Sunday, January 1, 2012

I shaved my head. It gave me a buzz

   (1/1/15) I finally did the deed: I shaved my head. My boyfriend has the pleasure of doing it every day, so why shouldn't I be able to do it at least once? That's the excuse I gave him, anyway. He was concerned about my psychological well-being, but that's nothing new, the poor guy. He says I'm having a midlife crisis. If 65 is midlife, I've got a problem. I'm pretty bored with everything already.
    The truth is, I'm in a protracted manic phase (part of my bipolar illness), and I've been doing quite a few rash, crazy, obsessive, self-destructive things (like stuffing myself with nuts night after night, despite the 1,800 calories). I'm going to get a tiny rhinestone in my nose, even though everyone -- except for girls who have them -- thinks I'm being ridiculous. I long to be in a sauna, where I could sweat myself nearly to death.
    I've been wanting to do the bald thing for decades. I was cured of the impulse for a long time after writing a short story about Elderly Girl buzzing off her own glorious tresses ( I got such a vicarious thrill out of her adventure that I immediately lost interest in doing it myself.
    But the impulse returned. Like Elderly Girl, I feel exhilarated. Light-headed! Enjoyably weird! 

    I thought maybe I'd resemble Natalie Portman:

    Or Pabi Omoi:

     Or Tyra Banks:

     Or Demi Moore:
     But I don't. I just look like the same old me, but a little bit less presentable. The perhaps ironic thing is that I had been getting  so many compliments on my wavy gold-and-silver hair. Even I thought it was pretty. Anyway, it will grow back. Won't it?
    I didn't really expect that being bald would make me look better. In fact, I knew I'd look worse, but I didn't care. I was seeking catharsis. I needed some drama. It was a cry for help, as in "She really is losing it -- we must intervene and save her with some 'feel good drugs'." It was both a punishment and a reward. The reward was that i felt something that took me out of my current sphere of worries and psychic pain. I would gladly have donated a chunk of my liver or some bone marrow instead. Just call me! Or if I could have gotten myself arrested, that would have riveted my attention for  a while, and given me a nice new memory. Hardly anything I do anymore gives me new memories. So I took the plunge: Out with the razor:
Go for it!

    What I did reminds me of Princess Diana cutting her thighs with razor blades. You need something to distract you from emotional upheaval, so you try various strategies. I can't drink anymore. At my age, I don't think they'd let me in to the crazed, laser-lit, blissed out raves, where I could dance out my primal screams. I've tried cutting, but it wasn't satisfying. The pain is too thin. I need thick pain. I found a reasonable facsimile: Bruising my arms and legs quite shockingly with Beastie Balls, those darling, spiky fitness products. It hurts so good, and I feel strangely proud of my injuries. They make me look like an Extreme Fighter. An ass kicker who don't take no shit.
They are great for a total body massage. Lots of endorphins.

Or you can do it my way, and rip the hell out of your muscles.
     Lately, with my terrible insomnia problem, I have been obsessed with midnight online shopping, which has never happened before. I never buy anything -- especially online -- but it really ran away with me. I lose myself for hours, pondering the world of terrible, thrilling consumerism. It's like not being able to pull yourself away from the slot machines, I would guess. I've gotten so caught up in the pictures and prices and  colors and patterns that I forget about the time, and everything else. I even forget what I've bought. It's both an urgency and a relief, these compulsive forays through one site after another, buying midi dresses, combat pants, sweaters, gadgets, fitness gear, a tote bag with my mother's picture on it, a food processor, an armoire, and herbal products, including an iconic German cologne and a gargle/swallow made with oils of oregano, clove, peppermint, chlorophyll and bay leave. Very cleansing! And two wigs, which I'll almost certainly hate.
    Now, though, I'm dreading the arrival of all those packages. They're in transit as we speak! What have I done? The prospect of opening one disappointing item after another is causing me more uneasiness than my new bald self does. 
     Actually my baldness unease is very slight. Shaving your head is cleansing. It feels good to rub it. It is as liberating as I'd hoped. It paradoxically makes me feel both tougher and more vulnerable: a Marine and a waif.

Here's the waif dimension. I'm afraid I'm more of a Marine, though.
    And talk about care-free; I don't even need a brush, much less a hairdryer. What I am doing is having an experience, and I'm experience-deprived, since I rarely leave the house, except for my daily visits with my 96-year-old mother. Today, I'm going to dye my stubble blonde, so when it grows out it will have shimmery tips. That way, you'll recognize me. Please feel free to roll your eyes, or say hello.
Hello. But I'm not Sylvia. She's quite elderly.