Saturday, June 16, 2007
Like she's just stepped out of the salon
I've just cleaned up my sitting room (long overdue - chemo fatigue will give you excuses to put off the most tedious jobs first) and i'm sat here on the sofa, the windows open, listening to a drunk shouting out on the street and feeling the breeze stir what's left of my hair.
And this reminds me that in all the drama of head-shaving, hat-wearing and scarf-buying, I don't think I ever told the story of my ghost hair.
It was just after I first had my head shaved to grade 3. The hairdresser finished, and, unaccumstomed as I was to the bald look, I wrapped my head back up in the scarf I came in with and sauntered back to the office. It was late, and only a couple of people were still there.
I leant over to Johnnie and whispered "Do you want to see my new hair/head?". He screwed up his face in consideration like a small child, "Yes" he pronounced. I whipped off my scarf and revealed all. Sinead O'Conner comparisons all round and within a few minutes I felt confident enough to walk down to the other end of the office to actually go talk business with someone, without my scarf on.
It was as I did this that I felt it. As I walked and my head moved through the air, I could feel my hair blowing in the breeze. Except I had no hair.
It felt like I had long flowing hair and I was in a wind tunnel. But I was shaven, bald, and inside with all the windows shut. What on earth was going on?
Back at my desk I asked Johnnie. "When men get their hair trimmed really short, do they feel as if they've still got long hair?".
Johnnie told me men don't feel this because the majority of them have never really known what it was like to have really long hair. What I was going through must be like someone who has had their leg amputated. It can only be because I once had long hair that I am now imagining it once it has all been cut off.
I had ghost hair. Hair that believed itself to be there despite it's obvious absence.
What's more, it felt delicious. When I moved, even to duck down beneath my desk to unplug my computer, every nerve ending on every follicle was alive, my ghost hair waving around like those ladies in that terrible eighties ad who had just stepped out of a salon. And when I walked outside, the breeze blowing down the street massaged my head into a pleasuredome of shivery sensations, I suddenly thought I was the luckiest woman alive.
Imagine feeling this, every time you move? Sex would pale in comparison, the most delicious food would lose it's appeal, and chocolate sales would suffer.
Then it stopped. Almost as soon as it had started.
I think my brain had suddenly caught up with my hair follicles and informed them that they no longer had any hair. Either way, my ghost hair feeling is no longer a regular occurrence.
But just occasionally, when I've been sat still for a while and suddenly move, or if I go outside after having been cooped up at my desk all day and meet a fresh breeze, then if I'm really, really lucky, I get a moment or two of utterly pleasurable ghost hair. And I relish every second of it.
at 2:57 pm