Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Stories of love and hair

I decided to grow my hair long when I was 13.

It was a decision that I agonized over. I guess I was worried I’d look stupid.

I was really into U2 at the time. I figured that Bono’s hair, although black instead of blonde, was a similar consistency to mine. If he could pull off long hair, so could I.

It made sense at the time.

I didn’t do any real trimming, just let it grow over the next year. The end result being a weird combination of hippy and mullet.

The next summer at camp, my friend Angie offered to even it up for me. I had a huge crush on her so I acquiesced. It ended up being lopsided but still about chin length. My mom cleaned it up when I got home from camp.

I let it keep growing all through college until it was halfway down my back.

Scrunchies were big then and my mom found a bunch of earth-toned scrunchies for me so I usually had a ponytail. After I met Jane, she would braid it for me.

Sometimes, lying in bed, she would braid our hair together.

You knew it was true love because you couldn’t tell our hair apart.