There’s was something special about being a woman and being bald. The way people looked at me with a careful tenderness. The gentle way they approach the question. Visible relief washed over when I told them I shaved for a charity event. But the open space between knowing and not, was full of beautiful opportunity. More than once, I had strangers share their stories of battling cancer. They praised me for my courage (though I knew they were the ones with true courage). A darling young hipster in Portland even requested to take a selfie with me so she could show her parents that bald could be beautiful.
I love the thick, dark hair that is growing back, but feel a tiny hint of sadness. Sadness at the closing of the door, where strangers go back to mumbled greetings and closed hearts. It feels like a rare moment when people act from a place of pureness of heart, where social rules are abandoned in favor of making a connection, however brief, out of empathy or curiosity. My hair is back to the point of looking like an intentional hairstyle. Perhaps, with a full head of hair, I can figure out the alchemy that brings people together; learn the mystery of what causes a spark of connection. I’ll give it some time and energy. But in the event that the mystery does not reveal itself, summer is just around the corner from the barbershop.