By Spencer Salokar
I grasped the razor in my hand as I studied myself in the mirror. Looking back at me was a figure with a scruffy beard and short brown hair that was thinning in front. My eyes drifted from the image of me down to the razor in my sweaty palm. I could feel my blood pump nervously as I tightened my grip. I knew exactly what would happen if I went through with this.
“I know you don’t want to hear this, but you do look a lot like him you know.” Rose’s words echoed in my ears as I stood there. The figure in the mirror, the image of me, looked remarkably similar to that of my father. I hated the fact that I looked like him. I hated him.
Somehow, despite wanting nothing to do with my father, he still found ways into my life. He invaded both my thoughts and my looks. He showed up at my place of work and acted all chummy with my boss. It seemed like no matter what I did, I just couldn’t completely cut him out of my life. Like a bad tumor, he just wouldn’t disappear.
I also hated the way I looked, my thinning hair specifically. I started losing my hair at a young age, while I was in my early years of high school. Dealing with all the comments I received, people laughing and telling me to just put my hat back on—it was hard for me. Hair regrowth products were too expensive for my family, and hair grafting surgery was also out of the question for the same reason. I felt like I had only one answer, and now I held it in my hand.
My thumb moved and flipped on the switch and the razor turned on. I watched its blades whir in my hand as the soft buzzing sound filled my ears. I knew that if I went through with this, if I cut all my hair off, I’d look more like my father than ever. That thought disturbed me to no end. Turning out like him terrified me. Like a bad cliché, my greatest fear was ending up like my father. I already looked way too much like him for my liking, and getting rid of my hair—
The thought appeared in my head from seemingly out of nowhere. So what? It tossed and turned in my brain like sugar being added to cake batter. So what if I looked like him? A simple resemblance meant so little, but part of my mind warped it into something big. Just because I looked like him didn’t mean I had to be him.
My hand moved the razor and, just like that, a chunk of hair from the side of my head was gone. The sight of my hair minus the long strip I had carved out was a laughable sight, but that just meant I had to keep going. I couldn’t stop now. Little by little, chunks of hair fell from my head and into the sink. The hand movements and positioning required were awkward at first, especially when trying to reach the back of my head. Eventually I got used to it, and before I knew it, I was done.
The figure in the mirror looked back at me. Where there had once been hair, there was now just a bald sheen. A smirk crossed my face. I looked like him, but I wasn’t him. I’d do better than he did.