Do you think it’s possible that a hag hair could be trying to control my life?
My sisters and I share this habit of feeling up our necks and jawlines while we drive. We do it because we’re trying to seek and destroy any stubbly little hairs – or shockingly long ones – that may have cropped up unnoticed.
Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about, ladies. Everything seems clear and then all of a sudden you find a two-inch black thing sticking straight out of the middle of your neck. How does that happen? Nobody knows. It’s not an old lady thing. I’m too young for that, and my sisters are younger than me. It just happens.
Since I have an hour-long drive each way for work, I do a fair amount of mining for these suckers. I was doing it when I got a text from Jack.
“Out of the basement?” (aka my workplace… which is, in fact, a basement)
Jack and I had touched base earlier in the evening, when he told me he was meeting up with another friend of ours and invited me to join them if I got done with work early enough. But at 10pm, I knew their meet-up had ended, so these four little words carried a fair amount of weight. In most cases, I would readily respond (yes, while driving – deal with it). But since I’m apparently in the A Girl’s Gotta Find A Way To Move On Phase (for maybe the fourth time in nine years), I knew what that message probably meant. I haven’t seen Jack in three weeks, and I was only away for less than one week of that. He was going to invite me over.
Let me say this flat-out right now: Jack and I are not sleeping together. I don’t sleep with men I’m not dating. But we do have a deep and powerful relationship and there have been occasions on which that has manifested itself in some physical ways. For the overwhelming majority of our acquaintance, we have fought it like hell, but once in a while we give in. And several of those occasions have happened in the last couple of months. And I just wasn’t sure I was mentally up for it tonight.
I had a hag hair, you see. And I couldn’t get a hold of it.
Jack once recounted a tale, years ago, as we sat outside with other friends on a summer night, about a girl he knew years before that, and his extreme discomfort when he discovered that she had a rather long black hair in what he believed to have been an inappropriate place.
Ever since then, I’ve made grooming before I see him a very serious priority.
Don’t ask the question you’re thinking of. I’m not answering it. The hair I’m talking about right now was right in the middle of my neck, about two inches below my chin. It was short and prickly, and I found myself cursing the fact that I’d forgotten my “Always carry tweezers” rule. Apparently, my feeling was that if I could get a hold of that damned hair and yank it, I’d respond to Jack’s message and accept an invitation if it was extended. If not… nope.
Yes, I was aware of how ludicrous that deciding factor was.
So I drove on through the night, picking and angling and trying to get at that hair. All of my efforts for naught. And I was okay with not answering Jack’s message right then. I’d answer him when I got home… but I wanted a reason not to go to his place. I was happy enough knowing he might want to see me. I debated whether I should go; I do miss him, and it’s been too long since we saw each other; I hate it when it’s that long, regardless of the reason. We’re extraordinary friends. But I couldn’t really navigate our waters right then.
Plus I was wearing kind of crappy clothes. (Sunday at work after vacation? Yeah, I’m not trying to impress anybody.)
So the message went unanswered while I thought about what any outsider would have to say about our relationship. And as I pulled up to my place, son of a gun, I swear to whatever higher power you want me to swear to, that’s when I finally got that damned hair.
You gotta be kiddin’ me.
I didn’t ignore Jack all night, by the way. I did answer him. Shortly after I walked in the door and discovered my piano keyboard turned on and playing a sample all by itself.
Maybe a ghost was trying to tell me something, too.