Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

Let Your Hair Down


I ask him to wash my hair, my long dark brown curly hair…and in return, I want to shave his face I will shave around the goat-t. We only have buckets, standing in a cramped wooden bathroom in Aurangabad, India. He pours a bucket of water over my head so my hair is thoroughly wet, it feels like a rainfall, a waterfall, it feels like real water. Water has never felt so wet. My hair straightens under the water. I put my head back and feel the hot water race down my back. Neither one of us is dirty, but we are here to clean ourselves.

I want to tell him how important my hair is to me. That it is sacred, like water, falling all around me. It used to be religious, the sacred aspect of my hair. But now it is spiritual, I feel something about my hair as if it communicates with the divine. As if there are receptors in every follicle that do a dance with my spirit.

I want to dance with him in the water, in the puddles on the wooden floor. But he is intent on doing his job. Washing my hair, he is good at what he does, so meticulous. Each brown strand feels like it’s being taken care of with each of his fingers. He rubs my head will all the energy of a man on a mission as the shampoo bubbles around us. He slows down a bit and massages my scalp. I can feel the softness of his fingers mixed with the coconut shampoo. I wish we could all be this clean, in a moment I will shave his face. Will I cut him by accident?

Will I make the man I love bleed? I worry, I worry that I hurt him in my ways, in my deep sick ways. I worry that he is standing next to me, waiting to be cut. His face is so gentle, so pretty and I can’t do it. I can’t take the razor and touch it. Because I know, I know I am full of accidents. I will make a mistake. I have so many questions he still has not answered. If I do this, blood will be the only answer.


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