November 15th, 2003


inscrutable aging

About three months ago, I discovered gray hairs poking through the dye bath that is my hair.

Yesterday, at work (this always seems to happen in the harsh light of the staff bathroom), I noticed that a stray eyebrow hair of a pale white color, positioned at the very end of my eyebrow, near the top of my nose. It was so out of place it looked as if a cat hair had somehow effortlessly grafted itself to the existing follicle. I guess I knew eyebrows went gray, too, but I didn't expect to observe some salt-and-pepper transition.

I'm trying to be more observant as my hair inevitably changes to gray so I can see the transition. The last time something like this happened was puberty, and while others may recall the exponential appearance of new hairs in new places, I don't. I must have been occupied with another other traumas that my observation was clouded. Even today, its hard for me to definitively remember the time before I was an "adult" (I mean in the pure biological definition of the word)- one day, I was like this, and it seemed I had always been like this, except for dim moments in the past spent watching cartoons after school and attending birthday parties at McDonald's.

I'm hoping (middle) aging works differently- will I one day not remember what it felt like to be 24 and how that differed from 34? I hear people in their mid-30's refer to people in their mid-20's as being different from us because they are "young" (ie: "There are a bunch of young people that have recently joined our XYZ activity"), and I think "Wait, at what point did we stop being young?". I thought somehow that never being married, never having kids, and still dreading advice from your mother about how to live your life meant you still had a firm grasp on youth.
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