Friday, August 24

:: Mean Streets

Walking home the other day I got the feeling I was being followed. I am almost always wrong about this, but not this time. My evasive maneuvers succeeded in keeping a reasonable distance between me and this fellow, who had the classic crackhead appearance (i.e. he looked like Flavor Flav, bless his heart) and was drinking with wicked abandon from a paper bag-clad forty. Unfortunately, while I kept out of range of grabbing, I was not out of range of hearing. So when my future new acquaintance asked me a question, I had to choose whether to ignore him or engage.

I have no problem ignoring people, but the question seemed innocuous and I felt physically secure. “No,” I responded, “this is not the natural color of my hair.”

What ensued was a very disjointed discussion of how long hair dye lasts (“because I can see yours is already growing out”), what products do the job best, and whether or not my now new acquaintance should color all of his hair or just the bit above the ears where grey was showing.

“How much grey do you have?” he asked. Plenty, I replied. “See, I’m 38 and I have just this much. How old are you?” he countered. I gave him a look that indicated he had reached the outer border of my tolerance. “Let me guess,” he said, “ummm… 40?”

40? 40 !? 40 !?!!!??!!!!!!?!!!!!??!!!!!!!!?

I am many things, but 40 is not one of them. I suddenly remembered the old Margaret Cho bit about the pros and cons of having a gay male fanbase. Yes, its great to be sent a fabulous salon product as a token of appreciation - but less so when you realize it is recommended for dry, brittle, listless hair.

It was at that juncture that I parted company with this evil, drunken queen, who headed vaguely in the direction of CVS. I headed home for an appointment with my bathroom mirror, a pair of tweezers, and some doomed newly-sprouted grays. I wasn’t mugged, but I think my hair was. In one of the gayest zip codes in the country, the streets are just not safe for hair.


ladybec said...

Ouch! Remind me to stay out of your neighborhood since it's time for a touch-up of my own greys, and I'm a decade from 40. Only in Dupont, baby...

zippy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
zippy said...

Oh! something similar happened to my sister in San Francisco. "You know it's bad," she said, "when homeless ladies comment on how you look pregnant!"

I'm not sure which is worse, getting grabbed by the homeless man in the magazine aisle at the 7/11, or getting metaphysically grabbed, followed by a gay crackhead commenting on your hair color.