Bang!

Whenever I find myself crouched in a room of my house praying that no one will catch me in the act, red-handed, I should probably just go ahead and stop doing what I'm doing. I should turn myself in to the proper authorities, surrender my weapon, take some time to think about what I've done. But sometimes, no matter how hard I try, and even after a solemn vow not to do it, I cannot resist the overwhelming urge to cut my own hair. The siren song of the scissors sucks me in. Even, or especially, right before a big event. When how I look suddenly matters more than how I feel. At least in my own head, underneath the ever-changing, volcanic atmosphere of my volatile hair. But, truthfully, uneven bangs feel more like me to me than perfect, even bangs. A haphazard zigzag that dips and then jumps as if scaling the craggy edge of a mountain. The abstract rendering, the approximation of a line, rather than the straight edge of a ruler. "What have you done?" my husband asks scrutinizing the once flawless skyline above my eyes. "Busted," I say, but do I need to apologize? "Well, you did a bang-up job," he laughs and we all  die right there. I cut hair the same way I mow the lawn or balance my checkbook- haphazardly, as if with my eyes closed shouting "here goes nothing, so help me God!" belly-flopping into the abyss and hoping for the best. In high school I let my hair do what it wanted to do most, turn into big bushy dreadlocks, which I then bleached blonde, cut off and mailed to my friend Edward wherever he was living at the time. In Italy, I cut my own hair, about an inch a week,  trying to figure out who it was in the mirror, not only in a foreign country where I didn't speak the language but inside of myself, just as strange and foreign. A few years ago I found an adorable salon with an adorable hairdresser who makes me feel like a Queen Diva even with dirty boots and chipped nails and poorly applied makeup from CVS. He's taught me how to care for my hair and what products it craves and I try, I swear I do, to live up to the more mature hair ideal, to be the person my hairdresser knows I can be, the woman who cares for herself rather than the girl who longs for it to all come undone. But sometimes that's just too much to ask.