Colored by Clarity

The simple truth is that unless you are a newborn or a neo-Nazi, it is very difficult to pull off the willfully shaven Caucasian cranium (and even in those cases, it’s usually not desperately becoming). Those of us who live in the Western world tend to find shaved heads a bit unnerving, if not downright disturbing. We tend to associate a lack of hair with a certain lack of vitality, of life. Similarities drawn between the bald and the cadaverous are easy to make sense of, however senseless they may actually be.

The importance of hair was not lost upon her, quite the opposite. She’d gone through all the natural colors by fifteen, the unnatural ones by 22, and at 26 — after finishing off the last of the primaries — found herself out of ideas, places to go, shades behind which to seek refuge. Her hair had become a curtain, you see, a theatrical method of shielding herself from the thousands of piercing and judgmental eyes in her world. But no style or color seemed able ever to fully disguise her from that most ruthless pair of all, her own.

Red brought out her fire, of which there was plenty (she’s a vocalist, mind you). Blonde channeled her inner Georgia peach, a fruit of the soul so sweet you’d promise to swear off all others for as long as she let you savor it. Black made her feel sharp, cutting (as her words became when angered). Purple always made it easier for her to sing — no idea why. And brown was for those times when she didn’t really know what she wanted, only that she wanted something different.

And so, at 26, after having run in every other direction the known color spectrum allowed for, she chose the final frontier; and just about died after going through with it. There is, after all, a damned good reason so many poems and sonnets have been dedicated to the exquisite beauty of a woman’s hair. More than anything, though, she missed the curtain. The nakedness of her scalp translated to a nakedness of the soul, and level of vulnerability which pervaded such that she was nowhere near prepared for.

Of the categories aforementioned, she fell closer in appearance to the newborn than the neo-Nazi (and in purity, for that matter). Such a substantial portion of her waking life had been dedicated to constantly hiding from herself and others alike that being able finally to see past the curtain — through the fucking thing — brought forth perspective as new and joyous as it was shocking and unsettling. What is the blind woman to do once granted the gift of sight? Is it a gift? Is it sight? Or just a new way of seeing things?

Discoveries in both art and science have proven the theory of Additive Color, which suggests that white is not one pigment or shade, but in actuality an amalgamation of every one in the spectrum as seen by the human eye. It is light and dark, nothing and everything, along with everything in between. The white of her scalp was at once simple and complex as the truism behind that fact.

Near as shocking and unsettling as the clarity of her new perspective was the love for herself that it elicited. Making the choice to see herself meant she was finally able to let others see her; it meant finally being able to savor the sweetness of her soul’s fruit the way everyone always had. For her beauty was exquisite in ways only sonnets and poems could endeavor to capture. Her spirit rang with the joy of church bells, sang with the force of sirens. She sounds like home when she sings.

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