I shaved my head seven months ago:
And then I shaved my beard into a goatee, and of course most of the time I still wear my hornrim glasses, which gets me back to looking like this icon of myself that I created in 1995 or so:
And so I braced myself for the inevitable question: Why did you shave your head?
I prepared a few snappy answers:
- I didn’t shave it. The radiation therapy finally kicked in.
- To express my solidarity with Ray Nagin. Or Mitch Landrieu. Or the Superdome.
Much to my surprise, no one asked the question. This was a first. Every time I’ve shaved my head in the past, people asked the question. Why not now? I think it’s just another indication that we’re all in a post-levee-failure funk round these parts.
Anyway, I kept my head shaved all summer long, but I let my hair grow once the weather started cooling off. After one month I looked like Curious George:
After two months I looked like hell. Truly embarrassing hair. I took a picture to document just how bad it looked, but it was so painful to behold that I deleted it. I couldn’t go out in public.
Again I faced the dilemma: My barber Lou Claverie, to whom I was insanely loyal, got flooded out and has not returned. Here’s what i looked like after my last visit to Lou:
Lou was the best. I feel it’s a betrayal to get my hair cut by anyone else, but I don’t want to look like a jerk.
And so, again, I go to the Monteleone Hotel Barber Shop. Pat is kind of an asshole (sorry Pat) but at least he knows how to do a decent flattop.
For most of my adult life, I’ve shaved either my head or my chin. I don’t shave both because I look like a skinhead. And I don’t grow a beard while I have a head of hair because I look like a fuzzball. But Xy says she likes the beard. (Dad tried to get me to shave the beard three times during his visit. Sorry Dad.) I am keeping the beard for now, with the head hair, and with some reservations.
So if you see me around New Orleans with a goatee and a flattop, feel free to chime in with your opinion. And feel free to recommend a centrally-located barber.