Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hair, Sex & Death

While all are bandying about condolences for celebrities they’ve never met, I’m going to disengage, trivialise and get my hair cut. Whilst enjoying a sex book.

I haven’t been to a hairdressers (or is it a salon?) for eight years. It’s crazy how prohibitively expensive a hair cut actually costs (that’s not the reason for the 8-year avoidance).

Bonkers really. Considering it’s only going to grow back. And I’m obviously not going to be able to re-create the drama and pizazz of my new hair once I get home. I have neither the skills nor the interest. 

Why do we all buy into this myth that getting our hair cut is relaxing, fun even? It is obviously not, for many reasons:
1) You have to wash your hair before you go, only to have it immediately re-washed
2) You are obliged to make tedious, painful conversation with a total stranger for at least one hour. Neither party is interested in what the other has to say. Total Victorian-like charade, which takes a great deal of effort for no reason other than ‘preventing’ social awkwardness. Hmm…
3) You have to look at yourself in the mirror relentlessly for at least one hour, watching your face make weird expressions in the attempt to avoid it settling into your natural resting face. This is physical exercise.
4)You have to fork out a shed load of money to endure all of the above

Anyway, despite all this I couldn’t put it off any longer (my hair had started to resemble a big sad curtain), and so pounced on the nearest Regis before I changed my mind. Such spontaneity isn’t very like me, and consequently I spent the whole time paranoid about leaving the laptop running at home, plagued with visions of it blowing up and burning the flat down.

The relief of surviving the hairdressers and safely exiting with new hair lasted all of four seconds – I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the weather is all over the place at the moment… and so was my hair.

There, I managed a brief four seconds of satisfaction. As is life.

At least when I got home the flat had not, in fact, burned down. And I could continue to distract myself from the general mood of death by carrying on with my sex book, “The Poetry of Sex.

NOT a sex book in the vein of Fifty Shades blah blah blah – rather, a collection of poems on the subject of sex in it’s many, varied forms, edited by Sophie Hannah, herself a poet and crime novelist.

Stand-outs were pieces from Whitman and Auden (as you’d expect); “I Sing The Body Electric” and “The Platonic Blow (A Day For A Lay)”, respectively. There were a couple of interesting poems on observations of sex-workers from Fiona Pitt-Kethley (who is apparently very much into feral cats, in a big way. Spanish ones.)

Most poems in this collection were humorous, which I liked. It made for a quick, pacey read. However the organisation of the works I found to be very chaotic. And I certainly didn’t find it as ‘raunchy’ as was intended by the editor. Although I have recently read Catherine Millet’s “The Sexual Life of Catharine M”…

Some that were included…well, I’m really not sure why they were included – I counted five that were downright awful, and strangely misogynist compared with the feel of the collection as a whole.

But you can’t please everyone!

Overall I enjoyed the frivolous escapism offered by this frothy coffee of a read.

Right, on that note off to bed, early, with my new flat-yet-at-same-time-frizzy hair.

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