Sunday, November 12, 2006

Life Beneath the Superdome

I had always believed that people dying of cancer were doomed to lie awake every night with their eyelids paralyzed wide open, trembling in terror as they spent hour after sleepless dark hour staring straight up into the rosy pink asshole of Mortality.

But that's not actually the way it works.

When I wake at 3 am, the Hemorrhoids of Death are just about the last thing on my mind. No, my very first thought is always this: Jesus fuck, my goddamn scalp is cold. Where the hell is that fluffy warm terrycloth sleep turban I was wearing when I fell asleep? I rummage through the 8,000 pillows and quilts, searching vainly for the awol topper, trying not to wake up the damn dogs because then they'll want to go outside and all I want to do is cover my shivering pate so I can go back to sleep. Mortality and its frickin anal sphincter can wait until morning.

Wild sexbot jammies with garden gnomes and fuzzy warm hat

Anyway, speaking of goose bumpy scalps, today was the first time I wore my wig out in public. It's funny because I haven't been at all shy about going out stark raving bald. The minute I set down the clippers and discovered that I have an exceedingly elegant cranium, that was it: I leapt aboard the Bald Is Beautiful bandwagon and have been careening around with blazing evalgelical fervor ever since.

Nefertiti? Persis Khambatta? Uncle Fester? Or perhaps the bizarre love-child of all three.

But this whole wig business seems sort of phony and pretentious. Besides, it's a cheap little thing I got on eBay for about $7, and it feels all scratchy like I imagine a day-old roadkill would if it were perched precariously above my forehead. And I haven't really figured out what to do with various bodily protuberances, like my ears. Tuck in or poke out?

Nevertheless, it's cold today so I decided to stop being a sissy and bravely sidled out of the wigged closet. I slapped the fake bush on my bare head and adjusted it the best I could, hoping to hell I didn't have the bangs in the back or the sideburns in the front, although frankly it wasn't all that obvious to me which was what anyway, and off I headed to my friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart. I confess I went early, before church let out, or else I was bound to run into thousands of people I know.

What's that? How is it that I've come to know thousands of people who shop at the Wal-Mart on their way home from church every Sunday? Hell if I know; shit just happens, ok?

The excursion went well. Nobody stared or snickered or gasped or screamed, and the only person who even spoke to me was a polite young squirrel hunter who asked if he could cut in line because his dogs were out waiting in the truck.

What's that? How is it that I can tell just by looking at a guy's outfit what kind of animal he's been out killing? Oh shut up. Face the facts, Toto: we're not in Berkeley any more.

Self portrait with cheap wig


Blogger Kimberly said...

I stopped by Finn's blog this evening, and on a whim I clicked on one of your comments. You've been in my thoughts the past couple of months, and it's great to see your face - and phenomenally fine cranium - and hear your voice again.

2:30 AM  
Blogger nina said...

And then Kimberly told me you were back. We've missed you, and it's a fine thing indeed to know you're feeling well enough to blog again.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Friday Dialogue said...

Down with the cheap wigs....where's the cheap nudity?????

4:47 AM  
Blogger amazonmidwife said...

NOW I understand all the references to 'tie on the nightcap' in Alcott books. However, that would play hell with my overachieving gag can't recommend that to you. What about draping a blanket over the top of your head. (That's what my kids do in the winter.) Or maybe putting a hot water bottle/thermal pad inside your pillow? (The opposite of those cooling gel pads that go inside the pillows of menopausal women).

It's good to hear from you again. But I do hope that you take brainhell's adage of "I owe you nothing." to heart on this blog, so it's cathartic rather than draining. You're in my thoughts whether you blog or not. xo

1:56 PM  
Blogger Josephine said...

The cut is very flattering for your face. :)

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeepers, you do have a gorgeous head! All those years of obsessive hair cutting? I think this is what you were aiming for all along. Deep down you knew.

Nice to see you again.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Hathor said...

The wig looks good, and your head does have a really great shape. You're Persis.
Was hoping you would blog again.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, woman, you have a gorgeous, interesting Noggin! Don't worry about the muscles. No matter what they say, they will come back. George's did after chemo, though it took a while. Also: my aunt who beat Lymphoma last year cried like you are every night. She said she cried the poison out of her system. You do whatever you think you need to do. I'm so happy to see this blog. I haven't checked Finn's blog in two weeks, and a mutual friend sent this to me. No one can make me laugh, sick or well, like you. Knit a scarf to Malibu and put all those nasty cells in it!
Much love Liz,

7:05 PM  
Blogger The Q said...

As far as I can tell from the photo, that's a pretty bitchin' wig.

I have never understood the fear behind wearing a wig out in public. My friend Jen wore her's once, to a corporate meeting. One person said, "Hey, your wig looks fabulous!" She never wore it again.

And, honestly, she did look beautiful. I'm not sure she had as graceful a cranium as you do.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Damn. Nice arms, even without being at the gym regularly.
I'm so glad you & your photos are back, Liz.
I started lifting weights largely because of you.
I finally traveled 400 miles and took IMPACT out of town because I couldn't get it locally because of you.
I needed the inspiration of your body again.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see a woman at the farmers market, a young woman, a healthy woman, wearing a violet colour very French looking wig. I thought it was her real hair. No it's a wig and she told me where to get one, for $40. She had her sister/hairstylist cut it. Looks so chic. Another friend had her East Asian yoga teacher and daughters over to henna her head, in a pattern similar to the ones for brides' hands. Very cool.

With another friend we had quite a time finding a hat that didn't feel itchy. As you probably remember, here, we need to wear hats most of the year, hair or no. She finally settled on the "skater" toques her neighbour's sons wore. But like you Liz she had an amazingly beautifully shaped head. And neck. My but you have a lovely neck.

12:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home