HARRY’S HAIR • by Mike Whitney

Harry’s hair had been in the process of falling out for years. He had tried every over-the-counter remedy and prescription available with no success.

Over the years, his receding hairline had become a widow’s peak, then male pattern baldness. For a time, he went with an awful comb-over. At last, one day he looked in his mirror and beheld the dreaded visage of a bald pate encircled with a wispy fringe.

His self-confidence, never high, fell to joke level. His wife pretended it didn’t matter but he saw how she looked at men with thick hair, and it crushed his spirit. He knew it was foolish vanity, but knowing a thing and disregarding it took a strength he lacked. As a youth, his full mane was not so much a source of pride as something he took for granted.

Lacking the chutzpa for a shaved head, he considered plugs, weaves, and hair pieces, all too expensive and none realistic enough to suit him. He took to wearing hats, floppy fisherman hats, and baseball caps. His large head on narrow shoulders could not support the look. His wife begged him to stop with the hats or go fishing.

So, he put hooks and lures on his fisherman’s hat and went fishing. He discovered peace in the solitude. He learned there is a thin line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot, but when he returned home with dinner in his creel, his wife would smile, remove his hat, and kiss his bald dome. “You’ve never been more attractive to me, dear,” she would say and in time, Harry came to believe her.

Mike Whitney  writes from a hillside in Hayesville, North Carolina.

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