Getting my hair cut is such a relief. Growing up, my parents would always go way too long between haircuts for me, leading to a wild shock of wavy, curly locks growing ever upward and outward. I remember being embarassed about my appearance most of the time, the hair that would never bend to the will of the comb, and was never straight enough to do anything but go its own crazy way. Now I have it buzzed for easy maintenance. I don't even want to think about it.
The barber shop, two doors down from Victrola, is owned and operated by a stout, bald, gruff-voiced father and his tall, lanky, handlebar-mustached son. The shop itself is a throwback, complete with a striped pole out front, offering eleven dollar haircuts and a magazine rack stacked with testosterone-laden magazines from Field and Stream to Maxim to Playboy (oddly countercultural in my significantly gay neighborhood).
This morning, their playful banter centered on the father chiding the son for spending all of his money on supporting hookers and other women of ill-repute: bailing them out of jail, caring for them as they tried to get off drugs and off the streets, having them steal from him and run away, only to rescue them. Neither father nor son appeared to know or acknowledge that, even in his brokenness, the son is living out the heart of God, walking in the footsteps of Hosea— a path of only tragedy without the gospel.
He is telling His story, our story, everywhere.
All day long I felt the emotions under the surface, knowing they were coming, wondering when they world break through and reveal themselves in tempestuous, overwhelming fury. I enjoyed the peace while I had it, a tentative, temporary calm. But eventually I stopped enjoying, stopped resting, ran to distractions and played with less-wild lovers. Finding no sustenance there, it kicked in: I proceeded to confirm my gnawing suspicion and face a hard, forseen reality. I am too curious, too perceptive, and too thorough for peace to last sometimes.
I don't write to judge reality, or God forbid, to judge Him. It is simply difficult to live with. Past arrows form a chorus with present ones (and future ones— another story), whispering and shouting a message of pain and insecurity. That message is a lie, even though the wounds are real. Though I think I weep alone, I do not. Because a path is hard does not mean it shouldn't be followed. He is in this. Trust Him.
It's just so hard.
Afterward, I read some poetry online, though I knew it would only make it worse. It was instead a strange comfort. Not sure whether to be thankful or concerned about that; for now, I'll take the comfort. A presence, even if a ghost. If anyone knows ghosts, it's me.