One in a Million

You know the sound that hair makes when it’s cut with scissors?

It’s not the metal on metal noise of the blades passing one another, no—what you hear is the friction, the strands snapping, breaking and popping—it’s crunchy, almost soothing, like the sound that boots make on snow…

It’s soothing unless it’s accompanied by a loud thud and sudden disorientation—I’m in the shower.

Panic rushes through my veins.

I step out of the shower without turning the water off, drenching the floor with impatience. I wipe the fog off of the mirror on the back of the door to expose a distorted reflection of my naked body and the clump moving down my shoulder like a banana slug.

If you’ve ever witnessed a cancer patient in chemo, the way their hair falls out in clumps, I lost this piece of me in a similar fashion. But cancer was not the culprit, I only had a lack of understanding in relation to my surroundings to blame.

I looked closer at where the clump used to be. A perfect cubic inch of hair, directly in the center of my forehead was now buzzed down to the scalp.

I bid farewell to my beloved center-part. I welcomed back with reluctance, my side part of yester-times.

At first, as the hair began to return, it fell into place with the rest. “You don’t even notice it,” people would tell me. “You’re lucky it didn’t cut your skin!” they would say. But was I lucky?

Perhaps then I would have joined a small but elite and electrified category of individuals who had been affected by He Who Cannot Be Named.

Luck? Luck would have left me with my hair, no? Even at the cost of a few drops of blood.

As you can see now, however, the section has grown in about six months. Instead of “falling into place” as it once did, it has picked up its own personality. Apparently, it thinks it has spunk now—I cannot control it. Sometimes I feel as though it is controlling me.

What I have learned from this experience is this: Before you reach down to clear the shower drain, be sure there isn’t an awkwardly placed shelf with a razor blade upturned on it directly in the path of your head.

Now, if you could please excuse me, I need to find a phone booth—it appears as though Lois Lane has gotten herself into a pickle again...