Silver and gold — growing old

I get to see Alene when she looks in a mirror. She does it quite often — and people probably assume she’s vain — but I’m always asking her to do it. Although she cannot see me in return, she does have a general idea of my appearance.

I have a new look going lately — and she finally picked up on it. I got rather hairy in Patagonia. Well, there was no barber shop for a few hundred miles, so I let my hair and beard grow — just trimming my beard to keep it from overwhelming my mouth. When I got back to civilization (in Puerto Williams) I was able to get tidied up a bit — but I waited to get to Melbourne for a more complete makeover.

I’m in my late sixties with gray hair that is rather thinned and receded — not the glorious mane I enjoyed in my twenties. I don’t mind the gray — was gray before I was forty — but I’ve never managed to find a haircut to work with my aging hair. I ended up taking a leaf from Alene’s book.

Alene has very fine-textured hair that can look deceptively full on account of its inclination to make waves and curls. But as she’s grown older (now in early fifties), her hair has thinned also. Wearing it definitely short has never worked for her, because wispy curls end up making a mess of it. But she now wears it just long enough to pull back into a small pony tail at the nape of her neck. I think it looks wonderfully elegant and graceful, and when she lets it free at the end of the day, it falls very sweetly around her face. So, I am wearing mine the same way — although I do use a more manly-looking accessory to secure it! I still have a beard, but I keep it very closely trimmed with one of those beard trimming gadgets. Allen brought one with him on the trip south and gave it to me when he went back to Seattle. I also visit a professional barber every other week for help with keeping it in good shape. I look like an aging rock star!!

And we now look rather alike — although with complementing color schemes. I have gray hair and gray eyes — and because I spent most of the northern summer in the southern hemisphere, my face is barely tanned. Alene has light brown hair and hazel eyes which are amber with a ring of gray around the iris — and her face got quite a tan from the long, sunny summer in Seattle. So whereas I am distinctly monochromatic, she has more of a cepia finish.

We’d look really cute together — if only we were allowed!


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