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Perhaps one or two of you can relate to this experience. The worst haircut ever doesn't involve my childhood, a beauty salon nor a bad barber. Before Christmas, I came somewhat to my senses in the hospital after the oblivion of the ER, the ICU, the CCU, finding myself alone in a green room with a large window which had a wide view of rooftops, birds, sky, clouds, night and morning.


I was tethered to the wall, instructed to call if I needed to use the bathroom or wanted anything else. Various nurses or doctors would come and go. I'd drift off only to waken surprised at my bedridden existence. Getting a haircut was the last thing on my mind or more accurately not even on my mind. I vaguely recall asking questions but forgetting the answers.


One night after both sons and my daughter had appeared on a couch by the window and I tried to tell them about this group of pigeons who were trying to communicate with me and they laughed amongst themselves thinking I was hallucinating. That and several other things lead to a few sessions with a psychiatrist who wore polka-dotted socks.


The same night of the sons and daughter appearing then disappearing, two nurses came in my room and declared I would feel better with a little haircut. ( I should explain at this point that my hair was very long, going past my waist ending just below my butt. ) Somehow the nurses arranged for this strange woman who carried a bag of hair products and scissors and we all ended up in the bathroom, me in a wheelchair, my oxygen tubing stretched around the corner.


I remember the woman's eyebrows which were shaved then drawn in pencil like two minus signs above her eyes that had a coldness to them so I closed my eyes, drifting far away. I heard talking and snipping and the exaggerated sound of hair falling on tile floor. I said, "please don't cut too much" and was reassured it was just a trim.


That's all until the next afternoon when my younger son and the happy girlfriend came to visit, the girlfriend horrified to see more than half of my healthy hair unevenly chopped off with chunks left looped amongst the remaining hair or fallen on my bedsheets and the floor below. My daughter later told me they asked her for $40 cash before the disaster.


Fortunately my hair grows fast. I am extraordinarily grateful each day I survived the heart block and ensuing pneumonia, pulmonary embolisms etc., but when I wash or brush my hair these days I mourn a little the way my hair felt long and soft against my back, feminine and strong.

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