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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Going Gray

I'm Sure My Mortician Already Has a Green Fright
Wig and a Red Rubber Nose Picked Out for Me
For some time now, my hair, what there is of it, has been turning gray.  Recently, however, there is a new development.  The hair at my temple has gone perfectly white.  I want you to re-read that last sentence: I did not write temples, but temple.

Specifically, the hair just above my left ear has gone white, whereas the rest of my hair is the same oatmeal-and-dirty-sand color it has been for the last half decade.

Let it be said, I'd fantasized about having gray temples.  I'd imagined passersby murmuring, "Why, look at that distinguished gentleman with graying temples."  Only then would they notice the mustard stain on my shirt.  I'd never looked distinguished in my life, and thought the coming of gray hairs might do that for me.  Now, however, it appears Mother Nature intends me to look like a geriatric calico.

Nor is this temple episode Nature's only little jest at my expense.  I could tell you things about ear hairs and nostril hairs that would make you weep.  I scarcely knew ear hairs were a thing; I now recall having seen elderly men whose ears seemed to be giving birth to toothbrushes, but I had not paid them much attention.  At least, thank the Lord, my ears aren't doing that.  Rather, each of them is producing one long hair apiece.  Similarly, there is a long hair that likes to grow out of my right shoulder blade.  Just there and nowhere else.  My chest hair is mostly gray, making it virtually invisible against the frog-belly white of my torso, except there are two unaccountably dark tufts, right around my nipples.  Seeing myself shirtless in the mirror is like being stared at by a long face with pink, bushy eyes.  And there are liver spots.  I do not know why they are called liver spots, but the moniker is singularly apt.  One cannot behold them without being strangely reminded of liver.

So my dreams of a distinguished old age are come to naught.  I tell myself that when I'm buried, at least then I'll look presentable, not like some sort of clown.  My shirt will be clean, my fingernails polished.  But I know better.  I'm sure my mortician already has the green fright-wig and the red rubber nose picked out for me.

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