April 12, 2007

Summer Starts in Spring

Well, it's happened. After years of habitually scanning the hair that collected on the barber's cloth, last week's batch contained some strands of gray. They're still not visible when interwoven with the rest of my hair, and they weren't enough, even on the cloth, that I couldn't deny it if I wanted to, but those last gasping chances to feign eternal youth will pass, as well.

The observation brought to mind a period of my adolescence when, being the oldest of my cousins, I led my elders to ponder the descent into adult practices. "You're starting to do things that you'll do for the rest of your life," my aunt put it, referring to deodorant and shaving, as I recall. The barber's comment last week was "just barely," but something in the way he knew instantly what I meant by my "uh-oh" made his consolation resonate like "you just barely were forced to retire from baseball" — like a line crossed, not a field entered.

My poet's mind wonders how all these lines accumulate into a seasonesque trend. If my first whiskers were akin to those early spring tastes of summer, then I suppose gray hairs mark the onset of the dog days. It seems I've long been ready for summer, and if it's come, I've many years yet before I'll need to look for signs of autumn.

Posted by Justin Katz at 6:45 PM | Comments (1)