Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1


|Views: 0|Likes:
Published by baroReader

More info:

Published by: baroReader on Apr 23, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Did you know the average number of hairs on a human head is one hundred and ten thousand? Well, a head with brown hair likemine. Now, that number varies depending on color, with blondes having the most at a hundred and forty thousand, and reds havingthe fewest at ninety. It’s useless info, I know, but I have a slight…uh…preoccupation with hair, and couldn’t resist reading the littlefactoid that popped up on my search screen.
Where are my tweezers?
My fingertips absently stroke my head before resting again on the keyboard of my laptop.People do some weird things with hair. I just read where one lady in India was eating hers. Eventually she had a huge ball of it inher stomach and it blocked her intestines and made her sick.I don’t eat mine. That’s just gross.My eyes return to the word on the slip of paper Kevin so innocuously slid in front of me this morning. No kiss. No wish for a goodday. Just a gruff, “Look it up,” and he was out the door.Kevin used to love my hair. When I wore it long, he couldn’t stop touching it. When I cut it short and sassy, he couldn’t stoptouching it. He actually came in my hair once, quite by accident, but he did all the same. Hazards of the “job” I suppose, and heapologized when he regained the use of words. It didn’t bother me and I told him that. But I was so acutely aware of the glob thateven after I’d washed and dried my tresses, I couldn’t stop touching the spot. I think that was when he first noticed, but by then I’dbeen doing it for months. He hates my hair now, and I don’t know if he’ll ever love it again. Don’t know if I want him to.
I’m still staring at the word scribbled in Kevin's slanted, blue-inked scrawl, trying to get my mind around it. I can’t even pronounceit.
what? Big words like this make my eyes glaze because they’re usually pretentious for no reason.
.Can’t say it, don’t know what it means, but that “mania” part, well that I understand just fine. Like maniac, right?Typing each letter meticulously so I don’t misspell this behemoth of a term, I hit search and watch as my screen floods with links. Imouse over to one with a definition.
Trichotillomania: (
) 1. the obsessive compulsion to pull out one’s hair; 2. also called
hair pulling 
;3. also called
Why didn’t they just say that? Hair pulling. Why did they try to fancy it up with a big word? I guess “hair pulling mania” doesn’t havequite the same dramatic flare. On the bright side,
there's a bright side, I can now pronounce it.I select another link, this one describing it as a mental disorder—Oh, goodie! I’m mental!—caused by the inability to manageimpulse control. Well that’s not accurate. I’m perfectly capable of managing my impulses. At this exact moment I’d like to throwmy laptop across the room, but I’m not doing
now am I?I’m not crazy. I’m offended Kevin thinks I am.Rubbing my head, I continue the search to learn more about this mysterious psychosis my boyfriend the marketing rep hasdiagnosed me with.
Possible causes of hair pulling: tension, stress, anxiety and/or depression.
So I’m a
mental maniac. Glad I got that cleared up. I
been wondering….One last link before I go watch television. I’ve been...ill the last couple weeks and haven’t been to work. As a result I’ve ingested alot of daytime programming and I’m convinced my brain has devolved into a gelatinous mass of goo. If anything has made me amorose mental maniac—or a “three-M” as I’m now calling it for shorthand—it’s been the daytime TV.
Where the
did I put those damn tweezers?
I click the hyperlink and read the results about suggested treatment methods for someone with my particular brand of insanity. Theshort paragraph describes something called habit reversal training that involves using a competing response. According to this,when the urge to pull my hair strikes I should ball my fists. That’s right; put a “three-M” in a fighting stance. I’ll counter the impulseto pull with the impulse to punch something…or someone. And that, folks, is what we call irony.There’s a tingle on my scalp. Something’s there in the front, like a little bump. I can feel it. I rub the spot continuously, search withnails gnawed to the quick for that one strand causing me so much trouble; finally give in to the urge and look around the desk for my pincers. Before, I’d dive right in and start yanking, but now I use the tweezers, some special ones I bought that feature“perfectly aligned hand-filed tips excellent for precision plucking”. I wonder if Kevin did the marketing for these. Anyhow, I boughtthese perfectly pitched pincers so I can only get the hair that is actually bothering me. At least that’s what I tell myself. The patchesare usually the same.Utensil in hand I run to the bathroom. Big mirrors and bright lighting are perfect to see the spot clearly, so I can only take out theone hair and no more.
