It’s 8:20pm on Wednesday night. Leah’s hair started to fall out this morning. Our friend Rachel is on her way over to shave Leah’s hair into a mohawk, a last hurrah.
Amelia: What do you feel like your hair says about you?
Leah: I like my hair. I liked both my breasts, too. I don’t consider myself that vain, but what little vanity I have left is going to fall off of my head.
Amelia: What do you feel like you are losing?
Leah: My identity. I’m becoming amorphous. I’m a blob. That is what it feels like. I’m half of a person without my boob, without my hair. You’d think it would be freeing to shave your head, right? But it’s not a choice. Some chemical is forming me into something I don’t want to be, a toxic wasteland. I feel victimized.
Amelia: Why a mohawk?
Leah: Because it makes a statement: I don’t give a fuck about what people think a woman should look like. It’s giving the finger to the system that says women are supposed to walk around in skirts, in high heels, in makeup, and have perky tits.
Amelia: What makes you hesitate to get the mohawk tonight?
Leah: Because it’s real. I’m losing my hair.The minute I look like cancer, I am cancer. I’m a billboard. I can’t avoid this. I can’t speed away in my car, or slam a door, or walk away.
Amelia: Do you remember what I told you in the hospital when you went in for your mastectomy, that I was fighting the urge to scoop you up and whisk you out of there? My desire to protect you was that strong and I wanted to get you out of there so badly.
Leah: Yes. I remember.
Amelia: I want to protect you from this, too. I feel the same way about your hair.
Leah: I know. I know. So do I. But there’s nothing we can do. This is happening.