Sounds dull as dishwater, but at age thirty one haircuts are something of a treat for me.

First off, it means I’ve got enough cash that’s not dedicated to hosting fees, room and board, or paying actors to splurge on my appearance.

Second, I went the bulk of my adult life without any more grooming than a kitchen knife. Every year or so, I’d tie up my freak flag and hack off a couple inches over the sink. A couple years ago, in Colorado, I tried in vain to impress a woman by adopting a respectable do. But since high school I’d worn locks past my shoulders.

Chops over the sink were a tradition, see.

When I went away to Evergreen State College, my mom and I weren’t on great terms. I’d lost track of the enemy, the antagonist worthy of rebellion, and focused all that second term adolescent rage on momma bear. Even still, I knew the magnitude of setting off across the country to attempt adulthood. She’d need a gesture, a ceremony.

At the big dinner, the send off, I had mom braid my pony tail. At that point it stretched down to my ass, but braided only six or seven inches. I’d eaten steak, and wiped the blood off on my pants before sawing through just above the braid. Gave it to my mom at the dinner table.

“For luck.”

We’re strange people, my family, but she knew immediately the reference. If you get it, note in the comments below.

Mom and I got closer, and then more distant, and back and forth a few times over the years. When I left home for Flagstaff to begin three years of self-sentenced exile, I gave her my braid again. We knew that this adventure would be different. Time to get off the drugs. Time to get lost and find myself.

I remember that ceremony of change every time I sit in the oscillating chair. With all the opportunities and battles coming this year, time to suit up. Face it with a taxpayer’s cut.

Catch you later, I’ll haunt your thoughts and dreams!