tfw is a mini personal essay series I’m try to do on Tuesdays to recount second-person experiences of feelings and experiences we all have. Or maybe I’m the only one who has them?
You don’t know they are there but they definitely are. A pin on your shoulder blade, a string on your high cheek, a Q on your lower back, a sliver on the inside of your elbow. The inside of your elbow? Yes, the fucking inside of your elbow: hair grows everywhere, especially the weird ones, especially the ones that are seemingly invisible to everyone else until you are in intimate public or with a crush or at a moment where a camera is very close to this respective part of your body. You have an unwanted hair.
You are in the passenger seat of your mother’s car. “You have a hair,” she tells you. What? You have hair everywhere. “On your ear.” She points so close that she closes off sound, removing her finger with a flick of your ear flap. It reflexively swats back, asking her to stop. You still don’t know where this hair is. You grab your ear and you graze your thumbnail over it: there is no hair. “There!” she yells. “There, there, there!” Every arrow attached to her word has missed you and you still can’t find what she’s talking about. She leans over as she drives and she wraps two fingers around the invisible hair and tugs and tugs until it materializes and is plucked off the lobe. She slows up to a light and wiggles a long clear hair at you. Where the fuck did that come from?
You shaved this morning. You have a big meeting. A big celebrity is coming into work and you have to look your best. You wear your best shorts and shoes and you put on nice underwear. You walk with an extra shake to your ass. You feel like a little cherry atop of the cupcake you call your office. You go to your meeting. The celebrity squints at you and you aren’t sure why but you grin and you shake their hand and it all goes well but—Still.—they squint at you. The meeting ends and you go home and you had a great day and you look in the mirror and you frown and you notice that you had one long hair on your Adam’s apple that avoided your razor when you shaved this morning.
You are in the shower with another man. You are both lathered up with soap. “Grab the razor,” he tells you. You hand it over to him and he motions for you to turn around. You ask him what he is doing. He places a hand down your back and you find it sexual (Intimate shaving? That sounds dangerous but you are down.) until you feel a little tug. “You have some hairs on your back,” he moves his hand in front of your face: he pulled out a long hair from your back. Huh? He shaves patches off your back. “There,” he says. “Now it doesn’t look like you have male pattern baldness happening under your shirt.”
You’re in college and you’re in a locker room with some friends. You are all killing time. You sit down in between some friends, back against a wall. “Look at that!” a friend points at you, twirling a finger near your nipple, circling your areola. You look down: a lightning bolt of hair sticks out two inches longer than your other nipple hairs. “You have the longest nipple hairs I have ever seen,” another friend says. Nipple hair is weird? You have never thought nipple hair was weird until now but you trimmed them after this conversation.
“Trim that,” your boyfriend tells you. What? “You have a bush in your nose. Trim that.” You have never trimmed your nose hairs before. You think about your grandfather and how he had a commune of wiry little hairs that warmed his nostrils. Do you look like that? You look in a mirror and you don’t see your grandfather’s hairs but you do see hairs. You squish your nose and you turn your head and you stick scissors up your nose and you hope that you don’t die.
And you look at yourself in the mirror and you think about all those hairs. You zoom in and out of your face and you see the brown hairs and the blonde hairs and the clear hairs and you wonder which you will miss at which time. Which angle will you be at when someone sees that your have fuzz on your earlobes? When will you wear a tank top when you neglected to tend your shoulders after too long? When will a rogue four inch hair string itself out of you and flap along behind until a friend or lover plucks it off with a laugh, with the death of a small part of you? Probably today. Probably tomorrow. Probably every day, forever, as long as you still have hair.