The Show & The Shave: how it all started

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Things I No Longer Carry

In Tim O'Brien's short story collection, The Things They Carried, the title story brings to life the hearts and minds of Alpha Company through vivid descriptions of the items they had with them while marching, fighting, and sometimes dying in the Vietnam War. 

Recently I was reminded of this favorite story by the Wandering Sasquatch blog post "The Things I Carry: My RTW Packing List", in which Brian describes what he packed for a year of traveling the world with his wife, Kim. I'm guessing that Brian and Kim are having a much better time in far-flung corners of the globe than O'Brien's Alpha Company, but the point is that our "stuff" defines and shapes us. It has impact on who we are and what we do.

In a reverse mode, a small part of who I amand am notis now shaped by what I don't carry. It has not been just the contours of my head changed by The Shave, but the landscape of a number of shelves and drawers in my bathroom as well. I never thought of myself as being particularly profligate in the use of hair products; but after clearing out hair-related items rendered redundant by my hairless state, I was amazed at how much "stuff"accoutrement, if you willhair demands and attracts.

Shampoo remains in my shower just because I like it. However, any concern for split ends, volume, and maximum shine has evaporatedand with it the need for combs, brushes, conditioner, mousse, gel, hair spray, hair color, scrunchies, all manner of clips, flat irons, barrettes, hair pieces, and hot rollers. I'm neither a better nor worse person for having had them, not having them now, or possibly re-acquiring them at some future date. But for now it is a liberation of sorts. 

Leaving hair products and paraphernalia behind has given me more space, more time, and more cash. But I have to admit... sometimes I kinda miss 'em.
Even the cat is in awe