I’ve been riding the train alot lately. I don’t mean the comfy, luxurious Amtrak train with cushy seats and plenty of legroom. No, sir. I mean the Port Authority commuter train – the bus on tracks.
This is the same train that I used to take in and out Philly to work 15 years ago. I got up at the crack of dawn each morning to get on the train along with hundreds of other commuters. One about getting up at that hour is that you run into a whole bunch of folks who are just tryna get to work, they ain’t worried about the challenges the day will pose later…or how they’ll look as they meet those challenges.
As a result, the early morning train was full of folk who looked like what for and how much. Just lookin’ like they’done did it. That’s right…they’done up and did it. Of particular concern was hair. Bedhead is only sexy when it contributes to an overall “heroine-addict” aesthetic e.g. supermodels and actresses. On a morning train, it looks more like a poster child competition for the clinically insane. I saw more scalp patches, dark roots, nappy edges, dreaded up curls, headwraps and dirty scrunchies than should be allowed by law. And that was just looking in the mirror. When I looked around the train, smdh…it got even worse. And it wasn’t limited to women, there were plenty of men who didn’t have time to tape that rug to the right spot. How many times have I used the reflection from shiny bald spots to fix my lip gloss while tattered toupes cling for dear life precariously to the shiny, little mirror that it was intended to hide?
But cut to today, I’m noticing that the tide has shifted slighty. On those early morning trains now, I see beautiful, shiny, well-coiffed locks of love that gallop down the shoulders and back of smiling young ladies (and some pre-op men.) I see the alert look of well-rested folk, people who got to sleep an extra thirty minutes. Ahhh…the train ride has become a visual aperitif, if you will, whetting my appetite so that I can face the day’s challenges with vigor and zeal.
That brings me to The Thing I Like — wigs.
A thing of beauty is a joy to behold. Wigs used to be something reserved for the rich and famous or the naked and infamous (bow-chicka-wow-wow.) But now…it’s completely acceptable for everyone to get in on the action. The IHOP waittress with the Crazy In Love Beyonce wig on. The staff accountant wearing the Tina Turner spike-o-mania. The ER nurse decked out in the Al Sharpton ghetto mullet. The ER doctor in the Dolly Parton 3-car pileup. What could be better than sleeping in and jumpin’ up to put on your hair hat and go? Looking around the train, I’m not longer concerned about contracting mange or ringworms from my fellow commuters, fully resting in the comfort that all third-world, infectious contagion has been fully contained by hair falls and lacefronts.
That’s progress, baby!