Hello dear reader(s)!
No, the cancer is not back! No, I am not a skinhead. Would you think I look like a skinhead if I were walking down the street toward you? How many times have I posted about how important it is not to judge someone by the way they look?
Speaking of skinheads, did you know that the original skinheads of the 1960’s were influenced by Jamaican Rude Boys? It was a fashion trend that had nothing at all to do with race and politics, and were in fact, people who actually liked the Jamaican and West Indian cultures. They were basically mods.
With the punk rock culture in the late 70’s and 80’s, many people readopted the skinhead look. As they were punk rock kids, and would fight with other street groups or football hooligans, they found their haircuts came in handy as it is hard to pull the hair of someone who doesn’t have any. As they fought groups of racists, the racists soon realized that this was a good way to identify each other, a good tactical fighting advantage, and they soon adopted the style.
When I was a teenager in the 90’s, you could tell a racist skinhead from someone else primarily by their red suspenders and black Doc’s or Army Boots with the red laces. Anyone else likely was either a SHARP (skinheads against racial prejudice) or someone like me. Yes, I shaved my head, before I ever got cancer.
In the 90’s my band played primarily punk rock. So shaving my head fit the image of the band. That’s not why I did it, though. I did it because punk rock (primarily 90’s punk) drumming is very fast, and very taxing. It is more like an athletic event than music. Especially when playing in a crowded club with possible lights on the stage…it gets hot. And I got sweaty. And it was tough to see my drums through the stinging sweat in my eyes. So I shaved my head. Problem solved. Except everyone who had no idea about my motivations for doing it automatically assumed I was either a racist or a troublemaker. In fact, I was one of the most straight-laced kids I knew.
I still shaved my head during the 2000’s from time to time. (Mostly in the summer.) By that point, I didn’t receive the crazy looks from people that I did then . It also helped that I spent most of that decade in Seattle, where if you don’t look different in one way or another from someone else, then you are the one who looks strange.
And my intention was to grow my hair but cut it really short after that. I didn’t want to look like I was trying to be cool or a young kid as I got into my 30’s. Meeting Hannah, I got the opportunity to meet her Uncle who is one of the few people who has ever been able to cut my hair how I like it, and deal with my cowlicks at the same time.
And then came the cancer. After my induction chemotherapy, my hair fell out, and was gone for quite a while. When it did finally grow back, it grew back curly and wiry. Knowing I couldn’t pull off an Afro, I decided to shave it or at least buzz it. After my conditioning chemo and the transplant, it finally started to grow back somewhat normal.
Only it wasn’t normal, it was much thinner. I tried to grow it out and brush it a certain way, but it was always more thin than I liked on top. Meanwhile the sides were growing at about 50 times the speed. So while in Seattle, I’d shave the sides with a #2 guard and let the top continue to grow. It was looking okay, but not what I wanted.
When we moved back, I considered going to Hannah’s uncle to see what he could do with it. I decided against it the other day because he deserves to get paid and I am broke. I also figured it would be a waste because every time I go outside I have to wear a hat so why bother making my hair look good? Finally, it is going to be hot as heck here again soon, and if I have to wear a hat, I want to cut down on the insulation in said hat. Too hot. Hot damn.
So off it went. No more head hair for Josh. I don’t think anyone will mistake me for a skinhead. I hope not anyway. My goofy smile alone should let people know that more than my bald head. All the same, I think I am a good example on why it isn’t good to judge people based on appearance. I am not sick, I am not racist, I am Josh.
On a completely unrelated note, I want to thank all of you for being so supportive in my little break from the lovely world of Word Press. I had a lot of pressures building on me that were coming to a head, and needed to get out from under some of them, and also to get outside a little bit more and enjoy more of the real world. My numbers were not looking good before my self-imposed suspension from activity but I am very happy to report that I went to the doctor’s office yesterday and my neutrophils doubled from the previous appointment without the aid of Neupogen. I slept good, got in some good walking, spent some time with Hannah, and my body recovered on its own. Yes, I am still slightly neutropenic, but all my other counts are up and I am building again, and things are no longer so critical. I got some things done regarding insurance and the government that had been weighing on me and it was a much-needed break.
It also spawned no-tech Mondays. At least on Monday evening, we will be shutting off our computer and phones, and leaving the rest of the world outside. So if you don’t hear from me Monday evenings, now you know why. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got posts to read. Happy blogging!