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Reflections of a Hairless Wonder, Part 1

It's been over a year since I lost all my hair.  Like a car nearly out of gas, running on the grime that resides in the bottom of the tank, hiccuping in the breakdown lane, my hair follicles, too, seemed to be coughing exhaust.  They desperately tried to find the nutrients needed to grow hair and were partly successful for a few weeks.  Then they started to coast, the tank depleted, throwing the hair out of my body as if trying to lighten the work load for the few remaining patches of growth. I’ve come a long way since being voted as the ‘Worst Driver’ and having the ‘Nicest Hair’ in my graduating high school class.
It was not the first time in the last decade of dealing with Crohn’s disease that my hair thinned. I’ve had a bald patch or two that mostly grew back. I never really knew if it was all the medications I was on or a side-effect of the constant stress my body was enduring. I think it’s a result of having an advanced, prematurely evolved immune system, ahead of its time, yet not able to deal with the current state of the planet. 
As if sensing this hairlessness condition was approaching, just prior to losing my hair, I went through a phase when I grew out my beard. It was an experiment to see how long I could grow it. It was also, to a degree, intended to test the boundaries of professional acceptance of facial hair at the workplace. On Tie Thursdays, I admit feeling like a bit like a caveman in a suit. Eyebrows raised and subtle comments were made like, “I guess your house is still waiting for the power to be restored from the hurricane we had a few months ago?” If only my beard was long enough to wrap around their neck.  
I never truly learned the art of trimming my beard. I aligned my position on beards with that of household lawns.  Overly maintaining that which grows naturally feels wrong. You take away from the beauty of its individual uniqueness and self-determination by becoming its master.  In the end, beards and lawns all start to look the same, finely and boringly manicured, based on the unwritten laws of how to act like a responsible human and to be accepted by other responsible humans.
I’ve come to accept being hairless, but I still think of alternate solutions. I’ve considered learning the art of henna, since tattoos seem too permanent.  Then I thought I’d like to grow some moss on my face. The nice bright green moss that sparkles after a gentle rain. It would really bring me closer to nature. I love moss, but I’ve learned many people don’t. They view moss as an invader. It invades the space between their otherwise clean and sterile stone pathways that connect their beautifully black tarred driveway to their finely constructed patio. 
It is really difficult to keep our homes and faces in a state that is acceptable to other responsible humans. Being hairless, I am viewed as Mr. Clean, which appears to be ok. If my hair ever does grow back, I can’t promise the world that I will meticulously maintain it. In the meantime, though, I’ll continue to let the moss continue to grow under my feet and wherever it desires.

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