It must have been creeping up on me, probably for quite some time but it wasn’t until tee shirt weather that it got my attention.
“It” being the hair explosion. The twin hair explosions actually.
Which shouldn’t have been a shock perhaps. I had noted, as do most men after enough years sneak by, that individual hairs were invading body parts that hair had not claimed before. Like the rim of an ear. But no problem. A finger, a thumb, intruder gone.
If never an apeman, I have always been hairy, mostly in parts of the body I never look at much, such Dark Side of the Moon terrain as the upper back. But no woman ever commented. Indeed I have always been impressed at how tolerant women are of such defects in male equipment as – OK, I’m being personal here – knobbly toes and jungly netherparts.
But, hell, most guys are like that, we don’t all look as over-all polished as James Bond, Roger Moore version, so I had never before felt the need of an all-over haircut.
This was different. It was as if mutton-chop whiskers of the sort worn by minor characters in Sherlock Holmes movies had taken possession of either side of my neck. I have seen a bust of the Emperor Nero that suggests a similar growth so perhaps that was the fashion then. Not now.
But women didn’t flinch when they saw me, children scream nor dogs bark. So perhaps the outside world didn’t notice? It was an annoyance, though.
A couple of weeks ago I went with Myra Scheer, Steve Rubell’s former assistant, to an event organized by a girlfriend of some years back, Kelly Cutrone, the fashion publicist.
It was for Smart & Sexy, an apparel outfit, and she was moderating a panel appropriately called Body Talk. Interestingly I was one of the only three men in a packed room and it turned out that it was all about bras and panties. A sign above the enclosed back half of the room said NO BOYS ALLOWED.
Cutrone came up, said I was looking pretty good.
What about this, I complained? I was indicating my neck.
“You mean your werewolf look?” she said. So the outside world did notice. Then she promised to organize the solution.
Uh? Waxing, so far as I was concerned, was strictly part of the female armory, promising polished legs, fragrant underarms, mustache-free lips and, of course, Brazilian bikini netherparts. But I had decided shaving would be a disagreeable option and desperate situations demand desperate remedies.
Great, I said.
I arrived early for my date with Paolina, the exuberant Russian who was to do the deed. She took me to a treatment room, where I lay down on a bed, and she swiftly got to work on the underbrush of the left side of my neck.
Many readers will know the drill, which involves applying two types of wax, one dark-blue, onto a gauzy linen with what looks like an ultra-thick popsicle stick. Then waiting for it to harden and … well, I really felt that first pull, but I took it gamely, I thought. And the subsequent pulls – there were three on each side – were no worse than having a Band-Aid ripped off at school.
Cutrone arrived in time for the ears and the neck, sat down and said serenely “You’re going to be whacked.”
Excuse me, I asked?
It turned out she had said “waxed”.
As the linen and wax was being applied to my left ear, she said “Imagine it’s a vagina! Take one for the team.”
Cutrone told me later that she had asked Paolina about my reaction to that first pull. “She made a wincing baby face,” Cutrone said. So clearly I hadn’t taken it that gamely. But the last pulls on the ears and back, about eight in all, had been unsurprising. “I supervised it and got every bit of hair off your ears,” Cutrone said.
She added that there had been a final spot of fun when Paolina said we were done. “You didn’t know there’s a hydraulic lift on the bed,” she said. “You got up on all fours, doggy-style.” The regulars know all about the lift, of course.
Oh, well. And now? Well, it’s hello, Neck! Hi there, Back! You look almost as good as new and that is, yes, a pleasure. I’m told I’ll have to go back in a few weeks for a re-boot. Then a few more and it will be done with. I’ll be there. Hair today, gone tomorrow.