The Balding Husband

“Sounds great honey!”

I’ve been saying this a lot recently. As much as I can.

You see I am trying to win over my wife’s heart. For a while now I have had most of her heart but not all of it. Now I need all of it. Every last square inch.

When a husband has less hair, he needs to find other ways to win more heart.

My wife responds well to, “Sounds great honey!” The more enthusiastically I say it the bigger the smile. On downtrodden days it is harder for me to be enthusiastic, but I force myself since enthusiasm is what is wanted most by people.

We should put in nice gravel all over the backyard: “Sounds great honey!”

Lets get our hot tub up and running again: “Sounds great honey!”

I am going to be going away for a week to go camping with friends: “Sounds great honey!”

We should go into LA today and eat at a nice restaurant and then go to a bookstore and buy a bunch of books: “Sounds great honey!”

Maybe you could trim all the trees today and clean the leaves off the roof: “Sounds great honey!”

Would you please pay all our bills this afternoon and wash the dogs: “Sounds great honey!”

I have been committed to being so enthuisiastic with my wife because I am balding. I can’t believe I am even writing this but I am having to confront the inevitable fact that it is happening to me. It is not a rapid balding but my hair is thinning more and more every single day. Each day that I examine my head in the mirror, I am noticing more and more scalp.

The last time I had my haircut, the stylist said, “I will not cut anything from the back, since you need that hair.” Fuck, is what I thought when she said this. Balding is happening.

I did not think it would happen to me. My mother’s father had a full head of hair all the way up to his very end. My father has a head without much hair on it, but I work hard not to be as driven and stressed as him. As a result, I believed I could avoid his hair loss fate. The last time I spoke with him I considered asking at what age he really started to thin, but I decided that I would rather not know.

As I write this I have a concoction of aloe vera, lemon and castor oil in my hair. I am supposed to leave this concoction in my hair for an hour, twice a week to encourage new hair growth. My scalp is currently burning but they tell me that this is encouraging blood flow.

You see, my wife is 14 years younger than I am. She is just a year or so over the age of 30 and no woman just over 30 wants a balding husband. What would a younger woman like my wife do with a balding husband? Once my head of thick and wavy hair is half of what it was when we first met, how will my young wife cope with this? It can’t be easy for a beautiful, young wife to have an older, balding husband. Sounds superficial, but whether we like it or not, thinning hair is an issue.

So I have had to start being extra nice. Extra enthuisiastic. “Honey, could you come here?” “Sure honey, I will be right there,” I reply and move quick.

I have read that I can compensate for undesirable physicalities (hair loss) through kindness, enthuisiasm and making more money. This is why you sometimes see those very unattractive men with beautiful women. They have these three necessary ingredients.

I don’t know about making more money, but I can certainly be more enthusiastic and kinder.

When a man or woman is physically pleasing to the eye, he or she can get away with behaving like a shit. But once the appealing physicalities start to fall away- we have to stop being angry, greedy, selfish selves. We have to get better at being nice and putting others first. If not, we end up alone.

I have been taking supplaments, doing hair conscoctions, standing on my head for thirty minutes a day, massaging my scalp before bed, orgasming only once a week (sperm retention is said to help in Ayurvedic medicine), only using organic hair products, meditating twice a day for twenty minutes, abstaining from alcohol, eating more fish, keeping stress levels low and exercising- all in an effort to grow new hair or keep the hair I have left. Few things are more distressing to me than taking a shower and finding hair that has fallen out. I have none to spare.

I kick myself for the things I took for granted in my full-head-of-hair-youth.

I can’t afford to be a balding husband. I just can’t. It is too much of a blow to my sense of self. I have always been a man with a full head of wavy, thick hair. Who the hell would I be if I had more scalp showing than hair? The thought is terrifying even though I realize aging often involves coming to terms with these things.

For now, I need to wage a war against hair loss. I can’t imagine subjecting my beautiful, young wife to the insecurity of having a balding husband.

I need to go wash this stuff out of my hair then stand on my head for thirty minutes. I can’t be wasting my time writing. Writing isn’t any good for encouraging new hair growth.

Sundays and The Perfect Prostitute, Then and Now.

I used to spend my Sundays driving around in my 1991 SAAB, all over East Oakland and West Oakland, searching for prostitutes. I would listen to jazz music on my FM radio, drink cold beer and smoke cigarettes as I drove. I would drive around and around the ghetto, searching through various side streets and known hot spots, looking for that perfect prostitute. Often there would only be crack addicts and junkies standing there, waiting for someone to pick them up. But sometimes there would be a perfect prostitute standing there looking like she just walked right out of an amateur pornography film. These kinds of prostitutes would be gone in a second, picked up by the closest driver and highest bidder. You had to keep your eyes wide open as you drove because you never knew when one of these sexual fantasies made flesh would appear.

But they would often not appear and I would just drive around and around, in continual pursuit of satisfying my sexual yearnings. I would stop for lunch at a hole in the wall Mexican food spot in Fruitvale and eat a vegetarian burrito with lots of hot sauce and jalapeños. I would also eat a side of tortilla chips and quench my thirst with a tall Horchata. Then I would get back in my car, turn on the local jazz station, light a cigarette, open my sun roof and drive around and around.

Now, many years later and far away from Oakland, I spend my Sundays doing nothing. Sometimes I will spend the entire day slightly high, but not stoned. I will sit in my backyard and look at the plants and watch the various birds and bugs. I will draw, listen to music, take naps and not walk out the front door of my house. I prefer to spend my Sundays completely isolated from the outside world. Other than my dogs and my wife, I do not want to interact with anyone. I want to be free, I want to do what I want, I don’t want to be bothered. I have to spend my week interacting with other people, trapped by various obligations. On Sundays I want to be free. I want to stay home and forget about the outside world. I want to pretend that I live on my own planet far from any other humans. I want to spend the entire day sitting in my backyard garden surrounded by trees, ladybugs, flies, bees, uncut grass, plants and drink a few glasses of cold white wine while I watch the sun set. I want to remember those wonderful Sundays many years ago when I had no idea I would ever have my own house, backyard and a beautiful wife and would just drive around and around in search of a perfect prostitute.