About 15 years ago, presumably one gloomy weekend, I went around the corner to the barbershop. The barber threw a dark-grey smock on me and starting snipping and buzzing and buzzing and snipping.
Amid all that shearing I must have gotten lost in the "New York Post" or some sports or girlie magazine, because after about ten minutes, when my hair was all off, I peeked down at the smock and noticed it was covered not with my hair, but with someone else'.
"That's not my hair," I said indignantly.
The barber looked at me like I was from Jupiter.
I tried to clarify. "That's not my hair. This hair's all grey."
Then he began laughing.
"The one with grey hair is always the last to know he has grey hair."
There are days, of course, when I feel as old as Methuselah. Where I feel as weary as the old gnarled trees that line Upper Broadway in Manhattan and haven't had a kind word in decades. The trees that get assaulted by cab bumpers and baby strollers and all manner of pocket knives carving initials.
Langston Hughes the great poet once wrote that his soul has grown deep like a river.
When I first read that line I was 16 or 17 and didn't know what he meant. Soul was merely music to me.
Now, as my barber's smock fills up with even more grey, my soul has grown deep. As I said to my wife last night, 'I don't have bags under my eyes, I have a matched set of luggage.'
Yet, we go on.
With laughter, resolve and a fresh belief in my craft and a love of what I do and the people I do it with and for.
There are days--weeks even--where I feel like I'm up to my knees in tarpits.
It's then I look down at that metaphorical smock and I say,
"That grey hair ain't mine."
And I go write something.
Have a great weekend, everyone.