Eric Mayer

Byzantine Blog

Get Email Updates
Cruel Music
Diana Rowland
Martin Edwards
Electric Grandmother
Jane Finnis
Keith Snyder
My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
Mysterious Musings
Mystery of a Shrinking Violet
The Rap Sheet
reenie's reach
Thoughts from Crow Cottage
This Writing Life
Woodstock's Blog
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

1482212 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Blame it on Brylcreem
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (13)

One of these days I need to get my hair cut.

I told myself the same thing last year, and the year before and the year before that.

Never was my hair this long, even during my hippie-look Fu-Manchu and muttonchops days. Then, however, I let it cascade over my shoulders. Today I wear it more discreetly in a ponytail which reaches halfway down my back. People no longer cross the street when they see me coming. (Those following might be doing so for all I know)

Blame it on Brylcreem. I grew up with with that television jingle:

Bryl-creem, a little dab'll do ya,
Bryl-creem, you'll look so debonair.
Bryl-creem, the gals will all pursue ya,
They'll love to RUN their fingers through your hair.

Women in the fifties were different. They liked getting their fingers greasy and had cone-shaped breasts. The last thing I wanted as an eight year-old was women fingering my hair.

The next to last thing I wanted was squeezing goo out of tube onto my head. Of course every night I had to use half a bottle of shampoo to get it all out, only to slather it on again the next morning. Did that make sense?

My parents insisted it was necessary to keep my hair in line, which is to say off my forehead. By the time Joe the Barber got done with me there might have been a delinquent quarter-inch lock left. You didn't dare dangle in those days. Next thing you know you'd be joining a gang or rocking and rolling.

Maybe it was a hangover from the Second World War. So many men had gotten used to short hair in the service. That was the accepted style. Men got a hair cut every week even if they had only a single hair left. It got cut. Left alone hair runs wild. It won't stop growing and it goes where it wants. It needs discipline.

Not that constant discipline ever did my stray strand any good. No matter how much Brylcreem I larded on, no matter how many times I combed it up and stuck it down, it soon slipped free, a fifties freak flag. Maybe that's where I started to go wrong.

Joe the Barber did his best to prevent my hair and me from going off the rails. I hated visiting him. The barbershop was an alien world. A man's place. The familiar odors of hair tonic, after shave and cigarette and cigar smoke were so strong as to render the atmosphere nearly unbreathable. Scissors clicking, Joe the Barber carried on a nonstop repartee with his waiting customers, pontificating or joking about sports or current events of which I knew nothing. There was no reading material, just a few outdated Look magazines amongst piles of beat up hunting and fishing publications, covers dedicated to depictions of the scaled or furry enemies destined to die.

Even then I was sure I would never grow up to feel comfortable in such a world and I was right.

It was there, behind the barber's pole outside the big plate glass window, that I took the first step towards my downfall. Although you might say Fate had already etched the future into my hair at birth.

There has always been a small, crescent shaped bald patch on my right temple. Every time Joe the Barber clipped the side of my head the crescent shone forth. It was, you might say, my opening. One day, when I was in Junior High school, it struck me to ask him to leave the hair longer on the sides. Not that I really wanted it like that. I wasn't going to go to the shaggy side or anything-- heaven forbid! -- but just to cover that embarrassing the bald patch.

That was the beginning of the slippery slope. And slippery it was, considering all the Brylcreem. Before long I managed to retain enough hair in front to comb down a whole inch onto my forehead. Teachers scolded me. Did I want to be a beatnik like those Beatles?

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, but I didn't achieve anything like that look until I was in college. By which time my parents shrugged and said I'd grow out of it. And here I am at 62 wondering if it's time to cut the hair that hangs to the middle of my back.

However as soon as I decide the hairstyle has grown too inconvenient I notice how dark the end of the ponytail is compared to the gray taking over the top of my head. That hair is the last of my youth, or at least the youngest part of me, a sort of biological layer formed in the distant past.

Besides, it might feel warmer in the coming winter to have all that hair.

Maybe I'll have it cut in the spring.

Read/Post Comments (13)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.