I am getting bald! Chei! The reality first struck me as I shaved my rough jaw at the barber’s two days ago. The barber’s gossip mirror made the revelation. O, how I hate mirrors. That is why I don’t own one. My visitors after grumbling their displeasure always made do with the shiny surface of a CD plate or my laptop camcorder. Fine people don’t need mirrors, I always tell them. We already knew how good we looked.
On this day however, the poke nosing mirror in the barbers shop, the type that made your head bigger than it actually is, decided to carry out an assignment no one had asked it to. O, how I hate that mirror. It wasn’t all bad though. The mirror did a good job initially. It first showed me my soft dark lips made more inviting by the strip of mustache just above it. The barber had just shaped the mustache out and hey I was feeling like Prince Hakeem…Coming to America, remember?
Then, there was my not too pointed and not too flat nose, which sat there like the creation of a master sculptor. Nobody has my kind of nose in this world. O! My special nose. I have doubled checked on my parents and I am convinced neither of them gave me that. It was a special gift, my strongest proof that on the morning of my creation, God was in a very happy mood. With my nose, OBJ might just have garnered the primary requirements for being described as ‘Handsome.’ You just didn’t read that and I suggest you do not quote me because when they come around throwing charges of defamation like naira notes at an owambe party, I will deny I ever said it. O, how special a nose.
Did I ever mention to you that I had sexy eyes? Well, now you know. The barber’s mirror confirmed it. I am not just bragging. Eyes that tell a million tales. O, how many dames have I scored with those eyes. The spectacle in the eyes is their ability to modify in diameter depending on the occasion. That’s what they call squinting in English I suppose. Those eyes started having medicated eye lenses over them since primary four. Now, I hide them from public view with big dark glasses. The celebrity kind. Those that look like items off a welders tool box. Wouldn’t want to cause a stir in public you know, with chics starring and walking into gutters. Believe me, it has happened before. But even with the glasses on, I still cause the stir. Ever seen Sean Combs, I mean the American record producer and rap artist, also known as Puffy, Puff Daddy, and P. Diddy? He looks kind of like me when I am wearing those glasses.
And these eyebrows. Wonder brows. Amazing sight. The eighth wonder of the modern world. Never carved by any razor blade, yet so perfectly curved. Bushy patch of jet black hair, that runs in semi circular fashion over both eyes and rendezvous at my nose ridge. Are you shocked? Yeah, indeed my eyebrows meet. Even the barber was impressed or was it appalled? Whatever, just know that you will not find too many of my kind even on Google earth. Special me.
Just as my euphoria was about touching the roof, the barber’s mirror then spoilt everything. The next thing it revealed was a long stretch of hairless skin. This can’t all be my forehead I initially wondered. Jeez!!! What is happening? The place looked like a deserted patch of land ravaged by desertification. What I was seeing was the Kalahari not my head. Not the remaining part of my fine boy face. This mirror must be playing a trick.
Where did all the hair go to? O God, I am dead. As I looked at it, I could swear the hair had retreated by at least close to an inch especially at the edges. So I was going to end up looking like Daddy after all? Ewu Chi m oo! Gregor Mendel’s law in action…for my head? Na wah oh! This was what my classmates in vet school would have called a case of “frontal alopecia.” And just imagine, I had this secret fantasy of keeping an afro like Wole Soyinka when I am forty and see it turn grey as I approach seventy. Pipe dream!
But wait a second. Bald is good. Yeah. Bald is cool. Bald is beautiful. Bald is sexy. Most successful men I know are bald. I think it confers some kind of manliness. Cool, manly me. Isn’t that something to cheer about? Check this out: cool, manly, fine boy Sylva. Complete picture. Perfect picture. Are the ladies listening?
What am I saying? Life is not a perfect walk. Nothing is perfect. Perfect is nothing. Things happen along the line. Things we wish were just dreams. Things we wish we could change. Things we can’t change. But in most cases we fail to see the beauty in those things. We pitch ourselves against ourselves. We struggle to make it perfect. We end up hating ourselves. We fail.
I imagine me at forty. Not with the Soyinka brand afro. On my extremely cool low-cut. A fitting designer suit hanging down perfectly. I would look into a mirror and remember that first day the barber’s mirror showed me a glimpse of the future me. I would smile. Fine bald daddy Sylva. No regrets. Thank Goodness I am bald. And oh, did I mention I am going shopping for a room mirror? I need to keep track of this hair retreat process.
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Guest Author Bio
Sylva Ifedigbo, a Nigerian creative writer and freelance journalist is the author of The Funeral Did Not End, a collection of short stories coming soon from DADA Books Nigeria. He lives in Lagos Nigeria.
Blog / Website: www.nzesylva.wordpress.com