More like, in groan here.

This has gotta be one of the weirder positions I’ve come to you from. More parts ludicrous than lewd, I promise. Sitting cross-legged on my girlfriend’s bed, I’m typing on her laptop while she investigates my back. That in itself sounds unusual, but I don’t know if the truth is more or less peculiar. Do you love ingrown hairs? I love ingrown hairs? Non sequitur? Non quite. She’s working over one of mine.

Tee em eye? You know how I feel about TMI, fuck TMI. There have gotta be so many couples doing strange stuff out there and I’d rather sit down and commit weirdness to the page rather than pretend it doesn’t happen or withhold due to fear of social ostracising. It’s entirely consensual and no duress is involved. She just finds them as oddly captivating as I do. It’s almost simian in a way, as if hunting for lice. There’s something about the thrill of the hunt, looking for a hair that’s so deeply embedded, but still even just barely visible. It’s a challenge, but oh so satisfying to chase after. Armed with a pair of tweezers, it’s possible to make short work of them.

It wasn’t always that way though. I went many years without the proper tools and I’d just use my fingernails. I’d sit there for minutes- many minutes sometimes- aiming to pull out something barely on the edge of visibility. I’ve had a number of spots that are often ripe for harvest. One on my right forearm, one on my left bicep and one just above my right shoulder blade. Usually with the aid of a mirror and an awkward pose I can get ‘er done. There’s built up scar tissue after years of picking, but it’s at the point where it’s almost a pastime.

I was once late for work purely because I got fixated. Sitting on the edge of my bed, bent over my forearm, fingernails pinching tightly together but so often coming up grasping nothing but air. Pre-tweezer days, obviously. The odds weren’t too dissimilar to a claw machine, but the prize was more of a moral victory than a substantive plushie totem. After about 20-25 minutes of this helpless clasping I finally gained a solid nail-hold and pulled free my Excalibhair. Coming out of my fugue state, I realised just how late I was. Work at this point was 4 minutes and 36 seconds walk from home, so I had no real excuse. Somehow my boss noticed my tardiness (we flatted together, he knew how close we were) and inquired as to why I didn’t make it on time. I started coming up with elaborate excuses in my head, then blurted out “I was picking at an ingrown hair.” You can’t make that kind of stuff up. He quirked an eyebrow and replied “Well, I guess that makes sense.” Done.

His flat out acceptance made me consider that it mustn’t be that strange. I’m sure we all have our own eccentricities, but I get the feeling that this ingrown hair thing pulls more people in than you’d think. I’ve met a few people, had a partner or two even, who didn’t find it particularly bizarre. Our bodies are absurd platters of flesh and organs with a sprinkling of curious toppings thrown on there for good measure.

Regardless of its biological function, hair is odd (just try imagining all humans existing without eyebrows. It’s a trip). It grows in small patches according to heat distribution. It’s unique to each person. For some reason I’ve got a natural soul patch on my chin, hair just doesn’t grown on the areas beside it. We have so many hairs, but they fall out constantly. We shape and style, cut and colour the damn stuff at our own whims. If we’re not satisfied with the mop we’ve been given, society has found many ways of getting the look you want, regardless of natural style. I’ve never completely coloured my hair, but it’d be a pretty fun thing to do for shits and giggles.

Maybe I could give it a try if I didn’t spend so much damn time on a few small ingrown ones.

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