What's the worth of vanity in insanity? Plenty.

On quarantine haircuts.

Hello there. I am still burned out, but I wanted to say hello nevertheless, because I miss you, you are my friend, and I want you to know I’m thinking about you even if I can’t really get out of bed at the moment.

I am getting hair cut outside tomorrow, after more than a year of not having it cut. It is the longest it has been since I was 12, and I am fully over it. I have been giving my partner quarantine shape-ups but they are no hairstylist and I have more hair than a pony now. My long-time stylist Topher will be doing it in full PPE outside, which is the range of comfort both he and I have regarding the job at the moment. I interviewed so many hairstylists for this piece on COVID and salons earlier on in the pandemic and I still cannot bring myself to enter a salon for my own haircut, so that is where I’m at right now. I feel both nausea and relief at the thought that my ponytail will weigh less in a few days.

Speaking of hair, I really enjoyed this piece on SSENSE, Getting Done Up When You’re Coming Undone. Here’s an excerpt:

As I was coming undone, I wanted, at the very least, for my hair to be done. All I really wanted, I think, was an excuse to dream, to get away from my family, to get taken care of in that neutral, uncomplicated, transactional and tenable way that the exchange of money goads to promise. I wanted spontaneous pettyisms. I wanted the blasé simultaneity of sharing space with strangers. I wanted detachment.

I am dealing with family health problems right now - something I am sure some of you have been dealing with also at the moment. I also want detachment, a little less weight on my shoulders, literally and metaphorically. We’ll see how that turns out.

In the mean time, I wanted to share this older piece I wrote, On Antifascists and Good Haircuts. It’s a previously paywalled piece from the newsletter, around this time a year ago. It is fitting to revisit right now, unfortunately. More than I’d like for it to be. I’ve been thinking about it a lot as my haircut draws closer. I hope it provides you something worthwhile to chew on for the day.

And for book recommendations… this week I’m enjoying Luster by Raven Leilani and The Knockout Queen by Rufi Thorpe. They’ve both been added to my ongoing Arabelle’s Book Club list, for reference.

Hope you’re well. Much love.