Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Yesterday, my decision to cut my lush, long black hair received its material counterpart. I actually made it happen. From being a mere idea, it became reality after Jamin, a guy who works at the place we're staying at here in Langsa, drove me by motorbike to a shop called Metro Hair where I sat on a chair and a man ran an electric razor and a pair of silver scissors all over the top surface of my skull.
Contrary to what a few people think, I didn't have my precious strands of ebony chopped off just because a lot of people in North Sumatra mistook me for a woman--although I must admit it did provide a bit of reinforcement. My decision wasn't a crazy arbitrary thing either. A few people might remember that day in November 2011 when I flipped out and had my head shaved completely bald. That was arbitrary and I'm not ashamed to admit it. This time, though, it was done with some sort of mental feasibility study--if such a thing even exists.
I've actually entertained the idea of getting back my clean schoolboy look for quite some time already. My reasons? Well, for one, it's much, much neater to look at. It's easier to manage; it's much cheaper to maintain; it makes me look a lot younger; it feels better; it doesn't cause the area around my neck to store heat; and most importantly, it's easier to travel around a semi-active war zone with. I don't have to wait long for it to dry up after I wash it and it doesn't attract people's attention.
This is only the second day I've pranced around the world with my new head of short hair and I'm still in the process of getting used to it. Sometimes, when I visualise myself, I still get an image of a young Asian dude with long hair. When I realise, though, that I don't anymore or if I get a glimpse of myself through a reflective surface, I instantly get the feeling that I don't know myself. "Who is that boy I'm looking at?" would be the usual internal question. Perhaps this has some sort of intellectual application in my life. Perhaps such a feeling is an indication that I don't actually know myself well enough.