F5…refresh. When I’m feeling an overwhelming need for change it usually ends up with a shaved head (mine) or some kind of cleaning house (not the actual house). It feels good to go light with an old fashion buzz in spite of the fact that my mom cries big Mexican tears that I “look like a cholo.” It also feels good to file and or delete photos from my phone, but it is not without a small moment of regret when I hit ‘confirm delete’ and watch a year of photos just vanish.
Within the last two weeks, I did both: buzz the head and delete all the images on my phone – the hair was too long and I needed space on my hand-held, life-controlling unit they call a smart phone. As a result, two things happened. The first is that any new photo that I took with a shaved head highlighted an unmistakable feature that before last year went relatively unnoticed: I have a bald spot in the front of my head. A-BALD-SPOT. Lo and behold, not a few people happened to point this out on a blog post and damned if they weren’t right. I told the wife and she laughed. I told the kid and he laughed. I, I did not laugh.
No, I am not losing my hair; yes, there is clearly a spot where no haireth doth grow, but the reason is simple enough: I have a pretty nasty scar in the front of my dome where someone threw a shopping cart on my head during a fight. (That, as they say, is a story for another post.) Whatever the case, it was obvious, looked ridiculous, and it was clear that shaving my head is no longer an option unless it’s down to the scalp and it stays that way.
Interestingly, deleting photos also came with the realization that, in some small way, I was figuratively about to leave behind a bunch of past memories. The little phone, its camera, its tiny little storage card now just sat there as a reminder that I was obliged to make and capture new memories — to fill it back up with beautiful images of friends, trips, dog photos, dumb signs, social media downloads, family, selfies for which my son would tease me, food I’ve made, and the inevitable grainy photos of the ground, my finger, space…all of which resulted from just hitting the wrong button.
It didn’t take long to realize that the scar and my hair were not coming back on the silver-dollar sized patch on the front of my head, and it took less than five seconds to delete all of the photos that I had amassed over the last year or so.
Now, I guess, I grow out the hair and let a few curls hide the landing pad…and begin to grow new memories to replace the ones that I no longer call up to explain my raison de etré. I’m okay with that.
Just be sure to duck when someone throws a shopping cart at your head…and backup the photos you mistakenly feel you won’t miss. Backup…it’s the new sunscreen.