When my hair reaches a certain length a memory pops into my mind. It’s the recollection of a very brief conversation I once had in elementary school.
I was a home schooler taking a gym class at a local private school. One morning before the class met I was sitting in the bleachers in an empty gymnasium. A middle-aged-to-elderly man* entered the gym, walked over to where I was, and sat down in the row in front of me. We sat there in silence for a bit. Then he turned to look up at me and said: “Do you know what time it is?”
I looked at the clock on the wall (wondering why this strange man didn’t just look himself) and replied: “It’s 10:05.”
The man didn’t seem to listen to my response, just as I finished talking he spoke, revealing that his question had been rhetorical. “It’s time for a haircut.”
And then he got up and walked away. Awkward.
My hair was not very long. The picture on the right shows me in all my elementary school long-haired rebel glory. But I didn’t fight the man; I got my hair cut.
Ever since that awkward conversation I think of that school principal whenever my hair starts to cover my ears. Do you know what time it is? And I laugh.