The 9th of August 2003 – Duncan, Oklahoma

(found on the brim of a ten gallon hat, sprinkled with loose, long hairs)

Hey Baldy,

H’ain’t you seen a mirror yet today?

I remember when I thought you was an impossibility. There were days, growing up, when I looked around at all those old folks with their hats pulled down tight around their ears. Whenever I saw that, I just laughed. Well, look where we are now.

And what recourse do we have? Other than simply trying to hide it, of course.

The Lord sure does speak a lot about vanity. He warns against mankind having pride in themselves and the materiality of their appearance. He warns against what my gym teacher would mock when kids would be late to class because they spent passing time picking at blemishes and zits in the bathroom mirror.

I was always on His side. Those men with the wide-brims of their hats down tight to their ears, they’re worthy of mockery and shame and laughter. A symbol of how small even the largest and oldest and most experienced can become. Because it’s just a patch of skin and a handful of hair. It’s just and it’s just and it’s just.

So why even bother?

Well, h’ain’t you seen a mirror yet today? Because I just did, and I started noticing what I saw looking back at me, or, rather, what wasn’t.

I’ll wear my hat tight around my ears, thanks very much. I’ll hide what I’m ashamed of, even for the vainest reasons. Let the young ones laugh. They’ll find soon enough what the world will bring to them.



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