My freshman year college roommate and I were strangers paired together by a punch-card randomizer in a university where students gave up their names for a 9-digit number. A diode destined us to live together in a white cinderblock room with a window, open closets, a bookcase, two desks and stacking bunk beds with springs that sagged under floppy mattresses.
I arrived to University with a trunk. My roommate’s name was posted on the lobby wall next to mine – a sophmore, she was scheduled to move in the next day. I waited for her arrival. During that time I imagined what she might be like. Sure, she would be older, a-duh. I couldn’t fathom what she might look like as I coudn’t even pronounce her name. If I did the right things, she would take me under her wing and share her tried and true knowledge of the ins and outs of dorm life – the extent of which, I had no idea of at the time. And so I sat – waiting for her to arrive. She lived up to my imagination….with the addition of a few things.
My roommate, was a delightful whack-job. Her open smile and over the top personality filled any room. She had pale skin and light blue eyes. Her blond hair was cut very short with the exception of a crop of hair int the shape of upside-down pyramid at the top of her brow. It seemed to defy gravity. It bounced when she walked. It jiggled when she talked. She used it to put an exclamation point on every story she shared. In reality, I had two roommates – her and the Hair. I could depend on either of them to brighten my day.
In time I learned that she worked her summers as a yellow chicken mascot at a local theme park. Her job was to walk around, greet people, pose for photos and connect with guests – all without ever speaking a word and navigating the park through a very small eye hole. She must have been really good at it because she did it for three years. This job was not wasted on her, she was able to joyfully convey complex thoughts through chicken mannerisms and body language. It was innate. When things got dull, she would strut around our room. We would fall over laughing as she told me the many risks and dangers incvolved with being a theme park chicken through hot New England summers.
Together, we over decorated our room and entered it in contests. We ate nachos in the middle of the night made in a borrowed toaster oven. We had goldfish – Boris and Natasha – who constantly spoke their minds to us. We shared just about everything about ourselves. We eventually knew each other so well, we had unspoken communication with each other when just a look across a room would be enough said. She had a hoarse laugh…almost breaking…and The Hair would bobble around in appreciation – it was like a good-mood geiger counter – and it was often up.
It was my roommate who introduced me to the term Wild Hair. There wasn’t a week when she’d tell me “a wild hair crawled up my ass and I….” “he must have gotten a wild hair up his ass and he….” “I dont know where that wild hair came from, because all of a sudden…”
With the words “wild hair” she would lurch forward – as if kicked, or suddenly aware of a wild hair up her ass….grabbing desperately at her butt cheeks, mouth agape and eyes bugged open. Sometimes there was a “boing” noise added for extra punch. We would collapse…unable to breathe. Thinking of it – I bet we weren’t even laughing at the same things most of the time….
It was during these times with her that I embraced my offsided view of daily living. Wild hairs were around us – what an interesting set of faceted gems to gaze into. We watched, observed and enjoyed together.
To me, a wild hair is that split second when you respond to something you don’t quite understand or didn’t expect. You just go with the flow. A wild hair can also be when impulse overrides leveled thinking. When inner dialog drowns out conversation. When farce seems the only way to navigate vexation. Wild hairs have commandeered my life more times than not – usually with grace, humor and a profound amount of error in judgement.
I give snaps (snaps=accolades) to My Wild Hair moments. Without them I would be spiritually bald. I hope through this blog I can pay tribute to Wild Hairs everywhere – yours, mine and sometimes ours…..
That seems like a nice start. Lets see where our this take us…thank you for giving me a shot. Go to “Periodic Table” to read more!