I was 18 when it started. It came like a thief in the night, and then proceeded like a runaway freight train. I knew I’d been dealt a bad card. The same arrow nicked both grandfathers and my Dad. I didn’t stand a chance!
Resignation makes the bitterness of the pill a bit easier to swallow, but for young men it’s the bane of existence. How could I be born in August and branded a Leo? A Leo is identified with Pride, Power and a Full Mane! And yet by the time Pam and I married, I was in full folic freefall at the young age of 23.
I knew then, that there was only one way to play it. No mullets, no comb-overs. The guys who desperately hang on, look ridiculously pitiful. It’s better to stand deliver, take your lumps and attach the No. 1 guard to the Wahl trimmer. At least with the buzz cut, you stand on common ground with soldiers, athletes and the like.
Now, all these many years later, I have no complaints but one. For it seems that my uncovered bean catches more than its share of punishment. I’m not sure if hair is a great impact deterrent, but I don’t remember having this many cuts, abrasions, lumps, hematomas or gouges.
Four years ago in Sabinal, I walked headlong into a brace for the garage door. It knocked me out, but I came to upon impacting the ground. My art trailer has an aluminum trim with a sharp corner that catches me at least twice a year. My framing saw is living in a shed that predates our move to this property. It was built for midgets at the turn of the century, and it has taken its toll on me over the last three years we’ve lived here.
This week has been especially noteworthy. First, while caulking an outside seam on my studio (in preparation for painting the exterior), I was indiscriminately attacked by yellow jackets while standing on a ladder. Somehow they know to proceed in full assault when you’ve reached the highest point on any given ladder.
I bailed off in an arm-swinging frenzy, only to fall between the metal braces for the deck I am also building. Ouch! And last night, I ambitiously cooked a chuck roast in my #10 Dutch oven. While walking to the house with my head down (to avoid stepping into any hidden holes in the yard), I slammed full speed and head on into 11 inches of a Live Oak limb. Tree wins again! All I could think was, “I know I’m bleeding, but don’t drop the roast!”