Since my forehead takes up about fifty percent of my face and could be used as an income source for advertising AND since I have gone through life fairly surprised by what I've seen, my forehead is wrinkled. By the mere cutting of bangs I could decrease the appearance of wrinkles (and wide-eyed surprise) on my face by about 50%.
I know, it's terrifying when I start to use math, but bear with me as I veer toward language -- in particular the visual imagery of the word cowlick.
The problem is that my hair does not bang. (See photo to the right of the best bangs of all time -- poet Mary Biddinger.) Why does my hair not bang? The cowlick.
Now, I have written an entire treatise on the word "cowlick." I used it for grad school applications that asked for a scholarly writing sample. (In retrospect, the paper was not scholarly in any form.) If I'm recalling correctly, I looked for other languages that used the term "cowlick," assuming that any culture that had a population of people with wayward locks and cows would probably have stumbled on the usage. I mean, if the term "honeymoon" could exist in so many languages as a direct translation, how could cowlick fail to?
Well, turns out, most languages use some kind of term like unruly or wayward coupled with hair to describe a cowlick. Did I run the term through every language known to man? I did not. (There was no internet at this point in time. We still walked on all fours.) I didn't find the term in other languages.
Cowlick became a beautiful, almost poetic term in my mind. A kid standing in a field of cows. A cow stretches her neck, licks the kid's head, and, like a good Frost poem, the kid totters forward, his hair lifts in a swoop off of this crown.
Cowlicks were marks of beauty at one point in time -- back when people used the word "comely."
For the purposes of my scholarly paper, I also walked through the presidents of the United States who'd been gifted with cowlicks. How was this relevant scholarship? Well, it wasn't scholarship at all.
The cowlick, in my case, was a blessing of the 80s. My bangs naturally banged. They had built-in pomp. But now I look at the great bangs of writers of my era -- your Cate Marvin (see left), your Mary Biddinger (see above) -- and I can only sigh. No literary bangs for Baggott.
What can I do? Be less surprised? Paste my cowlick down -- snubbing my nose at the poetry of the English language? Be simply wrinkled?
These are the musings I have on this day -- the musings that keep my mind (ever so temporarily) off of my disdain for Boehner holding the country hostage while bowing to extremists and trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class.