I am old enough that I am not surprised that my hair is going gray, and I am young enough that I am still annoyed by it. When I got my last haircut, the barber was nice enough to say to me while she had me at the mercy of her scissors “Oh, you’re losing your hair,” and she was also so kind as to point out that not only was I losing some hair, but the hair I was keeping was slowly being drained of its color. That was a while ago, but the conclusion I came to then is the same that I’ve come to now. I am dying.
It’s my fault really. I’ve begged for death for reasons as varied as losing my favorite pen to being debilitatingly hungover at a tea shop. “Guess I’ll just die then” is my internal mantra of unhealthy conflict resolution, and now it’s caught up with me.
I’ve heard them called ‘the grad school grays’ which, upon further research, is not inspired by scholarly aliens visiting college campuses and is actually just what people call going gray during grad school. Still, I’m annoyed that I can see my mortality so clearly in the mirror. I’d much rather see nothing in the mirror and confirm my suspicions that I am, in fact, a vampire.
I remember in high school when one of my English teachers was giving the class a serious talk about the nature of death and the path from innocence to maturity, bildungsroman stuff that bored me then too. Still, my reaction to the idea of death has not changed a whole lot since I was an innocent little doofus. When I imagine dying, when I think of everything just being over, of joining the collected dead of humanity, of being nothing, I have always responded by really wanting to be a robot. Even now, I cannot deny the appeal of abandoning my moist flesh casket for a sleek, metallic, fully-customizable and eternally viable robot body. I could abandon my receding hairline for a literal chrome dome. I could forsake my potential to be a silver fox for the possibility of being literally silver. I could live forever, and I could finally be the equal to the appliances I respect most: the toaster, fridge, even my kettle.
It’s strange to think that I am voluntarily, eagerly even, participating in something that is forcing my body to an early decay. School is hard, and so is teaching, and I’m enjoying the prolonged adventure of watching my body waste away in direct proportion to how much better my resume is getting; for every gray hair, I get a little more employable. Though school and work are generally fun and worth doing, they do leave me with a lot less time than I’d like. Ideally, I would never have to sleep, or eat, or stop working, and there would be an extra 6 hours tacked onto every day devoted specifically to petting cats. But there is no 6 hour cat time, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t stay awake for much longer than a regular human, and my attempts to abandon my humanity have not been met with success as proven by my inability to recharge at a power outlet.
This is all to say, unfortunately, that I’ll be writing a bit less here. It’s weird to say that I’m cutting back on writing when I know just how much writing I’ll still be doing for school, but I think this is more a cut back on the writing I do to keep myself sane, and the writing I’ll be doing instead is to keep me employed. Sanity and employability are not always compatible.
On a lighter note, this may be my last lapse in writing. After this year, I’ll be hurled into the workforce–at least until I decide to really hurt myself and go in for a PhD. For the next few months, I’ll try to post a few times a week, and I’ll try not to forget about the decent people who live in my screen who have made writing a little more fun lately.