I was having my hair cut today and I noticed Angie slipping the clippers inside my ears.
"Do I have hair in my ears?"
"You sure do."
I sagged visibly in the barber chair. Ears aren't supposed to be hairy, their supposed to be bright, pink and peachy. Sure King Kong has some hair in his ears, but given his overall level of hairiness a few peepers ought to be no big deal. But I'm not a great ape, I'm a single man with hairy ears.
I've seen men with hair in their ears before. They were old, all of them the sort of guy you see sitting in boxers, a sleeveless t-shirt and gartered socks while reading the sports page. Hair in your ears isn't a sign of maturity, it's a sign of impending farthood, a sign i need to burn my Sleater-Kinney CDs and put on some Lawrence Welk. A sign that I'll soon be doing vodka and Geritol on a Friday night with the boys, that I'll be treating myself to ex-lax sundaes.
The worst part is this migration of hair downward to my ears has been accompanied by a decline of the hair on my head. I am in no ways bald, but my 'receding hairline' has been accompanied by a noticeable thinning. It's like these nice, dark hairs were headed for my scalp and took a wrong turn at the medulla. It's like they just couldn't get it up there any more.
Women sag too, and they sag in well-documented ways that are generally much more distressing to them than to the men who love them. Perhaps this is male sag, the slow displacement of hair downward to places where hair does not belong. Has Nicole Kidman ever been seen with a man with hairy ears? Not a chance, and while my odds of seducing here are slightly less than that of winning the lottery my self-image demands the continued delusion that There Is Hope.
But now hope fades, for the hair has gone to my ears.