Opinion: Column: Hair Today, Not Gone Tomorrow

Sheltering in place while isolating at home, like so many others are, in a state, Maryland, where non-essential businesses remain closed, life has mostly come to a screeching halt. And unlike Georgia and nearly 30 other common-sense offenders, salons – among many other trying-to-get-going concerns, are not open. Moreover, given the social-distancing guidelines and the stay-at-home mandate, it's unlikely I'll be receiving any service providers in my home, either. And considering that I'm not running a bowling alley in my basement, the chance that my hair stylist is going to unexpectedly knock on my front door is fairly slim. As a non result, what's continuing to happen then, is my hair is continuing to grow. Despite my year of immunotherapy, I have a full head of hair; now more than ever, in fact. So what did I dream about last night? Getting a haircut.

As it was dreamt, I was in Virginia (I live in Maryland) doing non-barbershop/salon things when quite unintentionally I walked by a salon that was open and operating. Since I wasn't on a schedule and I needed a haircut, to quote Bob Seeger: "I tucked my hair up under my hat," (sort of) and went inside to make inquiries. I remember asking, as I have previously in real life, if anyone there knew how to cut curly hair. One stylist/operator, who was not familiar to me, offered his services for the task at hand. That's all I remember except feeling pleased with myself when I woke up this morning as if I had accomplished something overnight. Which of course, I hadn't. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Of all the things I've dreamt about: interacting with my deceased parents, flying through the air with the greatest of ease, sex, the past, the future, adventures, etc., I dreamt about getting a haircut. How pathetic is that?

One week into my low iodine diet (as preparation for my thyroid cancer treatment), when I haven't had any salt, any dairy, any bread, any, most especially, no chocolate or sweets of any kind (jelly beans are on back order), I would have thought that if there was a dream to be dreamt, it would involve food at the very general and chocolate at the very specific, like being in an endless dessert buffet line (social distancing and limiting crowd size notwithstanding). But no. What my subconscious focused on was yours truly getting a stupid haircut. There was no special occasion or event for which I was needing my hair cut, it was simply maintenance. All the more disappointing given the endless possibilities to dream that exist in our heads. What a waste of a deep sleep.

What makes the dream even worse is that for the past month or so I've had very poor sleep, lying in bed for hours with very little to show for it. Specifically, rest, relaxation and dreams; not dreaming at all, in fact. Then, in the midst of this poor sleep pattern, I awake this morning with the recollection of having dreamt (meaning a deep sleep) about getting my curly locks cut. Mundane minutiae if there ever was such a combination.

Granted, getting my hair cut was a very important part of my life, particularly so for my mother. For my mother, her sons getting a proper haircut was paramount and once she found a barber, Rocky Spirazzo, who cut hair with a scissors instead of a clipper, she was smitten, so to speak. As such, we followed Rocky to whatever barbershop/salon he worked at, including some of the finest hotel barber shops in Boston. We even occasionally went to his home in Roslindale, where he had a barber chair set up in his unfinished basement. I can still see that lone bulb above my head attached to a chord hanging from the ceiling.

And so it was, throughout my life when my mother had control of my hair-cutting, that hair cuts were not nearly so arbitrary as they might have otherwise been. Without really admitting it, I guess I would say that getting my hair cut is of some importance, dating back to my "yout," to quote Joe Pesci from "My Cousin Vinny." Like it or not, my mother's influence persists. Now in the midst of a pandemic, with so many other potential problems impacting our life, apparently my subconscious still has its priorities.