Just the one hair….
 Having arrived, I search with the fine-pointed tip, prod at the area where I felt the tickle. I hit it, a pinprick of pain, and I can see the
exact brown thread disappearing into the spongy skin of my scalp. I carefully position the pincers around the strand, mindful to gripit firmly so it doesn’t break, and pull. The pinprick of pain intensifies, radiates, makes me feel like I’m getting a shot and I have tosqueeze my eyes closed to bear it. Then it’s out; a brief moment of relief where the throbbing ache in my scalp dissipates to a dulltwinge. There’s an odd elation at the accomplishment. Sometimes I laugh like a mad scientist—“
the manic noisebubbling out as though my creature has finally come to life. Other times I cry, long low sobs like a child, frustrated I can’t stop.Still gripped between the tips of the tweezers, I study the translucent white bulb at the end of the long strand, noting how thick it is.Thick ones mean the follicle’s inflamed. If you touch the bulb with your finger, it’ll stick and won’t fall off. Not even if you shake it or hold your hand upside down. Nature’s superglue—sticks everywhere but back in my scalp. That ends the process and I drop thehair in the trash bin. Mission accomplished. I put the pincers down, ready to leave the bathroom.But it starts again, the tingling, right next to the hair I extracted. I check back in the mirror and see the culprit. Position the tweezersand pull. I briefly study the bulb, drop the hair.More tingling. Back to the mirror. Tweezers. Pull. Bulb. Drop.Pull.Bulb.Pull.No bulb.Pull.Bu-Pull, pull.
Okay. Stop.
Pull.Pull.Pull, pull, pull!“Enough!” It’s a direct order from my lips to my ears. I say it out loud to get myself to stop or I’ll just keep going until I’ve pluckedevery strand, offending or not. Hot tears press behind my eyes. A deep, shuddering breath keeps them at bay. They’re irrational, just like the action that’s prompted them.I spread the sparse fibers on either side of the newest patch in my head to better see the damage, and then trace my fingertip over the reddening bald spot. It feels weird to the touch, kind of resistant, and that feeling is so familiar. Most times there is no bump inmy head. I just start tugging. This time there’s something to show for my efforts. The small bump has been vanquished, one hair at a time, but the resulting crater is large.
He’ll notice.
We’ve been together four years, Kevin and me, and I started this madness almost two years ago. I can go a while without doing it,but then something triggers it, an itch, a sting, and I’m back to yanking. We’ve only fought about it once
. I say verballybecause it seems like we’re always fighting about it, we just no longer acknowledge it with words. Plenty of extended silences,disapproving glances, and weighty sighs though. Just that one argument in the beginning during which Kevin said he didn’t getwhy someone so beautiful would do this kind of damage to herself. I replied, “So if I was ugly you’d understand?” My sarcasmwent unappreciated. It usually does. Angry, he shouted “Just shave it all off if you want to be bald!” before storming out of thehouse, leaving me alone.I
want to be bald. And shaving it off wouldn’t stop the compulsion. I’d just wait for the hair to get long enough to grip before jerking it out. I need to pull. I
to pull. There’s something there.The niggling starts again: back of the head, left side. Working there hurts, and that’s probably the only reason why my hair is stillthick and long in the back. Not so in the front. Absence of hair aside, I go through the motions of gathering the remaining strands into a ponytail. The action only manages tocause more hair to fall, the tresses giving up hope of remaining on my crown long, deciding suicide more honorable to death byplucking. They’ve robbed me.I dust the fibers off my shirt, wipe off the ones clinging to the bathroom counter. A glance down at the floor reveals strand uponstrand of lifeless brown bodies, my crime stark evidence against the white tile. I hate hair on the floor. Hate having to clean it up.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->