I’m officially in hiding. No, not from the authorities. Although if you could see me right now you might think so. Justifiably so.
It’s difficult not to take this personally. It has been four and a half years of living in Spain and in all that time I have enjoyed perhaps six haircuts that could be considered humane. The rest were pure human rights violations. Plain and simple.
I decided last week I would cut my hair shorter. In solidarity with the women of Iran. They are fighting for their lives over something as stupid as showing too much hair. An abomination, according to the Iranian morality police. They are cutting their hair in protest of the death of a 22 year-old Kurdish woman who’s crime was showing her hair. I figured a few inches was the very least I could do as a personal statement. No one else needed to know, except Jeff. So I made an appointment for this morning.
I drove to Lugo. It’s a larger salon. They carry products I like. Jeff has been trimming my hair as I grew it out. I trimmed the bangs. Time for a professional. Before I sat down I had an array of photos to show the stylist. I did not mention why I was cutting it a bit shorter. Letting the photos do the talking.
I sat in the chair as the woman combed out my hair. It is a very loud and busy salon. So I didn’t realize she had turned on the clippers, sans the guard to keep from shaving my head. Then, she shaved a swath of the back of my head. What the actual FUCK?!? I turned around as my hair fell on my shoulders. The clippers were still running.
‘What are you doing?!’
The stylist pointed to the photo. In no way was the person’s hair shaved. Not in any way! This caused a stir amongst the stylists. They came over to survey the damage. A LOT of ‘tut tutting.’ And head shaking. My stylist seemed unmoved by my distress. I looked like I’d been on the wrong end of a dog-fight. I had long hair with a landing strip of it shaved to the skin. So close there was no color in the hair and my skin shown through. I was FUCKING bald!!!
‘What do I do now?!? Somebody tell me what I FUCKING do now?!??
They went away and had a conference. Then one of them came back. ‘I will take over.’
Little good that would do me now. But she cut the rest and tried to make it into something. Sadly, they had to shave the rest of the back or it would have looked even worse. And now the top and front are extreme pixie. Hacked, like I frequent German techno clubs. I look like a war waif.
I left the salon and tried not to cry. The last week has me hating Spain. A country I have loved living in. Sure, at times it’s frustrating. But, so is the US. But after our police and neighbor troubles, this haircut feels like a sign. I called Jeff driving home.
‘I think we need to find a new country.’
He laughed. ‘Why?’
‘Well. When you see me you’ll understand.’
‘It can’t be that bad.’ He assured me.
‘Let’s put it this way. Why don’t we play a game on my way home. You can guess which gulag or prison camp I look like I’ve escaped from.’
He laughed. Then he realized I wasn’t laughing with him. Close to tears.
I pulled through the gate and he came out. When he saw me he gasped and stopped in his tracks. ‘Oh my god! How did they do that to you?’
That made me want to cry harder. After my hair appointment, I had to stop and take photos for my new NIE card. Our appointment with the Policia Nacional is on Monday. This will be the photo on my identity card for two years. TWO FUCKING YEARS!
If I wear a hat I look like a cancer patient. Jeff suggested a hijab, which would be sort of funny except I got my hair cut in solidarity with woman shucking their hijabs!
I am tired of being a foreigner with a bulls-eye on my back. I’m tired of always knowing that I don’t belong. This girl wouldn’t have shaved a local’s head. She would have been fired instantly. Her reputation ruined. But, she did it to me and there will be no consequences. To her. But to me? This one left a scar that will be there long after my hair grows back. This one I’m taking personally.