July 30, 2010

The Island Clause

James here. Anyone familiar with my hairline will know that it is becoming increasingly easy for my scalp to "breathe". Plenty of sunshine makes its way through the ever-thinning canopy of my once-thick locks.

Baldness is hereditary, and I received a bit of a double portion. My father sports the "Apostle Paul" look, with a wrap-around swath of hair clinging to the latter portions of his head. It suits him, especially with his silver beard streaked with black. The best word to describe his look is sagely.

My mother's side of the family has thin hair. I mean this both in the sense of folicles per square inch, and in the sense that the hairs themselves are narrow in diameter.

No surprise then, that I should have inherited a head of hair that seems to be self-winnowing. And I'm fine with this. It's not that I've resigned myself to going bald. It's more that I couldn't care less. If I end up looking like Daddy Warbucks, then it was meant to be.

There is one thing that would bug me a bit, though. As the hair at my temples recedes, the hair at the centre of my forehead shows no signs of following suit. I have visions of a future in which most of the hair has fallen from the top of my head, leaving that stubborn little patch at the front all by its lonesome. It would become an island of hair, floating on a sea of shiny skin.

With this vision in mind, I entered into a verbal contract with Jessica. I called it the "Island Clause". If I should ever show signs of "moving to the Island", then I have full permission to shave my head to the scalp. I might look like a wannabe biker, but at least I wouldn't look like a unicorn. Or worse yet, a bad clown.

Today, after waiting for more than a week, Jessica and I met with a group of doctors to discuss treatment options for her tumour. In a few weeks, she will begin a 6-week treatment of 30 sessions of radiation therapy. There is a list of unpleasant side effects caused by radiation therapy. I won't go into all of them here, but one of the more prominent ones is hairloss. After a week or two, the hair will begin to fall out wherever the rays enter her head. This will apparently occur at numerous points, and will mean that patches of hair will fall out. Worse yet, the doctors informed us that the hairloss may be permanent, and that if it does grow back, it may take up to 6 months to do so.

So it turns out that Jessica may be enacting the "Island Clause" long before I do. Or we may just shave our heads together! How cute. Two little Daddy Warbuckses, hanging around the mansion, counting their war bucks together. Being bald will never look so good.


Dustin said...

Hey you might get lucky... Jess might be one of those rare cases in which a girl actually looks good bald. :)

The Freys said...

I agree. I have often said that she would make a good "Sinead".