It's Personal

White Hairs

Something genuine, as usual. 

I’ve had these little white hairs popping up all over my head. When they’d show up on top of my head my mom would pluck them. But lately they’ve been showing up on my face, around my chin. There was one, and I got rid of it. Then there were two. And then more. Soon, I almost stopped noticing.

I did look it up. It might mean some kind of condition. They might be from stress or lack of sleep (probably some combination). I brought it up to my doctor; straight-talker that she is, she told me, “Why don’t you just pluck them?” I said okay, knowing that even if I got them out they might very well come back. Regardless, I put it off. I stopped noticing, never took the time to deal with them. This morning, the morning after I ended a three-year relationship, I found them again, staring me in the face. And I went for the tweezers.

It was hard, and it hurt a little. Among the forest of black hairs it was easy to see, but took a steady, precise hand to target. I got one, pulled it out, breathed a sigh of relief, and examined it. A weird little thing, not black, not gray, just entirely white. It was almost worth keeping because it was pretty in a way. But I dropped it in the drain.

Then I got another, and another, and another. I was surprised to see how many I had to get. How had I let all these things sprout up? Why did I not do more about it, whether that was get more sleep or just yank them out?

All the ones I could see were off my face, sitting in the sink, along with several black hairs I’d accidentally grabbed, just parts of my real self I had to throw away. As I put the tweezers away I found a long, brown hair, a remnant of someone who had been around a lot. I carefully pulled that out, as I always had, looked at it for a second–then dropped it in the drain and started the water.

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