August 15, 2019

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9. Some Bald Men

I often wonder what kind of bald man I’m destined to become.

Some bald men glint wisely - their wrinkled eyes speak laughter, their temperament so calm. They always seem to be engaged in a throaty congratulations to an old friend on the day of their daughter’s birth. A reassuring chuckle wrapped up in a dusty book. I’d like to be such a man one day, but I’ll need to be shown quite how.

Some bald men are gruff, unyielding - their gristle like bristles of brush. I fear these ones and their taste for violence, testosterone slowly fermenting. If I push past one on a tube or a stair, I’ll always receive a ferocious glance. I’ll shudder, apologise, and pray that is not my fate.

Some bald men are smooth like seals, always perpetually moist. They glisten in dark and light, on mushy walks across autumn fields and on summer holidays in Iberian peninsulas. They look like dough kneaded ready for baking - oil painted carefully on. I like them, but don’t envy them, as I pass them on the street.

Some bald men are shrewd like acorns, hardened and close like a nut. Their skulls protrude quite sharply, their heads just a little too small. These ones I am suspicious of - I can never determine their intentions or propositions. A smile can be deceptive. Perhaps another life, that’s me - but this one, I think not.

Of course, there are those who cling to a hair, a wisp like some stubborn tree in a desert wasteland. These men I respect for their hardy commitment to youth, and to doing what they think they must.

The men whose hair migrates down their face to beard then chest then down. There is something untamed and wild in these creatures - one must be a philosopher or barista, or preferably both if you have the time. I admire these ones, fear them too - for I cannot hope to emulate them.

There exist countless other categories of slapheads - too numerous to list here. There are of course those who retain their locks, all coy and eternally young. Slow fade to silvery grey or white, comb kept in back pocket, just in case. A pot of Brylcreem in one hand, Kerouac in the other. I can’t bring myself to envy these men for they are so high above me.

I wonder about these things as I sit in a car or a tree. All the men of the world pass around and below me, with all their various follicles, haired or not, blurring into one. I peek from behind my mirror or branch and see what’s there to be seen. Which baldie is it I’ll become, whose bonce will I possess?

I’ll find out soon enough.

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Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash

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