My doctor had assured me that experiencing changes in my hair was a normal occurrence for men my age. I was reluctant to even make the appointment at first, as I was dreading the prospect of being seen in public again with my uneven strands and clumps giving way to visible bare spots. I had been outside before, and I heard the laughter of children and teenagers as they shouted rude names in my direction, insolently pointing at me in the streets and drawing further attention to my predicament. It was an embarrassment that I didn’t want to endure again so soon.
“Just apply the serum to the affected area, and you should start seeing results within a few weeks,” the doctor had told me. “Head to the hospital in the event you experience any sort of reaction, this stuff is strong.” Great. I love it when the cure is just as bad as the affliction, or worse.
After another endurance test in the pharmacy, with customers staring, smirking and outright cackling just feet from my face, I was able to retrieve my prescribed salvation. I tried to hide the clumpy hair under a free hand as I ran through the lines and out the front doors, clenching my potion with my other, praying it would bring me relief and freedom. Begging God that within that bottle, some angel’s grace would restore me to my former self.
With the memories of the laughter pecking away at my shoulders, I immediately headed to the safety of my bathroom. I applied the serum all over my hair and the surrounding bare patches and gently rubbed my brush over it, working the medicine deep into the foundation of my personal Hell.
For days, I repeated this ritual; application, brushing, and surrendering myself to any higher power that would liberate me from this misfortune. After a week, I began to notice hairs in my brush. Just a strand or two at first, then whole clusters of curls wrapping themselves around the teeth of my miniature rake.
I cautiously looked into the mirror for the first time in months and could see more bare patches than ever before. I smiled and wondered; just how long would it take for all the hair growing from my tongue, cheeks and gums to finally disappear?