Saying Goodbye to An Old Friend

When I was relatively young I was told that life was going be filled with a series of “hellos “and “goodbyes” and that the faster I accepted that the happier I would be. This did not make me happy. I don’t like saying goodbye and I especially do not enjoy long, drawn out lingering goodbyes.

They irritate me. I am a good curmudgeon and I can cite the chapter and verse in which it specifies the prohibition against such things.

However life has a way of forcing you to deal with things that you’d rather not and currently I am stuck. You see, I am being forced to say goodbye to a very dear old friend. He is leaving me for sunnier pastures, at least I hope that is the reason. Somewhere, someone is laughing at me because this has got to be a record for being one of the slowest goodbyes ever.

The plans to leave me must have begun a couple of years ago, but I really only became aware of it recently. I can’t say that I am all that surprised about it. I expected it to happen and even planned on it. But it would be a lie if I said that I didn’t hope to be wrong.

But I wasn’t. He is really going. The packing has started. His home is starting to look a little spotty. There is sunshine pouring down on places that were once covered and you just know that soon there will be more places that are uncovered than otherwise.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am referring to the hair on top of my head. The back and sides of my head are covered in thick, wavy, semitic hair. There aren’t any gaps or breaches in the wall. But just above my forehead is a different story. Just above my forehead there are places where I can see my scalp.

It is a little surreal to see this sign of aging make itself more prominent. It is a little disconcerting to be given another sign that time is not passing me by.

There will be no Rogaine, no Propecia, no Hair Club For Men. There will not be any goofy hairpieces or spray paint to fill in the gaps. For now there is enough hair there. It doesn’t look silly or ridiculous.

For now it is clearly a head that is thinning but no one is going to look at it and think that I am trying to fool myself or the world into thinking that there is more there then there really is. There will be no wispy comb over.

One day I’ll probably just shave the whole thing and be done with it, but not yet. For now the long goodbye will continue. I am not real happy about it, but what can you do.

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  1. chosha March 18, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    People always associate the serenity prayer with AA, but I think it applies so much more aptly to aging. Some stuff just happens, and you don’t have to be very old for it to start. I think people who just accept that end up a lot happier.

  2. Jack's Shack March 16, 2006 at 7:51 am

    Hi Erica,

    We’ll find out.


    Not yet.

  3. torontopearl March 16, 2006 at 4:39 am

    Did you read Jake’s personal essay about this? It’s good.

  4. Erica March 15, 2006 at 10:45 pm

    Some people pull this look off really well … and if your look as well as you write, I’m sure it’ll be a breeze (if you’ll pardon the connotation)

  5. Jack's Shack March 15, 2006 at 2:03 pm


    I know.


    I imagine it to be like that, but it still feels kind of strange.

  6. Jerusalemcop March 15, 2006 at 11:30 am

    once you get used to it, it’s not so bad.


  7. Jameel March 15, 2006 at 11:09 am

    Jack: I’m dreading this.


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