believing this part of me?

Do me a favor today—hug a bald man. Go up to him and let him know that “Hey man, you are attractive, I would defiantly have sex with you.” Even if you wouldn’t, just say it to make him feel better. When you are in front of the mirror next time and brushing your wonderful, wonderful hair—let it know how you feel. Don’t hold back because it might not be there tomorrow.

So have I bought into that old image of myself? You bet your sweet ass I have. I will be at the Ballpark in Arlington today, so if you want to hug a gorgeous man who is going bald, come on by.

1 comment:

  1. I've been spending A LOT of time at the library since I've been back in Kansas. In fact, I was just there yesterday and checked out five books: a fiction novel by Kathy Reichs, a book about octopuses and squids written by Jacques Cousteau, a book about animal intelligence, one about Plains Native American medicine men, and the complete Grimm's fairytales.

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