Hirsute Yourself 10: Alopecia-y keen.

I can’t be the only one that fears hair is some type of parasite.

Wait, I just read what I just wrote. Maybe I am the only one.

We all recognise that hair gets everywhere, right? A little piece of my girlfriend’s cat seems to come with me wherever I go. No, I didn’t take take the pound of flesh closest to its heart. It has a habit of shedding and that hair forms an instant bond with whatever it touches. So any time I wear a dark shirt I’m very aware of how often this little critter rides shotgun on my shoulder. What if it’s an entirely deliberate act on the cat’s behalf to spread their vile parasites? Wait, am I conspiracy theorising this early into an entry? Holy shit, maybe I’m already afflicted.

Cats aren’t the only ones to leave hair everywhere. Being a shitty layabout is just a habitual characteristic of luxurious locks. I’m sure I shed and leave traces of DNA everywhere (hell, my flatmate and I nicknamed our vacuum Pubemuncher for a reason), but seeing how short my hair is, it’s none too noticeable. As women in our society are more likely to have longer styles, this is something that has been labelled as a female problem. Long threads (especially blond strands that seem to glisten like gold) are stubborn as fuck, permeating all that you know and love. EVERYTHING. I’ve found it in coats, tangled around my shoelaces, in my tissue boxes. In an inevitable act of pica, I’ve looked down and seen it in the porcelain bowl.

It’s something I’ve noticed after periods of singledom, wading into relationship waters. Suddenly I’ll see it everywhere, like some kind of mental divergence. I’ll fixate, feel outnumbered. Like the cat, everything I own will come with a personal patch, strands that somehow burrow between the fibers of anything cotton. I surrender pretty quickly to the notion that life has irrevocably changed once I’m in relationship territory, that it comes part and parcel with the exchange.

Then a break-up strikes and it’s still around. Strangely enough it almost feels like moving on occurs in conjunction with the absence of her hair. It’s almost as if foreign hair represents the bond you share with others. Once your life becomes intermeshed with fellow living beings, they leave a part of themselves with you and it’s hard to shake that off. After the fact every once in a while you think you’ve purged them from your memory, then you flip your mattress and find a tiny little lock of heartbreak.

I was discussing with my girlfriend as to why I think weaves are super creepy. I had an ex who got weaves and I loathed touching them. Like there was a disturbance in the force and I didn’t want to mess with it. I’d narrowed it down to some kind of uncanny valley, as if wearing somebody else’s hair shunted the image ever so slightly. Maybe there’s more to it. Maybe there’s something about having a part of this person in your life that is corrupted by a weave. Finding a long strand and instead of having the warm realisation of her existence, thinking this is from her, but is it really her hair?

Perhaps this Toxoplasma gondii thing is in humans too.


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