Being bald is something I've grown quite use to. At first there was the fear of the unknown. Then there was the fear of the known. The slower cadence in the sentences directed toward the poor bald woman, the looks of pity, usually cast from the corners of strangers eyes, the full frontal stares from folks in shock that any woman would willingly go around bald. "Cover that thing up" was so loudly spoken from every one of their eyes. "I could wear a wig if I want to avoid all this nonsense, but what can you do to change the fact that you're ignorant" would usually reverberate in my mind during such exchanges.
Often times I throw on a silly wig or a random hair band as an afterthought before I leave the house. I smile just as often as I did when I had hair, I laugh as frequently, I love as deeply..if not more, so what's really changed? Hair? Really people? It speaks to the girth of our narrow confines when the absence or presence of sinewy keratin redefines a life.
I could never bring myself to wear the "there's nothing wrong with me, every thing's ok here" wig. In the six weeks that I've been bald, that wig has left the boundaries of the guest bedroom 2 times for a total of 20 minutes. It's like wearing a mask..it's just not me.
At the beginning of my adventure through chemoland, I cut my long hair and shipped it to another continent where someone gently wove it into a partial wig. At first, I thought it would be an eternity waiting for my own hair to come back to me. After the first day, it didn't seem to matter. I was having fun with my ridiculous wigs, I was feeling strong sporting my bald head in the midst of a society that doesn't like bald women..even a little bit. When the phone rang and I learned that it was ready and waiting for me at 10 Newbury St, 49 minutes away, I was mildly excited. O.K., one more thing to wear I thought. But then they brought it out and put it on my head. It brushed against my face, it fell over my shoulders, it twirled around my fingers just as it had always done. I guess I don't care about the perception of Corrie, but I do care about the feel of her! Instead of one more little thing to throw on my head, I have one more piece of myself to call home.