The man stood before his mirror in bitter determination. He had tried pills, potions, and smelly ointments. He had purchased so-called ‘miracle science cures’, and every whispered rumor or remedy. He experimented with foolish ‘disguising haircuts’, ‘hip’ hairstyles, and even pathetic comb-overs. He even considered radical surgery to have sections of his skin with ‘neck fuzz’, transplanted on the widening areas of clearance on top. None of those things really worked to any real effect. At least not in the long term.
The denial period was finally over. He had slowly come to accept his undesirable fate as a bald man. The word ‘bald’ still made him cringe in disappointment but he was trying to work past the bias. With a comb in one hand and electric clippers in the other, he stood ready for action.
Slowly he started on the sides, methodically ‘mowing’ it down into even rows of short fuzz. In order to achieve an even cut, he used a quarter-inch trim guard and went over his handiwork from multiple directions. The man tried (with mixed results) to convince himself that he would soon look very ‘distinguished’. As if that would lead to supermodels beating on his door.
All of his attractive female friends tried to convince him that a man’s thinning hair didn’t matter to them. According to their testimony, what really mattered was how a man ‘carried’ himself. Interestingly enough, all of them had boyfriends or husbands with full heads of hair. He smirked at the well-meaning but insincere platitudes. Their words were kind but their actions were telling. Those ‘little white lies’ and the denial had held him back for far-too-long. He was actually going to embrace, his… baldness.
Once the right side was shorn down to a quarter inch length, he tried to switch over and do the left side. As difficult as it was to use the buzzing clipper with his left hand, it was even more difficult hold it in his right hand to clip the left side. Although awkward and more time consuming, he managed to achieve a symmetrical cut. The hardest part was trying to hold the trimmer edge against his rounded head from the reversed orientation. The angle of trim had to be parallel to the curved surface, or else it left ragged, uneven ends. As he watched in the mirror, his hand tried to rotate the clippers the wrong way. It took a lot of practice to force himself to hold it the opposite way of how his eyes thought it should be held.
Finally he was done with all the areas he could inspect in the mirror. He tried to approach viewing his trim work with the same homeowner’s pride he felt when his yard work was completed each week. “The sides are even, uniform and neat.”; He admired unconvincingly. “Neat hair? Yeah, that’ll bring ’em running to me like I’m a rock star.”; He remarked. After shrugging in defeated indifference, he prepared for the infinitely harder task. The back of his head.
By feel alone, he started buzzing away the hair on the back of his neck. It seemed to be going well at first until areas he was sure had been trimmed, still appeared to have more to remove. Some of that could be chalked up to clipping the area ‘blind’ but it was still puzzling how so much hair kept falling away on the same pass. With his free hand he tried to inspect his trimming but touch was a distant second, to the superior sense to sight.
There were strange, raised bumps and unexpected creases on the back of his head. As the hair was blindly trimmed away, he inspected them with curious fingertips. At one point while feeling the strange shapes, he felt like he had actually poked himself in the eye. More passes of the clippers revealed tactile details he couldn’t understand. It was as if there was another face on the back of his head! What felt like a pair of lips and brow ridges where on the outside edges while a nose-like protuberance was in the center.
His heart raced as he blindly cleared away more camouflage. Little-by-little the areas were free of obstruction and he could actually see from the vantage point of the back of his own head! Now his arms were able to finish up the trim work without having to feel around and guess what he was doing. The veil of truth had finally been lifted; in the form of shaving his two-faced head.
His back face was basically a twin to the one he was familiar with all his life. He shaved his rear mustache to match his regular one and brushed his rear teeth. It’s breath was horrible but mouthwash and tooth paste eventually took care of the problem. His twin didn’t talk much. That was ok. The two of them already knew what was in their thoughts. It finally made sense why he always slept on his side. ‘Bob’ didn’t like suffocating. “Duh!”; He thought.
In all the years of washing his hair he never felt his covered twin. Just like going bald, denial about having an extra face on the back of his head was obviously a powerful instinct. Likewise; in getting thousands of haircuts, no one ever mentioned his extra face. He just assumed it was more of those kind, ‘white lies’ from his beautician. At least now he had someone else to talk to while waiting for all the supermodels to knock on his door.