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Offbeat 25 November 2016

My hair has a distinctly Trump feel to it nowadays, the long forelock that blows in the wind. Someone pointed it out to me, and I had a sudden urge to get a haircut. I don’t want to be associated with him in any way, but I also wonder if he has the urge to get a haircut as well? Maybe his hair has become his trademark.
My hair is also developing an otherworldly character. It is thinning at the top of my skull, and I get the sense of a Martian crop circle developing there. In other news, it is becoming a bit wiry, which I attribute to aging, or possibly, repetitively, using the wrong shampoo. I prefer to blame it all on Martians, which is more imaginative and more fun.
I am never entirely sure how to ask for a decent haircut anymore. I have this sense that if I go to the hairdresser, for want of a more masculine ‘barbershop’, and tell them to give me whatever, they will make me look exactly like what I am, a middle-aged white guy. That’s not cool. On the other hand, the last time I said give me something that doesn’t make me look middle aged, they gave me something that made me, at least in my own eyes, look middle aged. Damn the mirror.
The unfortunate alternative is something fashionable, which will probably involve something upswept, and lots of hairspray, which will also make me look like what I am: a middle aged white guy, trying to kid himself that he is young. Choices, choices, and all of them make me feel like an idiot.
What was it like to be in my twenties? I remember one Friday evening that ended with sunrise on Saturday, and an ashen-faced barkeep offering two bottles of wine if we would just go somewhere else to continue the party. I also remember Saturday breakfasts that ended well after sunset. The groups were huge, and the beers started arriving at nine in the morning. My liver, at that stage, believed it was immortal.
If I could go back, I think it would be some kind of sorry hell. Every year since then seems to have taken a few minutes away from my late bedtime, and I am quite content now to crawl into the sack with a book, shortly after eight.
On the other hand, I still enjoy the early hours of the morning, albeit with without the grey fuzz of way too much alcohol now. It’s a great time to work and surf, and my social media feeds are uncluttered, so I can look at a few articles and get out quickly. Four o’ clock is still no problem.
The hallowed rituals of youth, particularly the ritual of Friday evening, have slipped away. A couple of beers on a Wednesday evening, ending in yet another early night, are enough. And an early Friday night is a pleasure.
I spent about nine years almost completely dry, but took up beer again to get out among people. Unfortunately I am now beginning to find that beer is boring. The magic of beer goggles doesn’t help me much, and there is no coffee shop nearby that I can slip away to.
The person I was would not have understood my happy glee at the thought of some young idiot wasting a few precious hours to party instead of sleeping.
My other tastes have changed as well. I no longer crave Lego Technics or glueing up my fingers assembling Airfix models. Aside from reading I currently get a lot of absorption out of The Witcher computer games, and a couple of obscure horror games that don’t make it to the shelves of the local franchises. I have a mild urge to get myself a colouring book, one of those ones with lots of bits that need colouring, but I am unsure if it will help me satisfy the demands of bored hours.
My hair is boring, and my life is approaching boring as well. I can cope with a boring, unstressed personal life, but the hair still bugs me. It seems to show that I have reached the stage where I overthink to the point where a trip to the hairdresser is a necessary political statement.
Way back then, I would not have wanted to know the person I am now, but I am also certain that I don’t want to know people like I was then. I am in many ways happy I am not a kid anymore.

About The Author

Pierre Maré

Pierre Maré is a multi-awarded Namibian advertising strategist and copy writer. From 2004 to 2016 he wrote a weekly tongue-in-cheek column for the Namibia Economist, eventually amassing an impressive 590 articles over the almost 12-year period. This series of Offbeat is a digital rerun of his pieces that received the highest reader acclaim. - Ed.