Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Into the Gray

In my dad's wedding photo-he was 25, almost 26, at the time-it had started to creep.  The gray hairs, while not prominent, stand out enough that they are visible to the trained eye, even interspersed in dirty-blond hair and in a yellowed, grainy photo. 
While not a curse (many men pull off the salt or salt-and-pepper look: we all know a few), the dawning of the gray hair is a harbinger of the adult puberty that turns temples, eyebrows, and long goatee hairs gray.  It's the Batsign that lets the world know it is soon (or not so soon) to see a more even ratio of nose/ear hair to head hair, crow lines to tan lines. 
My older sister, four years older than me, noticed the increase in gray the other day, and with a slightly-lowered voice, asked me, "When are you gonna start getting it dyed?  It's a family thing-we start to go gray around 30, 31."
Her observation, although not proven through a double-blind study, seems to be true enough, as pictures of her in her early 30s show a wisp of gray in her raven hair.
"Mr. Flaco," Jenni says today in class, not having seen me for about a week, "Did you dye your hair?"
Silence as my internal voice registers 8.0 on the Richter Scale..."Dang, those gray hairs I saw in the mirror today, the ones that seem to have sprouted overnight-they're that noticeable?"
"Yeah," Jenni says, "It looks darker."
Crisis averted.
For a few days, at least...

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