Not in a million years, would I have thought I’d be in this position. Oh my God, am I even ready for this? I’m hyperventilating, I can’t breathe; the sooner this over the better. I can’t handle this wait. Okay, maybe I’m overthinking it, or maybe it’s not really happening to me. Oh, I know, it’s a dream, one of those really real dreams, yeah. Ok, so I’ll breathe, in and out, in and out. It’s not working. I’ll change my position-no- but I can’t it’s just not possible at this time. God, I’m perspiring, drops of sweat are rolling down my face in torrents, what is this? My palms, my back, all sweaty. Maybe I should drink some water that could probably cool me down not a bad idea but then I’d want to pee and that’s just not going work right now. I need a distraction.
Overwhelmed I close my eyes and I am suddenly transported back to the beginning, to the reason I’m now waiting. I couldn’t avoid this recollection, I am no longer in control of my thoughts. My memory begins to skillfully paint on the canvas of my mind. It becomes clearer with each stroke, I am hearing the voices and seeing the faces of every person involved. The expressions are priceless, some faces seem confused, some elated while some are simply blank. I try to speak but I am not allowed, my subconscious has me bound. I reach out to stop the movements but repeatedly, failure was the result.
I am dragged from my thoughts by a shot of pain that hits me in the centre of my forehead causing me to cringe and my eyes to pop open. I’m guessing it is a result of my deep thoughts. I look around overly conscious that I am not alone - for a moment I felt as if I was. Wiping the sweat from my brows, and repositioning myself a bit, I sighed. What is this? How did I find myself in this place of decision? I am becoming more uncomfortable, more aware of the gravity of my choice. I’ve been warned, encouraged and sensitized about this, I’ve been sent websites, blogs and all sorts for ‘guidance’ to ensure that I make an informed decision. I can’t say I’m not nervous, I can’t say I have no doubts but they do not override the anticipation of the joys I will experience in the end.
My surroundings are quite abuzz with various conversations, none directed to me, however and with reason I guess. I notice an individual in a blue mask, I can only see the eyes but it is quite evident that it was a female based on the person’s physique. I started to stare in their direction as a means of distraction and it worked. I noticed that the woman had high cheekbones and big dark brown eyes with lashes that could stop a bus. She had thick dark hair that she wore in a bun. Her ears were kind of like elf ears but they seem to suit her fine, she wore a tiny gold nob to complement her gold necklace. She reminded me of Camille, the one girl that had my heart and I let her slip away because I was unremitted to her one request, an invocation that I am now waiting to surrender to. One I wish I had done earlier, we’d be so happy together. “Are you ok?” she asked, having noticed my staring. “Oh, I’m fine thank you”, I responded with blush polishing my cheeks red. I looked away immediately to avoid any further questions that may plunge me into a pit of embarrassment.
Again the reality creeps up my neck, I begin having a bit of a shiver at the thought of my father. He always thought I was incapable of making good decisions, or destroyed good things. He constantly reminded me of Camille, my many other mistakes and the immeasurable amount of times others had to pay dearly for them. I’m cognizant of the fact that I was carefree in the past, I blame it on immaturity. What else or who else can I blame it on? Even though I’m grown and lead my own life, he is still like a woodpecker in my mind, pecking, pecking, and pecking, constantly assuming, accusing and judging, expecting failure from me. Today I’ll prove him wrong, today I’ll show him the adult that I am, the person that knows how to make right choices. I only wish my mother were here to share in the bliss of it all.
Oh Lord, whoever thought that this kind of waiting could be so frustrating, so suffocating? Oooh, I want to scream, can we get this over with? I mean it’s my choice and I’m ready - I think. Who is going to stop me? It’s almost done, it’s not as if I’m the first person to do this. For years I’ve been criticized by people because in their opinion it should have been done long ago. I’ve had family members go out of their way trying to make it happen. I’ve come so close many times but I never went all the way until now. I guess the saying is true, nothing happens before it’s time. So here I am waiting, here I am in this spot, at this time, in a moment when the world is topsy, turvy. When everyone is staying clear of each other in social distancing, handwashing and sanitizing. You can’t tell who is who most times because of mask-wearing and I’m here waiting. Why I’m even going through with this only God knows, I’m beginning to question my sanity, trying to remember if I was forced or if it’s as a result of guilt, knowing that this is something my mother would have wanted before her death, having asked me several times and I refused. I sigh thinking, rarely do we hear of individuals taking such a major step. A change in their identity, one hinged on belief, not fashion, one that they have held for over a decade. I bow my head, hoping that this decision will bring to me all that I anticipate.
I hear my name being called, I check to confirm that it is really me, I think to myself, the wait is over, it’s really going to happen. My identity will be changed forever after this one move, people will look at me differently in some circles. I rise to my feet, looking around nervous as ever. “Where do I sit?” I ask.
“Right here” the barber responds. I sit and sigh. “Are you ready?” he questions.
Taking a deep breath I respond, “Yup, take it all off.” Everyone in the shop turns to look at me, I knew they’d be shocked, it is always a shocker to hear someone say take it all off, especially if it’s his locks.
After my experience and I was confronted by friends and family who questioned why I cut my hair. My response was always the same, I did it for mama. When she was alive she would worry endlessly about how I was treated by people because of my hair and I never admitted to her that I had challenges from time to time. Every time I had an encounter I would remember her words, “This would not have happened if you would just cut your hair. Or people need to see you for you, your skills and qualifications not your hair.” Those memories eventually got to me, in addition to my decision to become a Christian like mama was. That was enough to settle the dust.