Ian shaved my head a few weeks ago, late in the evening. Although I had intended to see how it felt, I did not use the Furminator on myself before he got out the clippers, because it was that time of night when my short-term memory has left the building, and I forgot.
Turning down the volume on short-term memory intensifies energetic and spiritual experience for me, however, and I found the whole barbering episode deeply, strangely, ritualistic. Images of young monks and memories of The Mists of Avalon cycled through my head as swath after swath of downy, silky, thin hair slipped, tickling, along my neck and onto the floor around my feet. It was surprising to be losing my hair, so late in the Gemcitabine cycle, long after I would’ve expected it to come out, but I’ve come to believe that it was a late-occurring side effect of the terrible illness of China. I felt so utterly depleted after that trip, and the continuing snow in Idaho. I could tell that I had used up all my reserves staying alive and regaining health. Hair had no place in such a strictly need-based environment.
“I really enjoyed doing the shaving,” said Ian when I told him about the ritual. “And,” he went on, “you remind me of this bald alien woman from one of the Star Trek movies.”
I burst out laughing, because really, he is such a nerd.
“No, I mean it!” protested Ian. “She was really sexy!”
And she was.