I've had dreams where I was delighted that my hair had grown back, dreams where I just had long hair again, dreams where I "came out" as having lost my hair, but last night's was a new variation. I dreamed that my hair was just as it is now, and that I was out doing my dream business with no cover on my head. In the dream it was all very easy, as if weird hair was no big deal. A friend in the dream did get me past a security guard by saying, "Stress is bad for her, it makes her hair fall out," but mostly I was able to ignore the state of my hair and was more concerned that someone in the dream had borrowed my violin and put it back in the case all wrong.
In the waking world, it is not so easy, or perhaps it is, and I'm just not willing to take the leap. I last shaved my head in August, six months ago. My hair has been growing. I have hair! I like my hair. I don't want to shave it off. It keeps me a bit warmer in winter, and it keeps me from looking bald. I am used to it. But it has not spread to fill in the bald areas. It has not given me a full head of hair. It is weird hair, mostly bald hair, shocking hair, stare and wonder if she is really sick hair. I can imagine so clearly combing my long, brown hair, wringing it out after a shower, pulling it back into a ponytail. Phantom hair. These tufts of white would shock me too if I hadn't grown used to them.
I don't like wigs. I don't like having something not perfectly comfortable on my head. I don't like feeling that I am not genuine if I have to put on fake hair to go out in the world. But what is genuine? If I shave my head, is that any more genuine? This is my hair, and it is not hair that lends itself to conventional fashions of styling and beauty. If I keep my hair, I am genuine, a genuine freak. When the hot days of summer come around, more likely than not I will shave my head again, but I will not be happy about it. I will be sad to cut off my hair that has been so earnestly growing, as if I feel that the hair that is there is not to blame for my predicament. Perhaps I will also be taking a step toward accepting that keeping the hair on the top of my head isn't really going to lead to a presentable head of hair. Six months to grow a couple of inches of fluff. What will it be six months from now?