AN OPEN LETTER TO EVERY FRIEND, POKER CHUM, AND FAMILY MEMBER WHO SAW ME BETWEEN THE DATES OF NOVEMBER 17TH AND TODAY:
I choose those particular dates, because I guarantee this problem in my life was plenty big enough at least a month ago for any one of you to have seen it (from across the valley) and helped me with it. But you didn’t. I don’t know why. And I don’t quite know what to think about that.
Dear friends, are we really friends?
Dear family members, are you really my family?
Poker chums, I know our relationships are generally jovial and that we thrive and laugh over a game of deception, but do you care about me at all?
Apparently not. To all of that. To all of you.
Are any of you familiar with the tragus? No? Well, that’s weird; you have two of them and have had them your entire life. It’s that little bump of cartilage that sticks out in front of your ear canal (I assume) to offer protection from insects impaling your brain while you’re out tandem-bicycling or high-speed canoeing.
Anyway… This morning as I was ringing out my hair (post-shower), I turned my head at just the right angle and the light caught hold of the most magnificent BUSHEL of long, blonde hair sprouting in every direction imaginable; like thin, fine, angelic octopus tentacles from my right tragus. What the…
That should be impossible was my first thought.
These things were each a good inch long. Maybe longer. There were no fewer than seven of them, all so much like excited little bean sprouts reaching higher and higher as they enjoy the springtime sun. Or something like that (hey, you try writing about long, flowy ear hairs; it ain’t easy).
Based on their current length, thickness, and quantity: how long could they have been there? How long have I been walking around town like a 130-year old circus freak, making children cry and women cringe?
A long time.
And thus we see how I came to my “one-month” conclusion above. These things have obviously been growing for a while.
Now, I’m no stranger to super-long rogue hairs sprouting overnight. Just a month or two ago I looked in the mirror and found a four-inch hair that had popped right out of the center of my forehead while I slept. But… rogue hairs are always loners. They never show up as septuplets.
So what does all this mean? I think I already made that clear.
It means I have to question every relationship I have with people who have seen me in the past month.
Anyway… After studying the hairs, I turned my head and looked at my left tragus hoping not to see more of the same. There was one itty bitty hair. No biggy. I quickly plucked it.
Why would all these people in my life fail to give me the heads up that my ear could supply a brush factory with its entire next bristle order?
Why would all these people in my life fail to give me that wide-eyed head-jerking nod people give when they notice something but don’t want to say it out loud. You know… The one motioning me to go check myself in the mirror before I wreck myself… The one we use to motion to those we love that their zippers are gaping open… The one we use to motion to those we care about that they have toilet paper stuck to the bottom of their shoes after they gloriously emerge from the restroom…
Couldn’t even one of you have given me the courtesy of such a wide-eyed head-jerking nod? I would have picked up what you were laying down. I would have cautiously made my way to the bathroom and studied myself like a Where’s Waldo book until I found the cause of your sudden one-meaning nod.
You could have trusted me that I’d be okay with it. You could have trusted that I’d be overly grateful for it. I would have wanted to know.
And I would have given you the nod if I saw a forest growing from your face. I would have sent you a quick text, or scribbled a note on a paper airplane to send your way: “Hey, doofus; your ear looks like Cousin Itt trying to eat himself”). I would have done that for you. Because I love you. And I care about you.
Of course, right you may be saying… “but… Ummm… Dan, you see yourself far more often than anyone else does; you didn’t exactly notice, either!”
Well, that’s true, but…
Yep. That’s true.
Shoot. I’ve got no good rebuttal for that.
Fine. I guess you’re all off the hook. Full pardons for everyone.
But only this one time…