On a train ride home from a night of heavy drinking in Brighton, my brother and I decided to wet shave my head. On that strange, dehydrated day it seemed like a good idea for three reasons:
I needed a haircut,
I'd never wet shaved my head before
and it would look funny.
It did look funny. It looked funny for the next month! I held up an egg and my bushy eyebrows were the only difference that told us apart.
During this bald period I passed my driving test. I picked up a friend called Bill Jefferson and we went driving around with no foreseen destination. We stopped at St Giles-on-the-Heath to go to a pub we'd never been to before. The pub was called the Post Office Inn and was more akin to a living room than a bar. We sat among the two other locals and watched a rugby game on a 12” TV. As we drank our pints I received a text message from a girl I who I'd been kissing lately, it said something along the lines of her and a friend were bored at her house. Now we had a reason to drive.
In the girl's bedroom I left my woollen cap on. I'd taken to habitually wearing a hat. Soon the girls, who were five years younger than me, persuaded Bill and I to allow them to put lipstick and mascara on us. After a while they also persuaded me to show them my new hairstyle. I had to work at a bar that evening so we did not stay long. I swapped hats with the girl and left wearing a pin-stripe trilby.
As I looked in the rear-view mirror I saw myself in the third person. Chris looked really creepy. Chris looked like a deranged Boy George fanatic who'd just escaped from The Home. I told Bill to judge me from the perspective of somebody who didn’t know me.
“Bald man, likes 16 year old girls, last seen wearing woman’s make up.”
We laughed whole-heatedly.
Life is full of high points and low points, and occasionally if you look at yourself in a certain way you get to experience both at the same time.