Sitting at Barneys in Haarlemmerstraat in upper Amsterdam conversing over a Barney Rookie. Wearing layers of clothing, an Alexander Mcqueen scarf and an old wool beret from Selfridges. I pass the rookie across to Damshad. Its freezing out and the coffee shops windows are a blanket of white. I smell of burberry, tobacco and of glorious red wine. The Netherlands is mesmerizing this time of year with the canals frozen over and the fresh powder sprinkling from the sky. I came here in search for love (tragically pathetic, I know). The man sitting with me is tall, dark and rugged looking. I met him 6 months ago whilst couch surfing through Europe. Since living back in London I haven’t been able to get his face out of my mind. Tonight is my last night in the dam before heading back to London.
He allures mystery with every glance. He is staring at me with big soul wrenching brown eyes.
“Should we have the same flavour again, or try a new one?” Damshad asks me, as he draws in his last drag.
“How about we try a different one hoping to super buzzed.” I reply with eager anticipation.
Damshad comes back to the table 2 minutes later with a samsara – a smooth mild tasting one with a late creeper.
We giggle nonstop about ridiculous nonsensical conversations with our spliffs and red wine in hand. He barely takes his eyes away. Half way through the samsara I think to my self oh shit! Whats is wrong with my face? ……. my face is starting to feel a tingly weird sensation, the right corner of my mouth feels like it is turning up towards the sky, and my heart feels like it is about to jump out of my chest, just relax and go with the flow, I think to myself.
I excuse my self and hastily rush to the toilet to calm myself down and not act all weird and stuff. As I am walking to the toilet, I feel a bit light headed at my feet and manage to perfectly trip over the mat at the toilet entry in perfect flamboyant style. I smack bang into a woman exiting the toilet. She gives me a pissed off snarl. Well done bravo!!!! I applaud my self.
In the toilet,I splash my face with water and talk to my self. I look up to see my face in the mirror. My face looks old, I look terrible, as my mascara has smudged and lips are chapped . I start to shudder in a state of panic. I manage to stay real about the situation and blame the paranoia for my obscure pattern of thoughts.
Back at the table I regain my normality and take another sip of my pinot. I Stare out side to the falling snow with a blank expression and I feel Damshad’s eyes locked onto me. I throw him a whimsical smile which may have been a little awkward, now that I think back.
I am balancing outside on the puffy snow in my cream ankle boots whilst smearing my mouth with chapstick. I smoke Ultra-Light cigarettes grandly, standing proud; I am looking around at the dutch frolicking and showing off as they skate around on the ice.
We stop by the christmas markets and drink gluvine and eat fromage crepes for a couple of hours, heavenly I proclaim!!! I start to feel sad with the though of boarding a plane tomorrow bound for London as I desperately don’t want the night to end. Sleep deprivation and my desperate desire for love is creating disorganized chaos in my own head. I think to my self how perfect it would be if Damshad would declare his unprovailed love for me right now and ask me stay here with him and hold me close.
We move slowly like snails alongside the canals, puffing on tobacco and blowing rings in the air. My ankle boots feel like they are dragging the snow with us, I feel my high has evaporated in to the icy frost; we have not exchanged a word in at least a length of a canal or two.
The canals in Amsterdam are confusing even for the locals. They are like spokes of a wheel, edging out from the centre, ever turning and ever perplexing. I am pretty sure we just walked the entire length of Keizersgracht or was it Prinsengracht anyway they all look the same, beautiful and picturesque. We seemingly amble through DeBaarsjses which is suppose to be the up and coming neighbourhood of the dam. After an awkward stride we finally arrive at a bar called De Nieuwe Anita, where Damshad rings the door bell.
The door opens and a groovy looking short dutch man with a cool top hat greets us. “Met plezier”, he simply states which simply means “with pleasure”….. We are ushered into the back room where there is a bar and behind the bar there are topless dutch waitresses dancing and just being jolly. We sit down in a alcove on some cushions. I order a Tom Collins and Damshad orders the Mai Tai. Again an awkward silence appears, our conversation struggled, it lacked the jovial laughter that filled the space back at Barneys, perhaps we should have stayed there. I felt uneasy and my mind was taking over my body. Second guessing myself.
Its safe to say that it was not received the way that I would have liked. I think ‘we are better as mates’, was the response I received. Embarrassed and sad I decided to stand up and exit the cute bar and walk the dutch canals by my lonesome.
Back in London 2.30 pm the next day.
Depressed and tired, I am eating peanut butter out of the jar, lying on the couch in my flano pyjama’s in my flat in St Johns Wood. (I keep falling out of my own fucking canoe). I am crying, “Nantes” by Beirut playing. It snows outside and the windows are a white blanket and the ground is a black blanket.
I am 30 and I hate my job. I am a teacher here and as you can imagine it is a pretty tough gig. I should never have become a teacher. As cute and quizzical kids are these days they can also be a pain in the righteous butt to teach. Most the time its more like crowed control and taming the lions at the zoo, than actual teaching. Never mind its a new day tomorrow = positive thoughts.
I walk to my room as I am desperate for sleep for sleep as I catch my self in the hallway mirror. I notice the back of my head. That’s strange I think to my self. My hair is extremely sparse at the crown of my head, lets just say it use to be a lot thicker. Where the hell has my hair gone?
In my irrational erratic frenzy I go back to the mirror and get another mirror so I can closely examine the situation. OH MY! flipping gosh. I AM GOING BALD!!!
Why? I am way too young. I can handle going grey but not bald. I thought too my self in a desperate, relentless, worried way.
I got onto the internet and started searching>>
Going bald at 30. >Hair products to make hair grow> what makes hair fall out?>
I manage to find some shampoo and conditioner to rebuild the hair follicles and I ordered them quickly from ebay to arrive in just 2 days.
After a month of laborious teaching and the bitter grey morbid London weather I was still concerned about the situation of my hair. I have been using the shampoo and conditioner every day but my hair was exactly the same. By this stage now I noticed the sparseness in every angle and light. I had become obsessed with the fact that I thought that I was losing my hair that I booked into a hair loss clinic located in Victoria for 9 am the following day.
I arrived at my appointment ready to get this situation sorted and for me to get on with my life. I walked in and introduced my self to the lady at the desk and sat down. I looked around and the room was full of bald people, mostly men but also some woman. I sat there patiently and nervously. A lady came and called my name.
I entered the room where I proceeded to inform her of my concern for my sudden hair loss. She reassured me that it would be ok and that they were here to help me. I felt relieved. She asked me to stand up so she could take photographs of the top of my head. I stood up and lent my head down towards her. “click”, “click”. She asked me to sit down once more.
The top of my head appeared on her computer screen and here we were discussing this issue of my hair loss/
“Yes, it does appear that you are losing your hair”. She said, in some authoritative doctor way.
“Is your mum or your dad bald?” She asked.
“Well yes my dad is, but he is a man and that’s quite different to me, isn’t it?”
“No, not at all, you may have a balding gene inherited from your dad”. She stated.
This is when I started to pathetically weep like a school kid………….