Sometime in the 90s, a sixteen year old boy stared in the mirror. And what looked back at him was a boring light-skinned spiky-haired boy. His eyes were red from crying all night….his heart still aching from his latest broken heart.
“I’m done….I can’t do this anymore.” He looked at his pager….the screen was blank. Anger began to erupt again and tears started to flow out of his eyes.
“Why is she doing this to me? I paged her over an hour ago….are you cheating on me or not?”
He talked big game but he was a virgin. But his so-called girlfriend was experienced and during their tumultuous two month relationship, there were rumors of her “sharing” herself with more than a few people. Every day he heard a new story.
“Dude….i saw your girl at my prom….she was making out with some dude in my class.”
“Hey man, I know this sucks..but I saw your girl with my friend getting down in a car at the beach.”
“Yo….I hope that’s not your girl cause she was REAL friendly to my cousin at the movies…she had no problem trying to figure out what was in his pants.”
This was it. He called her.
“Look, you know I hate rumors. But I can’t just ignore all of them. Who are these guys? And why are you doing this to me? I thought you loved me….you said it.”
He was naive…..and almost stupid.
She was quiet. “You can’t give me what I want. Why….are you holding out?”
He replied, “I’m a virgin ok? I know I talk like I’m all experienced. But I’m not. I’m scared, ok? Happy? And I’m not going to give my virginity up so fast. Can’t you wait?”
She simply said , “no.” He heard the dial tone. She had hung up.
He threw his cordless phone at the wall. It split into pieces. He did not understand why being a virgin was a big deal to him, but he secretly was proud of it. If someone got to know him, they would be surprised because he was arrogant and cocky.
He looked back at the mirror. He needed change. He stared at his hair and grabbed his wallet.
He got into his car and blasted his radio.
Color Me Badd’s song “I wanna sex you up” blared through the speakers. He turned it off. Fifteen minutes later, he pulled into a plaza and walked into a salon. He stomped in and received angry stares from all over the salon.
“Can I help you?”
“I wanna dye my hair….bright red and blond.”
“That will take a while….your hair is black….very black.”
“I don’t care. I got all day…” He grabbed a magazine and sat in the lobby.
5 hours later, he walked out a new man. He stared into the mirror and saw a different man. A man who didn’t care about broken hearts….baggage…and wether he would hurt people. And he did. But, he learned he had fallen in love with a new hobby. He loved his red hair. So the next month, he tried orange. And after that, blue.
“Dude, you look like an Asian surf.” That was the last time he dyed it blue.
His mom questioned him, “…cant you just stick to one color? You look like a bag of Skittles. You probably shouldn’t dye your hair too much, you will lose your hair.”
He laughed it off.
Nineteen years later, that same man looks into the mirror and sees a bald man. He decided to shave it all off when he was 24 because he noticed bald spots all over his head. He has shaved his head bald ever since. But now he loves his cleanly shaved and shiny head. And wonders if the dye really was the reason he lost his hair. He remembered one particular conversation with a buddy when he was 21.
“Man, I think I’m losing my hair…it seems thinner.”
His buddy turned to him, “Yeah…maybe cause you jack off too much…you lose hair that way.”
He laughed nervously. But he panicked. He did do that a lot.
I still laugh about that today. And I can’t help but be a little jealous of others who have hair. I’ve had my mother give me advice on every single subject. But the one piece of advice that haunts me every single day when I look in the mirror is:
“…probably shouldn’t dye your hair so much. You might lose it.”