Thursday, November 24, 2005

Alopecia areata

Yesterday I was talking to a friend and we started chatting about crying. He told me that at times, when he is really tired and sad, he cries. I can’t really say this surprised me as I know most men cry at times but I couldn’t really relate. The last time I cried I was thirteen and I can remember it as though it was yesterday. I remember deciding that I would never cry again.

As a child I had a brief experience with a disease called alopecia. Basically what happens, at least in my case, was that come autumn my hair would start falling off in little tufts until it was all gone. By spring time my hair would start growing back. In other words nature mistook me for a deciduous tree!

This disease hit me more or less when I was six and lasted several years. I would get to the end of summer and start worrying about my hair falling off. Everyday I would pick off a few hairs off my pillow until they became tufts and then chunks. Every year I would get to a point where it was so ugly that I would grab a razor and simply shave it all off. Then one autumn, when I was eleven, my hair did not fall off. All winter I kept my hair. The next year was the same, the one after as well. I thought that it had all finished and then, suddenly, one autumn it started falling again. I remember sitting in the bathroom, my father standing up behind me cutting my hair.

I have this memory of watching myself in the mirror. I stare at the strange child as he tries not to cry, my father standing behind him. I see his pitch black hair falling gently passing his face, rebounding on his chest and slowly drifting to the floor. I see more and more locks falling until his head remains bare. I sit and stare at the weeping child whose head is now a perfect dome, his children’s eyes contrasting sharply with the shiny skin above. I look past the child and stare at my father’s reflection. He stands razor in hand, his eyes betraying the sadness he feels. I try to recollect what I said at the time yet I fail. All I remember is this mute scene played out in an old rusty mirror. No emotions, no sensations, no thoughts

What I do remember is that what made me sad wasn’t really losing my hair but the fact that my father’s face seemed so worried and sad. I remember feeling so bloody sorry for him, as though every one of my tears was stabbing him in the heart. I remember that I stopped crying, dried my tears and promised myself never to cry again. Up until today I have yet not broken my promise.


Blogger tombrad said...

I also cried (openly) for last time when I was 12-13 years old ¿why? I dont remember well, It seems it was a beakup in my family, Im not sure.

Another time I was "near" to cry was looking a scene of Ettore Scola´s "La Familia" movie, in the scene where father and son eat spagettis silently, I dont know why but this scene drove me very sad, maybe I´m a family freak or so.

Anyway I had managed to control myself in the few other times I had been near to tears "men don´t cry" hahaha!

3:22 pm  
Blogger quel said...

that story was heartbreaking! it's true parents feel helpless and weak when we see our kids struggle with something we have no control over, but that's no reason to not cry. I believe crying is healthy. Hell, I cry at commercials!
All smiles for now.

4:31 pm  
Blogger Wonko the Sad Clown said...

jaja, yes I would quite like to be able to cry. The thing is that everytime I feel like crying some sort of psychology kicks in and I feel ridiculous.

5:28 pm  

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